School board holds meeting in Green River
The Emery County School District met for their November meeting in Green River. Their first item of business was to name Steven Gordon as the head baseball coach for Emery and Dean Stilson as the assistant baseball coach.
The automotive team has requested to travel to an automotive contest in New Mexico. The contest is on Nov. 20 and the automotive team placed second there last year. There are six participants going. Superintendent Kirk Sitterud informed the school board of the death of one of the employees at Emery High. Ruth Pollaehne was a library aide and also the mother of Andy Pollaehne a teacher at Canyon View Junior High. "We wish to extend our sympathies to the family," said Superintendent Sitterud.
He also reported that during American Education Week, they wish to recognize the support staff and acknowledge the fact that to a great extent the district owes their success to them.
Superintendent Sitterud said for a long time the school districts have been lobbying to get the funding formula changed for forest service lands. The school district only receives a very small amount each year from the forest service. This year the amount was $13,151. The school district recently found out the Secure Rural Schools was funded at a higher level and it came through on the federal bail out bill. The county had to make a decision on how to receive the money. The school districts amount they will receive will be $160,000 and this amount will go down over time. For the next four years it is funded.
Another worry for school districts comes with the Utah legislature replacing $74 million in ongoing monies and making them one time money only. The legislators are still dealing with the shortfall, but the increase in the Secure Rural Schools money will be a big help if cuts are made elsewhere.
Superintendent Sitterud said a board position is open for Region 12 on the Utah High School Athletics Association if anyone is interested.
The legislative committee for the state board of education has been asked to look at 3 percent cuts and to make recommendations of where those cuts could be made. Superintendent Sitterud is on that board and he doesn't think any recommendations for cuts should be made. Education has been told it would be held harmless and if you recommend cuts then you will surely get them. The state has cut taxes in some areas and maybe some of those need to be reinstated.
Several projects are funded with one time monies. Some of these can be cut and if the economy improves then they can be reinstated. The bonus compensation money will go away and some other programs which were listed as three year programs will fund the first year and the other two years will be cut out, this includes the preschool computer program. The math/science teachers enhancement monies might also be out.
This legislative committee is also looking for a sponsor for a resolution which focuses on the fact that local school officials should be allowed to make more decisions at a local level.
Nolan Johnson is the principal of Green River High and he said he appreciates the support that Green River receives from the school board with the challenges that come up in Green River. Johnson had been to a meeting up state for the UHSAA and reports there were the governor wanted to look at a 10 percent cut in education.
The personnel make up the greatest portion of the school district's budget, but no cuts can be made in teachers salaries. Other solutions might include, cutting people, and class size could grow. "It could be a tough year," said Sitterud.
The board members were invited to attend the Utah School Board Association conference. Royd Hatt, board member has 20 years of service as a school board member and will be honored at the conference.
Business Administrator, Jared Black said they weren't looking at any bonuses this year, but there was some money that wasn't used from last year and each teacher will receive an extra $125 in November, one time money.
The property by the Canyon View Junior high will become school district property and a signed agreement is in place. The arrangements for that sale with the title and everything will be completed by Black.