by Jaye Sudar
LA VETA- In her presentation bid to be the grant writer for Re-2, Sandy Dolak stated that while the need is great, the money is less than ever before. This sentiment was echoed throughout the meeting on a variety of topics. Dolak was there as part of the team “Take us for Granted,” the grant writing business run by Dolak and Debbie Channel. She presented information during an interview held during the regular meeting. The board thanked her for the information and stated that they would get back to her at the next meeting. John Manos, the other grant writer scheduled for an interview, was not present.
Board candidates, and other audience members heard A.R. Miller discuss discrepancies in the ongoing building projects. EMC and the district have had numerous disagreements on issues concerning the kitchen at the elementary school and the HVAC system in the buildings. After animated discussions, it was decided that A.R. Miller and Superintendent Seaney would pull out all the paperwork involving various building phases and try to make sense of EMC′s change orders and billings. Board members stated that some of the confusion stemmed from the change of project managers. It was finally decided that the board would meet with EMC and discuss various frustrations. Until such time as the board is satisfied, over $50,000 in payments will be withheld.
In budget discussions, the board was made aware that the funding level would be approximately 3.7 million for the school year. This is down over $700,000. Monies from CDE and DOLA are not enough to cover a potential shortfall of $215,000. As with many small districts, 82% of the budget goes toward salaries and benefits. Director Law requested that CDE be contacted to help the district with health benefit issues. Seaney reiterated that while there is great need in the district for various programs, benefits and teachers, the funds are simply not going to be there. This is not an isolated problem, but one all districts will be facing next year.
In other business, the board approved sending five students to the National FFA convention in Indianapolis, IN on Oct. 20-25, and Jeremy Hamlin was approved as the junior high football coach.