Despite Cut in State Aid, CCR-1 District Okay “For Now”
By Mike Scott
Despite a two percent cut in education funding announced by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, the Clark County R-1 District may actually see an increase in state aid over what they anticipated.
“We will probably be okay this year,” said Superintendent Ritchie Kracht.
At the Thursday, March 11 school board meeting, Kracht told board members that higher-than-expected average daily attendance combined with a sizeable increase in the number of free and reduced lunch students will get the district and extra $75,000 in state funding.
Average daily attendance in February stood at 909.72, up 17.63 from 2009.
“We budgeted to get $3, 025,000 in state aid,” Kracht said.
The extra $75,000 makes the total $3,100,000.
“The state said they will take a two percent across the board cut, and if they do, that will give us $3,038,000, which is still $13,000 more than we planned, “Kracht said.
The financial picture beyond this year looks much more bleak.
“It gets a low worse over the next two years,” he said.
School transportation funding and summer school funding may be cut, and the state could see a four to ten percent across the board cut next year.
“If the state doesn’t pay for summer school, we’ll have to cut it,” Kracht said.
Despite the uncertainty of summer school, Running Fox principal Ryan Bergeson updated the board on plans for summer school this year. The dates are scheduled for June 1-25, and the program is called “Make A Splash”.
Morning classes will include math and communication arts, while afternoons are devoted to having more fun. Program titles include “Shipwrecks and Treasures” (Grades 1-3), and “Splash Into Music” (Grades 4-6).
High School Principal Jason Harper presented the annual Vocational Program report. The school offers four vocational areas of study: Building Trades, Agriculture, Family and Consumer Science, and Business.
“We are a stand alone program,” he explained. The two closest vocational centers are in Hannibal and Kirksville. Both are too far for us to utilize,” he said.
In Building Trades, Harper noted the uniqueness of the program, and its importance.
“We have kids who would not graduate without this program,” Harper said. The program had eight students earn at least 3 credits, and 14 earn at two credits in 2008-2009.
Among the program goals are to find quality projects that are challenging, yet attainable. This year’s project is going very well, and the owner is planning an open house to show the quality of work.
Clark County Agriculture program is very strong with over 100 student participating. Strengths include two quality instructors, development of student leadership, and a great deal of achievement in the program. One goal of the program is to expand the welding program.
The Family and Consumer Science program has suffered by having four teachers in the past six year, although first-year teacher Miss Horton is doing an outstanding job this year, according to Harper.
FACS students are preparing for state contests from only the third time.
Program goals include increasing participation and updating teaching material.
The Business program now has two complete labs, allowing students to learn modern computer applications, and preparing them for the business world.
Three students recently competed at state.
“This program is doing great and is ready to explode,” said Harper.
In other business, the CCR-1 Board:
--Accepted the resignation of Board Member Miles Cameron.
-Began review of the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.
--Approved the 2010-11 Calendar. Classes will begin August 18.
--Reported that currently CCR-1 is in first place in the TRC standings.
--Reported on attending the Clarence Cannon Conference Meeting. The two football divisions will be named Truman and Pershing. CCR-1 Principal Jason Harper suggested the selected names.
--Approved the adoption of changes to a variety of MSBA recommended policies and procedures, while choosing to further review other policies.
--Scheduled employee reviews for later in the month.