School Board Discusses Wamego Pertussis Outbreak

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The USD 320 Board of Education wants the public to know there is a confirmed outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in the area. At Monday’s meeting, West Elementary Principal, Amy Flinn said there was a confirmed case at West, and added the County Health Department said there are 80 confirmed cases in the Wamego/St. Mary’s area. She said all parents and staff have been notified and should take steps to be immunized.

According to Flinn, any staff member or student not up to date on their immunizations, can get a free booster Tuesday from 2 to 3:30 at the school. She added if someone cannot take shots, they need to seek antibiotic treatment or they could be quarantined for up to 21 days.

This announcement came after the Board recognized Sophomore Alex Rogers and Junior Brooke Ward as All American Cheerleaders. This award came after attending the National Cheerleading Camp at K-State, and they will be on the All-American Team for one year. As part of the Team, they have the opportunity to participate in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Ward will begin fundraising to help pay for the trip.

The board approved the 2014-2015 Budget. At Monday’s meeting, Superintendent Denise O’Dea went over in detail how the annual budget is compiled. She said the budget is built on estimates in July for FTE’s (full-time equivalents), assessed valuations, revenues and expenses. The maximum budget (General Fund and Local Option Budget (LOB) but not Capital Outlay) is $12,489,869 for year 2015. This is an increase of $303,002 from the previous year.

She said the LOB is levying 30% of the LOB authority because of the state-wide averaging of schools Wamego’s size, with the LOB estimated at $3,148,005, an increase of $90,432 from last year. This budget will be reduced if there are fewer FTE’s than estimated. Because of the court decision handed down in January, the State Aid is 56% for the LOB. The Kansas Legislature was forced to provide full funding for LOB (and Capital Outlay), which will reduce the mill levy for LOB by 8.49 mills. Wamego’s total mill levy estimate for 2015 taxes is 53.451, which is a decrease of 4.38 mills.