Increased state aid could mean lower taxes
By Jennifer LeNoble
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released its equalization aid estimates for all school districts on July 1. This estimate is a key number for the New London School district in planning for the 2015-16 budget.
“This number is especially important to New London because state equalization aid is the primary source of revenue for our general operating budget,” Joseph Marquardt, director of Business Services, told school board members on Monday, July 13.
The School District of New London’s estimated aid is $15.3 million which is 1.4 percent more than 2014-15 school year.
“It’s important to remember that more or less aid does not mean more money in the budget,” Marquardt said. “More equalization aid offsets the amount on property taxes, which is a good thing for our local taxpayers.”
There are many key variables to be determined before the final equalization aid is given on Oct. 15. The district will complete its audits over the next two months and the data will be a large determining factor in the final amount.
Marquardt assured board members that he’ll have more information prior to the district’s budget hearing presentation in September.
Summer food program
The School District of New London began a summer food program on Monday, July 13, that offers free breakfast and free lunches. This program is the first of its kind in the district’s history.
Kids 18 and younger are eligible to participate in the food program that is being held at Lincoln Elementary School. Nutritious meals will be served until Aug. 14. Breakfast will be held from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be served from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m.
In connection with the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Lincoln has qualified under state and federal guidelines to fully participate in this program.
The SFSP ensures that all children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Children do not need to sign up or apply for this program.
“We are very fortunate to be eligible for this great program,” District Administrator Kathy Gwidt said. “We encourage any kids looking to have a good breakfast or lunch, to head over to Lincoln.”
According to the USDA, the plan is to serve more than 200 million free meals to children at all SFSP sites this summer.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
The New London Community Health Action Team (NL CHAT) is a group of people who come together and discuss areas of concern in the community.
The team meets quarterly throughout the year to discuss areas of concern for the local communities of Waupaca and New London.
Laurie Schmidt, director of Pupil Services, had the opportunity to join CHAT this past fall and was excited to share with board members a new partnership with the community.
“This year the big topic was mentoring and the team decided to focus on mentoring for the youth of our community,” Schmidt said. “We have partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Fox Cities.”
With this partnership the team has set a goal of 30 matches in the next year. This is a community-based goal to establish mentorships with youth between the ages of 6-12, for one hour a week.
“This really is a great mentoring program and all we are asking is for a commitment to make a difference in the life of a child,” Schmidt said.
If anyone in the community is interested in becoming a mentor, visit the BBBS website at www.bbbsfvr.org for more information.