Goessel faces $20,638 cut this spring

The Goessel school board heard during its Feb. 9 meeting about more cuts in K-12 education being proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature.

The board heard that $20,638 likely will have to be chopped out of the current school year?s budget. That would be in addition to cuts that have already been made.

Superintendent John Fast said weighted funding for low-income school districts might be discontinued. Goessel is considered a low-income school district.

Fast said there is talk of public schools having to apply for block grants; the grants would be connected to student success rates. But no one seems to know what that success rate would be or how it would be measured.

The board noted that the state cut teachers? paychecks by 1 percent, beginning Jan. 1. That action was taken by the state, not by local school boards. The board also noted there is a state bill that would limit negotiation discussions with teachers strictly to salary.

The board noted that the legislature is proposing up to 70 percent in tax credits for private schools.

Board chair Dan Miller said, ?It appears that there is a dismantling of public education…. We need to promote public education…. What can we do to be involved in our own destiny? It will take all of us.?

The board also discussed the bill introduced in the Legislature to move school board elections to fall instead of spring, which would make school boards politically partisan boards.

Board members said that is not in the best interest of the community or the students. They also noted that new board members would be joining at an inconvenient time in the school budget year.

As it is now, new board members join in the summer when they have time to begin understanding the budget and other board issues before the school year begins.

Joining other schools in voicing opposition to the election date change proposal, the school board adopted a resolution against fall elections. They voted to send an e-mail to the state regarding that matter. Fast said that more than 100 other schools had already passed a resolution.

Fast said he plans to provide more information for the public to help them understand the situation.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? heard a teacher presentation from Curtis Guhr, who is the high school health, physical education, and driver education teacher. He also coaches basketball and track.

Guhr showed a clay model he had made of the human skeletal system, and he showed a model that a student is making. Each student in one of his classes is making a model, and Guhr said they named their models. He said the ?hands-on? opportunity helps the students understand.

?It?s been really enjoyable,? Guhr said. Miller affirmed him:

? commended Guhr for his leadership as chairman of the school?s wellness program.

? heard from Scott Boden, junior/senior high school principal, that the response by students and teachers to the new classrooms has been positive.

?Students appreciate the additional space,? he said.

? heard from Boden that the new access control entry system at the high school is in operation and is working smoothly.

? heard that the old shop will likely be dismantled by the end of the month.

? learned that paint booth ventilation is still in pro?gress in the new construction/remodeling project.

? learned that the grade school students will see the Wichita Children’s Theater production of ?Miss Nelson is Missing? Feb. 27. The trip will be paid for mostly with box-top money.

? heard that the grade school music program will be Feb. 19.

? heard of numerous high school activities that were coming up.

? discussed required testing. Boden said some challenges and frustrations have surfaced. He hopes all the testing technology will work.

? heard from Boden that school improvement day on Jan. 19 ?was very productive.? Guhr provided training for first aid that day.

? heard that school counselor Janna Duerksen provided training for state assessments tests, and there would be time Feb. 11 for state assessment planning.

? heard that Gayle Voth will be ending her long career as Kinder Haus preschool teacher. Rachel Boden will become the new teacher and is looking into a different location for the preschool.

? approved the 2015-16 school calendar. Teachers had been given an opportunity to give their input. Fast said they preferred a two-week break at Christmas instead of a week and a half. Spring break will be the same time as other Marion County schools because of special education.

Fast said he tried to coordinate schedules with Newton and Hutchinson Community College since Goessel has students involved at both schools. However, Hutchinson?s spring break likely will be a week later.

? approved agriculture education items for disposal by sale. Fast said the ag department is planning to assign prices for some items, and some would be sold by silent auction. Some items were old and showed much use. The sale was scheduled for Feb. 14.

? heard a Marion County Special Education Coopera?tive report from board member Kelly Booton. He said the MCSEC board reviewed the audit report and some schools had some para changes.

? heard from board member Darla Meysing that there were no changes with The Learning Consortium.

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