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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Proposed State Budget Good For Peshtigo School Finances

At the Peshtigo School Board meeting on Wednesday, April 12, District Administrator Kim Eparvier distributed data showing base revenues and revenue limits have barely changed in over a decade, and is in fact projected to be $430,000 less in the 2016-2017 school year than it was for 2011-2012. The number of students enrolled has barely changed.

Eparvier was pleased that Gov. Scott Walker included an additional $200 per student in categorical aid during the first year of the biennium and another $204 the second year in his proposed state budget for the 2018-2019 biennium.

"I and the greater majority of district administrators in the state are very happy with the governor's proposal and hope he can garner the support of the State Senate and the Assembly so they will adopt the current K-12 proposal," Eparvier said in a telephone interview after the meeting.

At the meeting, Eparvier reminded everyone that Wisconsin's Joint Legislative Committee will hold a day-long state budget hearing at Marinette High School from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 21. The joint Assembly/Senate committee hearings have rarely been held anywhere near Marinette County, and Eparvier said this is a good chance to talk to legislators. He hoped board members and others would attend the hearing to express their current position in regard to items in the current budget proposal.

At the meeting, Eparvier expressed hope people will either speak at the hearing or talk to their legislators to express concern that state funding for the Peshtigo School District has gone down instead of up for the last few years.

"I myself am very supportive of the governor's proposal," Eparvier said in regard to the proposed additional school funding.

In regular business, the board without dissent approved raising student lunch prices each year by 10 cents per meal to stay in compliance with mandatory federal cost/price ratios. New prices for next year are: lunch, $2.75 for Elementary, $3 for Middle School and High School, and breakfast, $1.25 Elementary and $1.40 Middle School and High School.

Keith Nault was approved as varsity Cross Country Coach, and in connection with that resigned as assistant varsity coach for cross country. Grace Winter was approved for the assistant coach position.

Darren Jacobsen was approved as a volunteer golf coach; Lee Mylener and Jim DeMeuse were approved as volunteer softball coaches, and Michael Berth and Joe Sparks were approved as volunteer baseball coaches.

The board accepted and acknowledged a $1,000 donation from Sheila Stillman for the Jim Stillman Scholarship. They also accepted and acknowledged a number of donations for the post prom events. Those donations included $500 from the Bulldog Booster Club, $350 from the Jeta Corporation, $250 from David and Heidi Doll (L. E. Jones), $250 from Jeffrey O'Rear, $350 from Waupaca Foundry, $300 from Peshtigo Lions Club, and $300 from Rennes Group.

Tyler LeMahieu and Katrina Salmen spoke to the board about the successes of the school's teams in Hi-Q and M&O Athletic Bowl competition this year. They were sad that this year was the school's year to participate in the Academic Bowl, which is a special and unique feature of the M&O Conference. Next year Peshtigo will be part of the Packerland Conference instead, and they do not have a similar competition.

There were no representatives present from the Citizens Middle School/High School Building Committee, but Eparvier said Clarence Coble and Jim Koronkiewicz had told him they will be having contractors come for walk-through inspections of the building to get their suggestions. Meanwhile, they have been holding general walk-throughs prior to each of their last two meetings.

The board approved a variable rate plan in health insurance for district employees. Eparvier explained currently, each employee pays 12 percent of the cost of their insurance and the district pays 88 percent. Employees are encouraged to participate in the health risk assessment, but there has been no penalty for failure to participate. Under the new plan, those who participate will continue to pay 12 percent, but those who do not will pay 15 percent. Eparvier said the health risk assessment helps gather data for the wellness program that helps keep the costs down for employee health and dental insurance coverage.

Without dissent and without any issues being raised, the board approved payment of all invoices as well as first readings of policies covering inventory, and finances in connection with Fair Labor Standards. They also approved second readings and adoption of a long, long list of policies including rules for terminations requested and unrequested leaves of absence, employee expression in non-instructional settings, graduation requirements, student/parent rights, physical examinations, inventory, technology, student records, food services, free and reduced price meals, and public attendance at school events.


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