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District schools have $280K to spend

Staff writer

Thanks to the state’s new finance formula, Marion-Florence schools are contemplating how to spend an extra $280,000 this school year.

Superintendent Aaron Homburg said the district will use the money to do “good things for kids.”

“We’re going to prioritize and figure out what those things would be,” he said. “We want to provide the best educational opportunity that we can and we want to continue the tradition of having great education.”

Homburg said the money, which goes into the general fund and has no special restrictions, could be used to reinstate positions that were eliminated after budget cuts in recent years.

He said a predictable funding formula helps with yearly budgeting. The formula is up for review before the Kansas Supreme Court.

At Monday’s board of education meeting, Homburg said the additional $280,000 will be generated while the district simultaneously raises the mill levy by 0.4 from 52.4 to 52.8.

Purchases of 50 iPads and five Microsoft surface tablets were approved because old iPads are outdated and incompatible with some apps used in classrooms.

Homburg said lower-level elementary classes will use the old iPads, and employees will experiment with the usefulness of the tablets.

“In three or four years when we’re looking at replacing our laptops and iPads, maybe we just go with a surface tablet — have one device that can replace two,” Homburg said.

The board also approved purchasing 12 water fountain replacements or retrofits that will filter water for filling bottles.

“It’s going to be better water, it’s going to be cleaner water for everybody,” Homburg said. “I think that also helps encourage those kids to drink water.”

Replaced lights from the middle school gym were declared surplus, and some will be provided to the Florence gym.

A special meeting to approve the budget will be Aug. 28 at 7 a.m.

After 40 minutes of executive session for nonelected personnel, the board hired Les Greenemeyer and Chris Levering as bus drivers and Jennifer Felvus as a second assistant high school volleyball coach for C team.

High school principal Tod Gordon said Monday’s start to fall sports practices had 34 boys out for football, 24 girls for volleyball, and three boys and one girl for cross country.

Middle school principal Missy Stubenhofer said the football team has 14, volleyball 22, and cross country three.

Stubenhofer and elementary school principal Justin Wasmuth said they have planned participation for the solar eclipse.

School starts on Thursday for every grade except eighth.

“Our biggest problem is getting parents to stop at the door because that first day is much more traumatic for middle school parents than it is for kids,” Stubenhofer said. “Middle school kids are excited, parents are terrified.”

Last modified Aug. 16, 2017

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