MARCUS - At the regular meeting of the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School Board on Feb. 16, Superintendent Jan Brandhorst presented material to Board members to get them thinking about the future of the local school district. High School Principal Al Vasher operated the computer, which brought various scenarios to the screen.
The board took a look at the history of student enrollment, where MMC is now, and future projections. The district has dropped about 100 students in the last eight years. The unspent balance of the district has dropped since 2001 but still has a decent cushion should the district need something. The unspent balance is required for healthy districts to remain solvent. The district's solvency ration is still above 10 percent which the state likes to see.
The facts show that MMC's unspent balance per pupil cost has only dropped around $50 which is a good thing. As the student population drops, it gets to be even more difficult for a school district to provide what is needed for students at a reasonable cost and keep the district healthy while providing a quality education.
Bandhorst noted that the only way to keep costs in line is either to reduce staff, and to watch building expenses and the purchasing of supplies. It was noted a few staff members wear more than hat to get everything done. For instance, MMC no longer has a transportation director.
This year the state guaranteed four percent allowable growth which provides $2,853,430 and MMC will have another $90,000 coming. The $90,000 was planned on to cover costs. Without that money, more cuts would have had to be made. Each year the district has had to cut an average of $100,000 to make ends meet.
The board was supportive of Brandhorst's initiative to plan ahead and his willingness to keep the district strong in all aspects. He is planning on sharing this information with staff and others so folks understand what it takes to keep everything afloat.
The board members discussed the future and it was noted that many folks are losing their jobs and no doubt that a few employees of the district could lose their job if the state doesn't come through with at least a four percent guarantee.
Another change for next year will be that MMC will need to provide its own special education classes. The board decided to hire Claim Aid to file their Medicaid Billing for the district. A committee composed of parents of eligible students, special education teachers, general education teachers, district administrators and a representative of AEA will develop a service delivery plan (education).
In other business the board approved the first reading of the 200 series of policies; approved the calendar for the 09-10 school year on a 4-2 vote with Loren Mohning and Jerry Moser casting the nay votes; approved contracts for Chris Rubendall to coach boys high school golf, and Joe Mohning to coach the girls golf, and Bill Sillau to coach boys junior high track.
The board then went into executive session for labor negotiations.