By Margie Holmgren
Kittson Central school board members approved the preliminary budget showing a $400,000 deficit for fiscal year 2024.
“Each year I do the proposed budget it always looks worse than it does in reality,” stated Kittson Central Superintendent Bob Jaszczak.
He explained the revenue is understated, budgeting with 230 kids enrolled but feels that is the worst-case scenario.
“I fully expect that we are going to deficit spend this year,” he explained, “but it’s not going to be to that degree when it’s all said and done.”
With many changes in the Legislature affecting the revenue projection models, Jaszczak told the board he wasn’t confident they were accurate but was quite confident the school would not end up with a $400,000 deficit budget.
The fully updated budget will not be available until December. The board approved this preliminary budget.
As for the current year, Jaszczak stated, “We are going to be in the red some, there’s no doubt about that, it’s not going to be horrible, but we are going to be in the red for this current fiscal year.”
School nurse contract
Jaszczak informed the board of the contract for school nurse through Kittson Healthcare was lowered to $10,000 for the year. Last year it was $13,000. A school nurse is provided for 5 1/2 hours per week at this rate.
The board had questions about this agreement as they felt there are many instances when the school nurse is not on the premises when their services could be utilized.
Jaszczak told them both Tri-County and Lancaster uses service called Avel. This is a telemedicine option that is available throughout each school day.
“They install an iPad on wheels that includes an auriscope so you can look in a student’s ear,” explained board member Amanda Pinnock.
The nurse on the other end then assesses the situation and can determine if the child needs medicine or a clinic visit.
One negative is the nurse then calls from a South Dakota phone number and parents may not answer.
“I’d be interested to know more about it,” said Pinnock.
Teal Plaine also stated, “it would be worthwhile looking at.”
Jaszczak said he’d get more information about the service but believed the cost was around $5,000 for the year.
In other business, the board:
• Heard from Jaszczak that about 100 people toured the school during the All School Reunion.
• Heard from Athletic Director Jami Carr there will be about five afternoon games for football this year due to a shortage of officials. Officials are having to double up so some games will have to be played in the afternoon.
• Approved the Minnesota Rural Education Association membership for $1,360 for the year.
• Approved the membership with Minnesota School Board Association for $3,489, which includes legal policies and is a valuable resource to the school.
• Approved a motion to call for bids for milk and fuel for fiscal year 2024.
• Approved hiring Kaitlyn Bulow as the assistant cook.
• Approved hiring Christy Anderson as a paraprofessional.
• Approved an agreement to share the band teacher, Andrew Danielson with Lancaster School. Lancaster will pay 25 percent of his salary and benefits. He will leave Kittson Central at 2 p.m. and finish his day at the Lancaster School.
• Approved 30 policies that were updated because of changes in the state Legislature.
• Heard additional information from Jaszczak regarding students joining the cheer team after he talked to Lancaster Superintendent Nicole Thompson and cheer team advisor, Jorja Allery. The board will vote on this next month.
The next meeting is tentatively set for Wednesday, July 26, 8 p.m.