By Jaye Sudar
LA VETA- The Re-2 board voted to raise substitute teachers’ pay scales to match other districts. This will be an additional $5,500 draw on the budget. The new rates are now $70, $85 and $100 per day, and will go into effect Nov. 1. Re-2 uses a tiered system according to education levels and licensing like Re-1.
The board approved the final 2009-2010 budget. This sparked discussion concerning a multitude of issues from building projects, insurance, and the CASB conference attended by board members Law, Schneider and Smith. CASB advised school boards to brace for further cuts from the state. The drop in capital gains and sales tax revenues is impacting the state coffers. While education comprises 48% of the state budget, the state will have no choice except to cut into educational dollars. Amendment 23, which originally safeguarded educational funding has been negated due to economic shortfalls. At this point in time, the state is looking at three possible levels of cuts per student for the 2010-2011 school year. $180, $300 and $420 are the possible per pupil cuts that may be imposed. This means that for Re-2, the loss would be between $45,000 and 104,000. The pupil count at this time is 246.5.
CASB is advising all districts to look for any way to cut their budgets. Non-replacement of retirees, bus route cuts, athletic fees, and no raises were amongst the measures suggested to deal with budgetary shortfalls. On a good note, Re-2′s auditors said that the district is in good shape compared to many districts. These conditions will persist until at least 2014.
Building issues with ECM were unresolved after the board met with the company. Charlie Park awaits benches and the “landing” of the eagle statue which is available for viewing at the gallery next to Charlie′s. A possible date of Nov. 20 was set as a celebration for completion of the park. The board is still waiting on estimates for the clean up of bat guano over the counselor’s office. CDE′s Best Program was mentioned as a possible means to remedy roofing issues and the bat problem. The grant cycle opens on Jan. 8, 2010.
As this was the last meeting of the present board, there was a summing up of board accomplishments. Board member Law listed the goals achieved and board member Sternberg commended Board President Ed Smith for nine exemplary years of service.
As the next board meeting conflicts with a transmission line meeting in Walsenburg on Nov. 9, the board will reschedule their November meetings.
In other business, the board voted to approve the revised substitute teacher list, approved additional expenditures on Charlie Park and the preschool, and recommended purchase of a new volleyball net and suspension system. They also recommended purchase of benches and tables not to exceed $5000.