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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • Budget woes return to YME

  • The dark clouds of declining enrollment and uncertainty in funding revenue are once again looming on the horizon for YME.
    Superintendent Al Stoeckman shared future enrollment figures with YME Board members at the Monday night school board meeting. While 2013-2014 projections are expected to remain constant the projections through 2016 are not as favorable.
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  • The dark clouds of declining enrollment and uncertainty in funding revenue are once again looming on the horizon for YME.
    Superintendent Al Stoeckman shared future enrollment figures with YME Board members at the Monday night school board meeting. While 2013-2014 projections are expected to remain constant the projections through 2016 are not as favorable. Stoeckman shared that the projected decline in enrollment over the next four years will be 53 students. The revenue loss will amount to over $470,000 dollars.
    After the fiscal status was explained, members of the finance committee shared that they wanted input from the board on how to proceed with the 2013-2014 budget. "What we're looking for is a consensus on whether we are going to continue to cut and deficit spend," explained finance committee member Jane Hagert. Even though enrollment projections are already determined, the state legislature has not made progress on a school funding bill. Wanting to give more time this year for input on the decisions to cut or to deficit spend, Tim Opdahl made a motion to maintain a minimum of one million dollars in the unreserved general fund. The motion was approved. The unreserved fund balance is projected to be at 1.3 million dollars at the end of the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The desire to not only make budget decisions one year out, but also to right size the budget, to be fiscally responsible while continuing to provide quality education, for the projected $470,000 revenue loss by 2016 prompted the board to mention cuts, not only in personnel but also in programs. "Everything will be on the table," shared Opdahl.
    Athletic pairing
    Athletic Director Tim Knapper reported to the board that an agreement had been reached with RCW concerning the pairing of the football programs.
    Under the agreement YME would make no concessions in the YME program and all activities would be held on the YME campus. Knapper reported that the vote was 6 to 5 in favor of the pairing.
    Knapper went on to explain that he was not comfortable with the outcome of the vote. "I'd feel more comfortable if there was an 80 percent agreement," Knapper pointed out. He also indicated that he did not see pairing as an answer to the competitiveness problem at YME. He stated, "The competitiveness problem is an internal problem."
    Knapper told the board that he felt the decision was too big and there was too much at stake to make at this time. The board approved a motion to have Knapper draft a letter to RCW stating that YME does not wish to pair the football program with RCW at this time.
    Personnel items
    The board approved a one year contract with Melissa Hesch as Bert Raney Elementary Principal. The contract includes a 2.5 percent increase over the current contract and a $3,500 stipend for overseeing the summer school program, Kids College, at Bert Raney.
    Page 2 of 2 - The board approved a one year contract with Michael Meihak as YME MS/HS Principal. The contract includes a 2.5 percent increase in salary over the current contract.
    The board approved a leave of absence to high school social studies teacher Elaine Hauger.
    The board accepted the resignation with regret of English teacher, newspaper advisor and one act play director Heather Anderson. Anderson's future plans include returning to her home district of Minneota to teach.
    The board accepted the resignation with regret of girls basketball coach Scott Jans. Jans' future plans include spending more of his time with his family.
    The board accepted the resignation with regret of ESL teacher Melissa Larson. Larson's future plans include moving to Texas.
    Other business
    The board approved the second reading and adopted the 400 series policies governing personnel and had the first reading of the 500 series policies governing students.
    The board approved the 2013-2014 school calendar.
    The board approved the membership agreement with SW/WC Service Cooperative.
    The next school board meeting will be held on May 13, in the YME Board room at 5:30 p.m.

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