by Shane Clouse
LA VETA — The deadline for the school board to take formal action to participate in the November 6, 2012 election is July 27. As a result, the La Veta RE-2 School Board is moving forward on a decision to ask the voters to raise the mill levy.
They will send a letter of intent to the county. They must start the process in order to meet the deadline, but may still withdraw before that deadline.
The current mill levy for the RE-2 school district is at 28.524, which is well below the state average of 37 mills. As they consider a possible mill levy increase, the board is considering the “four T’s and a P”. Those are Teachers, Textbooks, Technology, Transportation, and Programs.
The budget for the year 2012-2013 has been approved without any cuts to programming. However, after four consecutive years of budget cuts, with more possibly on the way, the district cannot sustain more cuts without cutting some elective programs.
Teachers’ wages are not competitive in the district, and there were no increases for cost of living this year. Superintendent Bree Lessar said, “we cannot recruit or retain quality teachers.” No new textbooks have been bought in the past five years, no new technology has been acquired for the past three years, and the district is transporting students in an aging fleet of vehicles from the mid-90’s.
In other news, the board approved the required “maintenance of effort” in next year’s budget with BOCES. School districts are not allowed to spend less in subsequent years as in previous. Last year, the district spent an estimated $83,500. This next year, the district is budgeting an estimated $85,000.
The board approved an “extra-duty stipend” for Mr. Jim Moore for acting as the board secretary. The amount of the stipend was not discussed. The board also approved the hiring of Shelley Kern as a paraprofessional for special education.
The board then received a letter from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA). The letter was to inform the board of different warning indicators related to the decreasing budget. The biggest concern of the OSA is that the board and community be aware of the consequences of reductions in the budget. The board is acutely aware and the community has been kept informed, so Business Manager Toni Brgoch is of the opinion that warnings will not be needed next year.
Maintenance Supervisor Gaye Davis brought attention to an event this Saturday, July 14. A call has been put out for the community to come to the football field starting at 7:30 am to help construct an announcer’s booth. The district is hoping to have the booth built by the end of the day.
For more information on this project, you can contact Gaye Davis at 742-3662 ext.13 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward