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Fillmore County Schools pass referendums


Fri, Nov 11th, 2011
Posted in Education

Two schools in Fillmore County, Mabel-Canton and Chatfield, had questions on the election ballot November 8 about referendums. They left it up to the voters to decide the fate of their financial future, and the voters were considerate enough to help them out.

Chatfield Superintendent Ed Harris said there were two questions on the ballot. The first was to renew the existing referendum amount of $352.77 per pupil unit, and the second was to add an additional $250 per pupil unit. Public meetings were held on October 10 and 17, with only a few people attending.

"The current levy was about to expire," said Harris. "If that was to expire and nothing was approved to replace it, we were looking at being bankrupt for four years, unless we cut a lot of teachers and staff."

Harris explained the district's expenditures far exceed revenues, and they have made some pretty significant cuts already. "The next round of cuts wasn't going to be anything that wouldn't hurt the kids and their classes," said Harris.

Many schools in the area are in the same situation, with inflation continuing to rise and revenue from the state shrinking or remaining the same. There are few who do not have an operating referendum just to keep their school running and budget balanced.

The referendum in Chatfield passed with 866 voting yes on question number one, and 410 voting no. Question two had 649 yes votes and 630 no.

The vote in Mabel-Canton wasn't nearly as close, with 345 voting yes for the referendum and only 45 voting no. Superintendent Mike Moriarty explained the ballot question was to renew the existing referendum another ten years, which is $1,207.96 per pupil unit.

"It's basically to keep the school running," said Moriarty. "To maintain the current level of curriculum offerings in the elementary and high school, for textbooks and equipment, and to maintain the building."

Moriarty said declining enrollment is one reason revenue has decreased, but that number seems to be leveling off. Still, funding from the state is always uncertain. According to Moriarty, the current referendum has been in place for six years now, and to take that money away would be detrimental.

"You don't continue to operate the same after that," he said. "We would be cutting quite a percentage of the staff."

Administration at both of these schools are relieved and appreciative of the support from their communities.

SMIF awards $95,000 in grants

Fri, Nov 4th, 2011
Posted in Education

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently announced an award of $15,000 to the Kingsland Early Childhood Program (communities of Spring Valley and Wykoff) for its Preparing Children for Kindergarten through Collaboration project. The ..... 
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Two Lanesboro youth nominated as Minnesota Ambassadors of Music travel to Europe July, 2012

Fri, Nov 4th, 2011
Posted in Education

Kirsten Ruen and Megan Kiehne, two juniors at Lanesboro High School, have the opportunity of a lifetime! They have been nominated to serve as Minnesota Ambassadors of Music and travel abroad next July 2012. Every two years, this association takes a ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson conferences

Fri, Nov 4th, 2011
Posted in Education

Parent-Teacher Conferences for grades K-12 of the Rushford-Peterson Schools will be held on Tuesday, November 15 from 4:00-7:30 p.m. and on Thursday, November 17 from 4:00-7:30 p.m.

Conferences for all grades; elementary, middle, and high sc ..... 
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School board hears about Fillmore Central's Ag in Motion trip

Fri, Oct 28th, 2011
Posted in Education

During the regular meeting on October 25, the Fillmore Central School Board was treated to a presentation by two students who attended the Ag in Motion trip this past summer. Dan and Theresa Doerr spoke about the trip and gave a power point presenta ..... 
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R-P selects architectural finalists for New School Initiative

Fri, Oct 21st, 2011
Posted in Education

The New School Initiative is gaining momentum with the district seeking architectural proposals from eight regional firms. The action comes following direction from both the community and recommendations from an in-depth study by the Joint Facilitie ..... 
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Kingsland School Board discusses changes in property tax law

Fri, Oct 21st, 2011
Posted in Education

The Kingsland School board discussed the impact that the changes in the homestead residential market value may have on taxpayers in the school district at their meeting Monday, October 17.

The 2011 Minnesota Legislature repealed the homestea ..... 
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Fillmore Central Elementary receives grant from Preston Area community Foundation

Fri, Oct 21st, 2011
Posted in Education

Dwight Luhmann, President of the Preston Area Community Foundation, presents a $600 check to Taryn Raaen, a fifth grader at Fillmore Central. The funds were used to purchase junior size tennis rackets and low-bounce balls for the Fillmore Central El ..... 
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Lanesboro School Board hears about reading curriculum

Fri, Oct 21st, 2011
Posted in Education

Special Education teacher Hollie Clarke spoke to the Lanesboro School Board about a curriculum that she has been using with great success called Read Well. She explained that there are three reading levels; kindergarten, first and second grade, but ..... 
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