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Levy approved for Park Rapids School District

The Park Rapids Area School Board approved the 2012 levy at $4,855,159, a .98 percent increase from 2011.

"We have been holding the line," said Business Manager Carol Hutchinson.

The breakdown of the levy is 63.26 percent debt service ($3,071,431) and 36.74 percent for other levies including general and Community Service ($1,783,728).

Looking at the past year's budget Hutchinson noted great improvement to the Community Service budget, which includes Community Education and early childhood programs. The department has been operating in a deficit for several years.

Jill Dickinson, Community Education director, has reduced the deficit significantly in the last year, from negative $105,474.75 to negative $75,022.62.

"Jill has made significant improvements and I'm real pleased with the progress," Hutchinson said.

She also pointed out that 76 percent of the school's funding comes from the state.

"So, when they shift dollars it hurts," Hutchinson said.

In other business, the board:

n Heard an update on the district's speech program from coach David Overly.

He said he and some of his varsity participants talked to Century School sixth-eighth graders to spark interest in speech and it worked. He had 34 students express interest in the program compared to eight students on the junior varsity speech team last year.

"I'm here to advocate for the program," Overly said.

He encouraged the school board to be supportive of the speech program.

n Changed meeting dates for January, February and March due to holidays and other scheduling conflicts.

School board meetings will be at 6 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 9 and 23, Feb. 13 and 27 and March 12. Meetings will return to the first and third Mondays in April.

n Approved an extra-curricular resignation by Morgan Krieg and seventh-grade softball coach.

n Approved an extra-curricular resignation by Greg Kuehn as assistant boys track coach.

n Approved hiring Deb Davis as assistant high school speech coach.

n Approved a resignation from Judy Ackerman, a paraprofessional at Century School's media center.

n Approved a first reading of a credit card policy that was recommended by the district's audit firm.

n Approved a revised 2011-12 budget.

n Received several donations, including one case of copy paper for the high school from Park Rapids Eye Clinic, $300 for the high school media center from Itasca-Mantrap, $865 worth of books for the high school media center from Sister Wolf Books, $600 for the high school Book Club from Itasca-Mantrap, $600 for School Readiness from Itasca-Mantrap and $360 for scholarships for the Community Education School Age Care Program from Itasca-Mantrap.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561