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BETWEEN THE LINES
By Superintendent Jeff Walburn
Awaiting the end of the Legislative Session: One of the multiple roles of a school superintendent; is to monitor and be an active participant in the legislative process in Lincoln. At the beginning of the legislative session, there were over 75 bills introduced that would affect education in Nebraska. Many of the bills have fallen by the wayside but this is the time of the year where senators begin to attach provisions of some previously dead legislation to bills that have moved to the floor. Rarely is this a good thing.
There has never been a year in my thirteen years as a superintendent that the school hadn’t had to amend or add school policies after the conclusion of the legislative session, as the bills that pass become statute. Frankly, many of the bills that become law have adversely affected school operations; adding restrictions, paperwork and unfunded mandates that tighten the purses of school districts. Far too seldom is there legislation that receives resounding praise from the education community.
Each month during this time of the year, I report to the Board of Education updates of the multiple legislative bills in committee or active on the floor of the legislature. At the conclusion of the session I communicate to the staff and public on a “need to know” basis, changes in policies and procedures necessary for the upcoming year.
2014-15 State Aid: The Department of Education has run multiple drafts of the projected state aid formula for 2014-15, based upon the multiple factors that at times can be like a “moving target”. Until the legislature sets the budget and all the factors are computed, a definitive answer to state aid figures will not be set – expectation sometime the first of June. However, from the modules or drafts that have been sent to school superintendents, I would expect that S-E-M School will lose state aid in the form of over $100,000.00. At this point, the school district will be virtually “non-equalized”, meaning receiving no state funding except for some sales tax and funding due to a positive option enrollment into the district, compared to those that have optioned out of the district. Based upon figures released, I would expect that whatever state funding we receive, over 80% of those monies can be attributed to net option enrollment into the S-E-M district. We will become much more reliant upon local property taxes for funding our school.
April 5th, P.I.E./Foundation Banquet & Auction: Several people have worked diligently the last several weeks preparing for the upcoming Banquet and Auctions. Elsewhere in this newsletter, there is a “flyer” of sorts defining particulars of the banquet tickets, times for each activity, etc. Everyone is cordially invited to participate in the banquet with advanced purchase of a meal ticket. There will be door prizes, but only for those participating in the banquet are eligible. Everyone is welcome to attend the silent and live auctions. There will be entertainment during the evening and lots of social fun. You may log onto our school website to see an up-to-date list of auction items. We likely will be adding items up to April 5th. Donated items and purchases over the value of the items can be tax deductible for many. If you would like to make a generous donation of an item or service, please contact me at school or one of our active Partners in Education members.
Preschool Open House and registration for the 2014/2015 School year will be held on Thursday, April 24 th from 6:30-8:00pm, in the preschool room . If you have any questions please contact Mrs. Schroeder at 308-752-2925. read more
SENIOR HIGH ACADEMIC QUIZ BOWL NEWS Our SEM Senior High Academic Quiz Bowl Team competed in the ESU #10 Quiz Bowl which was held at the UNK Student Union on Tuesday, April 1.There were 34 teams participating in the double elimination tournament.Our Quiz Bowl Team members included: Darin Barth, Courtney Barth, Alexis Sock, Nathan Schroeder, Thomas Schwarz, Miranda Pierce, Jaden Pierce, and Rachel Ibach.We defeated Overton the our first match and then lost in our second match to Heartland Lutheran School from Grand Island. . . . read more
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