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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • YME district levy to decrease six percent

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  • YME financial officer LeeAnn Boushek led the district Truth in Taxation presentation at the school board meeting Monday night, revealing that the levy will be reduced by just over six percent for 2014.
    “This is good news for taxpayers,” Boushek said, also adding “we have very little control over [state levies].”
    State law requires that every district presents information on the current year budget as well as the proposed property tax levy, including the percentage change over the prior year, in this case a decrease.
    During the comments and questions portion of the presentation, Chairman Grant Velde asked when the State would be paying back the 1.1 billion surplus promised to the Minnesota education system.
    “They have already started paying back a lot of it,” Boushek said. “Our cash flow is really good right now.”
    The presentation, available online through the ISD 2190 website, includes charts detailing the 2013-14 revenue and expense budgets, as well as detailed levy comparisons.
    In other news:
    • The board discussed some of the issues that Bennett & Bennett Transportation have been having with late students, now more of a concern with subzero temperatures.
    “In the past when kids missed the bus, they were the ones in trouble,” Superintendent Al Stoeckman said. “Like in education, the fault has been shifted from the parents and students, [in this case] to the bus drivers.”
    Some parents have been calling bus drivers to complain or request that the bus return to pick up their late child, even though it delays the pickup for students later on down the bus line.
    “[The drivers] can’t let kids wait in the cold because other students aren’t coming on time,” Stoeckman said.
    • The board approved three requests for resignation, including C-squad volleyball coach Karla Fischer, assistant football coach Dean Baldry and head girls tennis coach Steve Barber. The superintendent contract for Al Stoeckman was tabled until the January meeting.
    • Under the items for discussion was extra curricular participation, more specifically about the dropping numbers in most activities.
    “What is preventing us from having success in sports? Participation is going to be one on the top of the list,” Athletic Director Tim Knapper said.
    Knapper added that the Hoops Club, which used to have 40-60 kids at one time on Saturday mornings, only had five boys show up out of three grades at the last meeting.
    “We need to be communicating to parents that being in an activity, any activity, is going to be better for them,” Board member Tim Opdahl said. “We need to get kids out – winning will come after that.”
    Page 2 of 2 - • The meeting was closed to the public for preliminary consideration for student discipline.
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