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EM school district receives $100,000 more in revenue

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND  —  The Elk Mound school district has received about $100,000 more in revenue than anticipated.

The Elk Mound Board of Education learned about the additional revenue at the board’s June 15 meeting when Dr. Ron Walsh, district administrator, presented the budget variance report for the 2014-2015 school year.

The additional revenue came from three different sources, Dr. Walsh said.

Half of the additional revenue — $50,000 — came primarily from changes in open enrollment along with a shift in funding associated with the curriculum coordinator, he said.

Elk Mound shares a curriculum coordinator with the Boyceville school district, Dr. Walsh noted.

An additional $20,000 came from an increase in state revenue, and $30,000 came from federal revenue, he said.

It is not unusual to receive additional revenue at the end of the year, especially concerning revenue from the federal government, Dr. Walsh said.

Fund 39 for debt service also requires some adjustments, he said.

The amount is related to interest and how it is categorized, Dr. Walsh said, noting that the shift is due to the refinancing of debt and the Build America Bonds the district put toward the $9.325 million building project several years ago to make improvements to the elementary school, middle school and high school.

In addition, Fund 27, used for special education, must be adjusted by $20,000 in anticipation of less revenue and expenditures related to payroll, Dr. Walsh said.

The $20,000 will be shifted to Fund 10, the general fund, he said.

The Elk Mound Board of Education unanimously approved the budget variance report for 2014-2015.

E-Rate funding

Eric Hanson, Mound View Elementary principal, reported that among invoices at subsequent meetings, Board of Education members will see amounts for $30,000 and $13,000.

The $30,000 will be used to add 90 new wireless connections for the school district, Hanson said.

The $13,000 will be for backup batteries for network infrastructure in the district that must be replaced about every five years, he said.

The federal E-Rate program will reimburse the district for 60 percent of the wireless connections, Hanson said.

According to the Federal Communication Commission’s website, “the Universal Service Fund is paid for by contributions from providers of telecommunications based of an assessment on their interstate and international end-user revenues.”

The FCC’s website also states, “ The Telecommunications Act of 1996 expanded the traditional goal of universal service to include increased access to both telecommunications and advanced services – such as high-speed Internet — for all consumers at just, reasonable and affordable rates. The Act established principles for universal service that specifically focused on increasing access to evolving services for consumers living in rural and insular areas, and for consumers with low-incomes.”

E-Rate funding is for schools and libraries and is intended to reduce the cost for Internet and telecommunications for rural school districts.

In the past E-Rate funds also could be used for telephone service, but the focus has shifted to Internet and telecommunications, Hanson said.

Elk Mound has a little over $100,000 in E-Rate funds that can be spent over five years. The money can be spent in one lump sum or can be spent over the five-year time period, Dr. Walsh said.

The new connections will bring Elk Mound’s service up to a higher standard for Internet wireless access, Hanson said.

Other business

In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:

• Presented Notable Educational Contribution awards to Sue Suechting and Lisa Strom for their work with the weekend meal program. Suechting and Strom pack meals and deliver them to school every Friday, Hanson said. Initially, it was estimated that 25 meals would be needed for low-income students every weekend, but the number eventually grew to over 100 meals, he said, noting that Mound View Elementary has 510 students.

• Learned that 140 students have signed up for the summer school program at Mound View Elementary.

• Approved allowing spending from the Fund 10 general fund balance if necessary to close out the 2014-2015 school year.

• Accepted the resignation of Duane Clemmens as a school crossing guard. Clemmens was working on being certified to drive a bus for the Menomonie school district while working in Elk Mound and has accepted a position with Menomonie, said Eric Wright, middle school principal and the district’s transportation coordinator.

• Accepted the resignation of Michael Proft as a middle school basketball coach. Proft and his wife are expecting their second child to be born soon, and Proft thought it would be best to be at home more this fall, although he intends to return as a basketball coach later on, Wright said.

• Received a reminder that the July 27 Board of Education meeting will begin at 6:45 p.m. and that the August 31 meeting also will begin at 6:45. The district’s annual meeting will begin at 8 p.m. August 31.

Following a closed session, the Elk Mound Board of Education:

• Approved hiring Annelise Collins and Missy Schroeder as co-directors of the middle school student council.

• Approved hiring Mike Proft as the middle school track coach.

• Approved hiring Bruce Winchester as a middle school basketball coach.

• Approved hiring Katie Young as an elementary school teacher.

• Approved hiring Thomas Rudolph and Erin Tomlinson as middle school teachers.

• Approved hiring Stacie Nelson as a crossing guard.

• Approved support staff assignments for the next school year, salary advancements for the next school year for teachers, coaches, advisors, support staff and administration and approved the teacher compensation guide for next year.