Superintendent Corner

Capital outlay changes a concern
Supt. Mr. Kosters

February is here and that means Spring is hopefully just around the corner.  Mid-term for the third nine weeks has already passed, the legislature is roughly halfway through the 2019 session, and the boys’ and girls’ basketball regular seasons will be coming to a close by month’s end.

There doesn’t appear to be any real hot button topics that focus on education in the current legislative session.  Of most significance to our district, and many across the state, is the way Capital Outlay is going to be changing in a couple of years.  Currently, districts are able to request up to a certain dollar amount each year for Capital Outlay, which can’t exceed a certain percentage of the district’s tax valuation.  Beginning with FY2021, that will change and the maximum amount that districts will be able to collect will be $2,800 per student.  That may sound like quite a bit to some, but in our district; it will mean that we will be collecting roughly $350,000 less per year than we are currently.  School districts are also able to supplement their General Fund with Capital Outlay fund monies – currently up to 45% of revenue coming into Capital Outlay can be transferred.  When the new stipulation kicks in of $2,800 per student, that will mean we will have approximately $150,000 less per year available to be able to transfer to our General Fund, and that is of major concern.  Our state legislators are well aware of the concerns districts across the state have regarding this issue, and school administrators are hopeful that this issue will be addressed before the new guidelines take effect in two years.

The basketball seasons have surpassed the halfway point, and like last year, the teams are part of Region 2.  There are ten teams within the region and the girls are currently sitting in the number nine spot, with Eureka/Bowdle and Edmunds Central slightly above us.  Post-season play will begin on Monday, February 18, with the seven seed hosting the ten seed and the eight seed hosting the nine seed.  If the season were to end today, that would mean a road game at Eureka/Bowdle.  Seeding could change though between now and then, as the girls will play both Eureka/Bowdle and Edmunds Central before the end of the season.  The state tournament will begin on March 7 in Huron.  The boys are currently sitting in the number three spot, just behind Potter County and Sully Buttes.  Their post-season will begin on Monday, February 25.  As per usual, the state tournament for the boys will be held in Aberdeen and will begin on March 14.

We are going to try to bring back a school play this spring as well.  Mrs. Ringgenberg is spearheading that effort and there are nine students who plan to participate.  If things work out, a performance is tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 15.  The Region IV Music Contest will take place on Wednesday, February 6, and our eighth grade students will be participating in NAEP testing on Thursday, February 7.

Lastly, looking ahead to next fall’s football season; much has been made of the state’s decision last summer to add a 6-man class for football.  After all the hype, the state has made an about face and will not be offering 6-man football after all; at least not for the next two years.  Eureka/Bowdle had opted to go the 6-man route, but when the state announced it was going to stay with things the way they were; Eureka/Bowdle had to decide whether or not to stay on their own or whether to remain with Leola/Frederick as the North Border coop.  Both school boards at their January meetings opted to remain with the North Border coop, so things will be the same as they were moving forward.  I would guess the state will revisit the 6-man topic in two years again when the next realignment period comes around, but for now; things will remain the same.