State cuts focus of 410 meeting

The impact on USD 410?s budget of Gov. Sam Brown?back?s recently announced school funding cuts took center focus at the Board of Education?s Feb. 9 regular meeting.

?This is an adversarial governor toward public education,? Superintendent Steve Noble said about Brownback?s management of the state?s finances.

The worse-case scenario, Noble said, would result in $182,000 in cuts and delayed payments for the current fiscal year for USD 410.

The cuts will diminish the district?s projected operating reserves, Noble said, and likely require significant budget changes for 2016.

Noble said the goal would be to make those reductions in equipment and supplies rather than cutting personnel.

On a brighter note, Title 1 teacher Ellynne Wiebe and principal Evan Yoder presented Lexia Reading Core5, a new intervention strategy being used at Hillsboro Elementary School.

?I see it as an enhancement for what we already have (in the current reading program),? Yoder said, adding that the intervention was implemented about two weeks ago.

Designed to meet benchmarks for the Common Core, the program provides individualized instruction via the computer for 47 HES students, kindergarten through fifth grade.

?It seems like the kids really enjoy it,? Yoder said.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? reviewed a draft of the 2015-16 calendar. Action will be taken at the March meeting.

? approved a resolution asking the Kansas Legisla?ture to make no changes in local school board elections. A bill is being considered that would move elections to November and make them partisan.

? reviewed a revised vehicle-replacement plan for this year that would involve fixing the mini-bus, which needs a new engine, rather than purchasing a new bus.

? appointed Carla Har?mon as the USD 410 Food Service representative.

? accepted the resignation of Amy Plett, middle school secretary.

? approved a temporary employment status work agreement for John McMinn as mechanic on-call.

? heard from Noble regarding the Coalition of Innovative Districts, which gives a percentage of districts freedom and flexibility from some state regulations in order to improve student achievement.

One example Noble cited could be using ACT rather than state assessments.

?I don?t want to double-test students,? he said.

Noble said he planned to talk with district teachers about CID and possibly bring a proposal back to the board for a vote.

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