Eighteen residents at the Hamilton School District Annual Meeting Aug. 15 approved a $30 million tax levy that will support a $48.16 million budget for the 2011-12 school year. Local property owners can expect a $10.18 mil rate when their tax bills arrive in December which is the same as last year. Property values in the district are projected to drop one percent.
The budget is 4.03 percent lower than last year and includes a 10.18 percent loss of state aid which is offset by $1.5 million in employee contributions to retirement and $1.7 million in reductions throughout the district. The budget was developed in alignment with state-imposed revenue caps that reduced spending by $590 per pupil. The budget includes expenses associated with an expected 25-student enrollment increase.
Most of the reductions were accomplished through restructuring of positions, attrition of retiring employees, reallocation of staff due to enrollment fluctuation and greater efficiencies. The district was able to reduce the equivalency of 6.5 full-time positions at a total cost savings of more than $635,000. In addition, another $1.1 million will be shaved by reducing expenses in payroll, health-drug-dental, repair and capital items, extra pay, substitutes, overtime and secondary level building budgets.
In addition to approving the levy, citizens approved four other resolutions that keeps School Board salaries at $4,000 a year, allows the district to sell or dispose of property no longer needed for school purposes, approves leasing of property for farming purposes and reimburses School Board expenses when incurred in the performance of their duties.
Personnel issues decided at regular meeting
Following the Annual Meeting, a regular School Board meeting was held. In personnel business, the School Board:
- accepted the resignations of communication arts teacher Rachel Hermann, Templeton paraprofessional Annette Herbert and Templeton cleaner Anthony Minter, Jr.;
- appointed Jessica Gunderson as Templeton grade 8 replacement teacher, Kathy Rose as Hamilton science teacher, Grace Kassander as Woodside physical education teacher, Carla Whitehead as Lannon grade 1 replacement teacher, Marianne Baker as Lannon grade 4 teacher, Courtney Benz as Woodside grade 5 replacement teacher, Sherry Bublitz as Hamilton library paraprofessional, Chelsea Cerwin as Templeton Title I paraprofessional, Donna Goetsch as Hamilton guidance paraprofessional – clerical, Lynn Panek-Heeren as Marcy English as a Second Language, Shane Bunek as Hamilton special education replacement teacher, Leah Sapa as Lannon art teacher and Katherine Leitzke as Templeton German teacher;
- reviewed a staff plan for the 2011-12 school year which projects that the number of full-time teaching positions will be reduced from 310.05 to 306.05 based on enrollment shifts, special schedule adjustments, special services enrollment shift and transition counselor reduction;
- learned that staff absences due to illness, emergency leave and family-medical leave dropped in nearly every employee group from 2009-10 to 2010-11.