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Nevis School approves budget, eyes even-year election

The Nevis School Board approved a $6 million budget for the upcoming school year, with a warning lean times are ahead.

Anticipated annual revenue for the 2009-10 school year is $6,039,714 with $6,012,146 in anticipated expenditures.

The problem, superintendent Steve Rassier explained, is distribution of money by the state, which has been modified from 90-10 percent to 73-27 percent, causing "a cash flow problem of $467,000" to the district.

And school districts, he said, will be facing a greater cash flow problem in 2011.

"We're in good shape today," he said of the school's $641,534 general fund balance, "but I can't say what will happen with the governor's budget."

In other action, the board:

-Learned 53.7 percent of 11th grade Nevis students - 22 out of 41 - passed the state math test, compared with the state average of 57 percent.

Rassier explained the state amended the original decision on students being required to pass the test in order to graduate. Students who fail may retake the test three times, but passing/ failing won't affect graduation eligibility.

The 10th grade Nevis students exceeded the state average on the reading test, with 84.6 percent - 33 out of 39 - passing, compared with 78 percent statewide. n Discussed implementing even-year elections for school board members.

The district, Rassier explained, held the elections in odd years to better inform the public, who are otherwise inundated with election year info.

If the election schedule is to remain status quo, the district would be responsible for programming election equipment, as opposed to forwarding the information to the county auditor's office for inclusion on the general ballot.

The cost to the district if the election remains in odd years could be up to $1,500, as opposed to an estimated $300 to $400 county charge.

A decision on the issue will be made prior to Aug. 25.

If the conversion is approved, the terms of Marv Vrendenburg, Kris Sauser and Walt Bromenschenkel, which are to expire in 2009, would be extended one year.

-At the request of choir director Beth Mack, approved a $3,800 expenditure to purchase choir robes, replacing second hand garments that have weathered more than two decades of wear.

The school will access $3,000 in Minnesota State High School League grant funds and use $1,000 in existing choir department funds to purchase the robes, an estimated $7,800 total amount.

Junior high choir members will use the current robes.