Elizabeth Doney Havre Daily News email@example.com
Havre Public Schools continues budget year preparation amid the uncertainty of the legislation’s education funding status which is expected to be in constant metamorphosis until Day 90. With an audit report by Denning, Downey and Associates that rated the district’s financial statements and federal awards with the highest possible findings. Some minimal findings were reported in extracurricular receipting, warrant signatures, credit card expenditures, cash management and enrollment with implementation procedures already in place. With the second enrollment count completed on Feb. 1, the district is now working on launching three separate budget proposals to account for possible outcomes in the legislation’s statewide ANB and Base Entitlement set funding amount. The current ANB funding for the elementary schools is approximately $6.85 million, with an entitlement of $5,322 for 1,256 K-8 students. The high school reflects $4.58 million at $6,304 for the 727 students in grades 9-12. Next year’s elementary count for ANB increased by five students while the high school decreased by 20. With no changes to the ANB, that would be an increase of approximately $121,000 for the elementary and a decrease of over $12,000 for the high school. Selected staff members have been assigned to submit proposals with budget scenarios for 95 percent, 100 percent and 105 percent funding projections. Superintendent Kirk Miller has stated that the district will be giving a cost of allowance wage increase of 4 percent. “It’s a much deserved investment in our team,” he said. “With no way of knowing the outcome of the education budget that will be decided by the legislation, a precautionary mill levy will need to be called for at the April 10 meeting.” Miller anticipates that the schools need a total of 3.32 percent increase in the entire management budget to operate. “Nothing in the legislation has affected us yet,” Miller said of the current education bills in upheaval in Helena. “We are working diligently to support bills that would help our students and standing in the way of bills that would harm our system of public education.” School officials are also preparing a plan to improve proficiency in K-8 math that has an estimated 120 (under 5 percent) of students that did not meet adequate yearly progress as outlined in the controversial No Child Left Behind Act. According to Miller, it is the only area that failed to meet the adequate yearly progress and will be given the attention needed to overcome it’s current status. “It should make pretty good sense to people that our special needs students have certain challenges that stand in the way of their being at the same grade level of their peers without disabilities,” Miller said. “We already had programs In place for improvement in K-8 math before we knew whether we met AYP or not. We will continue to work towards proficient plus in all areas.” As representative of Havre Public Schools on the NCLB’s governmental affairs committee, Miller has lobbied for this component of the act to be amended to address the special needs issues at the national level.