New London – New London School Board Members discussed the preliminary budget proposal for the 2010-2011 school year during the district’s regular scheduled board meeting Monday.
The proposed general fund budget totals $25,632,000. This amount is about $210,000 less than last year’s budget, according to Richard Yerkey, Director of Business Services.
The budget also reflects actual amounts received by the state. The district will see a 5 percent increase in state aids.
The proposed tax rate is $9.50 per thousand.
The budget is subject to change prior to Nov. 1 to incorporate actual enrollment of students as of Friday, Sept. 17.
Open Enrollment Resolution Proposal
Superintendent Bill Fitzpatrick approached board members with a proposal of resolution toward open enrollment for school districts.
The impact of open enrollment is significant to the New London School District. In 2004-2005 the district had a net loss of roughly $33,000 and this past year the loss was $300,000.
Green Bay School District has proposed a resolution to the open enrollment policy to be presented at the WASB delegate assembly in January. Green Bay’s district has asked New London to become part of the effort to change the program, according to Fitzpatrick.
Green Bay’s proposal is meant to limit the number of students able to leave the school district, and to limit the negative financial impact on districts. However, Fitzpatrick recommends that the board adopt a resolution to modify the fiscal impact on school districts by using the three-year rolling average in calculating the per pupil compensation for students involved in the program.
The board had three options to consider for the resolution proposal. One, to support Green Bay and adopt their resolution. Two, limiting open enrollment to 3 percent of the resident district membership instead of the current 10 percent. And three, consider both options.
After discussing the proposal, board members directed Fitzpatrick to draft a resolution to be heard at the WASB assembly.
The 2010-2011 school year is off to a great start, especially with the new 4K program and the Intermediate/Middle School.
The district welcomed 143 four-year old Kindergarten students to classrooms.
“The kids are adjusting very well,” said Kathy Gwidt, Director of Teaching and Learning. “They are really getting into the routine of things.”
The Intermediate/Middle School students have adjusted as well.
“The Intermediate School is off to a fantastic start,” Intermediate School Principal Joe Green said. “The feel of the younger kids and their excitement adds a more elementary look to the building.”
New programs are also being introduced to the students. Fifth graders are being introduced to a math expressions program, and sixth graders have a literacy program to enhance early intervention.
Like the Intermediate students, the Middle School students are adjusting to the new school.
“The Middle School is off to a great start,” Middle School Principal Terry Wetzel said. “The first day went smoother than I anticipated.”
Some teachers in attendance at the meeting also commented on the new school year. Most comments were made on the success of students transitioning themselves to the changes of the building and welcoming the 5th graders to a new learning experience.
Students at the Intermediate/Middle School and the High School were also presented with ways of encouragement and success during the first few days of school. Instead of going over the rules and regulations, administrators chose to discuss things students can do to make their education a success, and ways to challenge themselves.
Board members and the administrators were pleased with the success thus far and look forward to all the events and activities to come in the 2010-2011 school year.