Financial Considerations Loom Large at Dieterich Board Meeting

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Published on December 11 2012 9:34 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Dieterich school board members Monday received an update from Superintendent Cary Jackson on the state of district finances, and not much good news was heard.

Jackson provided projected pension shift costs if the State chose to shift the cost of Teacher Pensions to the district.  While nothing is definite at this point, the upcoming lame duck session of the General Assembly should provide the district with more information or action regarding the issue.  The State currently pays about $150,000 per year into the Teacher Retirement System for Dieterich district teachers.

Jackson also reported that the State has been pro-rating General State Aid, which in turn has caused the district to lose a substantial amount of revenue.  During last school year, the State pro-rated State Aid by 95%, which resulted in a loss of $131,000.  For this school year, State Aid is pro-rated at 89%, which will result in a loss of revenue of approximately $300,000.  Projections for next year could reach a pro-ration of as low as 80%, which would mean a loss to the district of approximately $550,000.

Dieterich board members discussed instituting Interest Based Bargaining with employee groups.  Jackson reported the best way to implement the system this year would be to have everyone involved participate in a two-day training session.  The session would provide information and preparation for upcoming contract negotiations.

The Board awarded property and general liability insurance coverage for just $64,000, and passed the tax levy for the coming fiscal year seeking $1,013,947 for all funds.

Dieterich High School Principal Kevin Haarman reported the Homecoming game and dance were a success.  Candace Niemerg and Dalton Hinterscher were crowned Homecoming King and Queen at Dieterich.

Haarman reported the high school Student Council held a clothing drive, with 930 items donated to charity.  He also reported that plans are in place for the girls and boys Dieterich Holiday Tournaments.  The top three seeds in the boys tournament: #1 Newton, #2 Oblong and #3 Dieterich.  The top three seeds in the girls tournament: #1 CHBC, #2 Newton and #3 Dieterich.

Haarman also reported that Dieterich High School students will have another option for lunch, even with a closed campus.  The new Subway Restaurant in Dieterich is willing to provide a lunch box to high school students.  Subway will take orders daily and deliver items to the high school lobby during lunch.

The Dieterich board discussed using a webpage designer to enhance the district website, but decided against the move due to the cost of the service and the current financial climate.