G-R School Board By Marcy Knaack
April 11, 2014
Wednesday evening the Gladbrook-Reinbeck School Board held a public hearing on the proposed school budget for fiscal year 2014/15. Supt. Shawn Holloway told the board, staff and community members present how the budget is determined. It is formula driven and a portion is based on the weighted enrollment x the district cost per pupil, which for 2014/15 is $6,466. Estimated expenses for next fiscal year are $9,303,974 and revenue is estimated at $10,834,792. The proposed tax rate per $1,000 taxable valuation is $10.99889 compared to $10.79270 for 2013/14. G-R’s tax rate is the lowest in the area and is the 2nd lowest in ten years. The board approved the budget at their special meeting. A work session followed the special meeting where administrative needs were addressed. It was the recommendation of Supt. Holloway that he would serve as superintendent and also be the Reinbeck elementary principal; to advertise for a high school principal/Gladbrook campus principal; and a Dean of Students position. The Dean of Students person would support opposite location of the high school/Gladbrook campus principal. Principal Brian Williams served as curriculum director while principal at G-R. The board encouraged Holloway to look at sharing this position with a neighboring district. This scenario would be short term. G-R in the past shared a 2-town principal and it did not work very well. Board member Doug Rowe expressed concern with trying it again. He also realizes the district needs to make budget cuts. For this year, it was the consensus of the board to follow the Supt’s recommendation. Much discussion followed on the 2014/15 kindergarten class with 28 students signed up at Reinbeck and 9 students at Gladbrook. Parents again expressed their concern of having 1 class of 28 students or bussing students to Gladbrook to balance the numbers. For the next year the board will continue with 2 teachers at the Reinbeck campus and 1 at Gladbrook. Board member Lisa Swanson said the district cannot continue three teachers for 37 students. Later this year the board will be doing a feasibility study and look at the district configuration as to continue with three buildings or go to a 2-building district. The board agreed to continue with the four CTE strands, Industrial Tech, Agriculture, Business and Consumer Science. Supt. Holloway said there is an opportunity to share a business teacher with a neighboring school district. This would be a 50/50 split but would allow G-R to hire a full time business instructor. The board agreed to this proposal. The board authorized Supt. Holloway to look at sharing ag and industrial tech instructors with neighboring districts but if this was not possible, then to advertise for the two full time positions. Grundy Center is not interested in sharing a nurse for 2014/15. Holloway said he had visited with the nurse at the Reinbeck campus and she would be willing to reduce her hours to part time. Board member Rod Brockett feels the district needs to be looking to share with another district as closing a building may not be enough to meet budget cuts. There will still be more decisions made in the coming months. The April meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 16th and will be held in Gladbrook at 6:30 p.m.
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