Members of the USD 383 Board of Education were left scratching their head after hearing a report about a new House bill which could replace block grant funding. Director of Business and Accounting Lew Faust spent more than 30 minutes briefing Wednesday nights audience about recent legislative actions, including moves legislators to secure funding and appease the Supreme Court’s orders. According to Faust, the state is hoping to meet the court order by securing funds through the extraordinary needs fund, which is money that is already allotted to schools.
Faust also spoke about HB 2741, which drew remarks from board members. If it were to pass, HB 2741 would be the successor to block grant funding and would take effect on July 1, 2017. Faust read verbatim from the state’s website, and summarized much of the lengthy text. Manhattan-Ogden would lose state funding due to property tax values. Faust noted one option moving forward would be to raise the mill levy. According to Faust, an overarching theme of the HB 2741 is keeping money “in the classroom,” and a consequence of the bill could result in the loss of free athletics programs being available to students. Representative Ron Highland of Wamego has worked closely on the legislation in question.
The district approved bids fro new textbooks and computer system equipment with little discussion, and also heard the annual report on special education from Dr. Deb Howser. Howser is in the process of interviewing candidates for a speech language pathologist position, and is focusing on finding employees for summer programs.
In recognitions, the board recognized students from Anthony Middle School who recently placed first at a regional math competition. MHS basketball player Trevor Hudgins was honored alongside Coach Benji George, who were named Centennial League Player and Coach of the Year respectively.