2012-07-21 / News

Good budget news for Cameron County School District

Cameron County School Board received some rare good economic news at last week’s business meeting.

In reviewing the 2012-13 fiscal year budget, which took effect on July 1, Business Manager Carl Mitchell said late changes in state’s funding of public school districts have brought the document close to balance.

Mitchell forecasted that, at worst, the district would have a shortfall of about $100,000. That’s far less than the potential deficit of $500,000 projected when the $11.75 budget was passed by the board last month amid uncertainties about state funding.

The revenue will be pulled from the district’s surplus, which stands at about $3.5 million.

Real estate taxes will remain at 42 mills, generating just over $2.9 million.

In other business, two new faculty members were approved. Jennifer Tucker has been hired as a mathematics teacher and Christina Grove as an English teacher.

Hiring of two elementary teachers and a network specialist were tabled until the August meeting.

The district slightly amended the resignation agreement with Superintendent Kevin O’Donnell. He was technically considered a district employee during his paid leave effective May 18 through July 30. The new document clarifies that the district has no intention of having O’Donnell represent the district during that period.

Solicitor Jennifer Gornall expressed concerns about some provisions in the special education contract with Intermediate Unit 9. The district uses IU9 instructors to teach its special-needs students.

Gornall pointed out that there is no accountability in terms of curriculum or teaching methods. She suggested that future contracts give the district recourse in the event that any issue arises.

Kevin Saline was hired as assistant varsity wrestling coach.

Dr. Scott McKimm was retained to provide student health care for the new school year; Dr. Emma Hunter will provide student dental care at the Cameron County Health Clinic.

Next board meeting will be held at 7 pm on Aug. 9 in the high school library.

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