Most school funding will now be on biannual basis

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MEEKER I At its Oct. 6 meeting, Meeker School Board members discussed changes — and challenges — in state funding.
“The state is going to change the way we have to do business,” said Superintendent Doug Pfau. “We will get approximately the same amount of total funding (state and tax), but over 90 percent now comes from taxes at two times per year, instead of on a monthly basis, to help us run the district.
“What happens is that we run down our school district reserves and have to go to the state for the interest-free loan to run the district, because you can’t have the interest-free loan if you don’t deplete your reserves,” Pfau continued. “Then you pay the state back when the tax money comes in.”
Also, the district announced its enrollment figures, which are ahead of last year.
“Our funded count last year was 659.5, with the actual student count at 725,” Pfau said. “This year’s funded count is 667.5, with actual student count of 733. The differences are the funding that we get for preschool and kindergarten students. Not quite as much increase as we saw the first few weeks of school.”
In other business, several new hires were approved: Betty Lou Moyer, janitor; Neil Joy and Ben Anderson, Barone Middle School basketball coaches. The resignation of Steve Cox, high school custodian, was accepted.
Next fall, ninth- though 12th-graders will have the option to apply for concurrent enrollment through Colorado Northwestern Community College.
The board invited Susan Tenhor-Edelen to make a presentation in an effort to get to know all teachers in the district. Tenhor-Edelen is from New York City, attended college in Michigan and taught in Japan for two and a half years and Utah for 13 years. She is currently a fourth-grade teacher at Meeker Elementary. Tenhor-Edelen said she enjoys “the small class size” and the ability to “get to know a lot of the kids by name.”
“I like the small-town aspect where you get to know the community where you teach,” said Tenhor-Edelen.
An unexpected expense of $4,000 for the installation of new Smart Boards was announced. This item will be discussed at the next construction meeting.
Pfau presented a new staff conduct policy. This will ensure that teachers are “protecting yourself and your job,” said Pfau. The new policy will cover items such as texting students, personal Web sites, etc.
Kathleen Kelley, high school journalism teacher, and student Logan Sanderson presented the new high school newspaper, the Cowboy Roundup. This is an online publication in a blog format that can be accessed by the general public from the Meeker School District Web site.