Shelley School Board talks budget

SHELLEY — June is budget hearing month for all school boards in Idaho. The budget hearing for the Shelley School District took place on Thursday.
"Next year, we will need to learn how to live within our means," said Business Manager Trish Dixon.
Ninety percent of the salary based apportionment is based on three factors:
° grade level of students (In this apportionment, more money is distributed to schools for high school students than elementary students.)
° education and experience for certified staff
° attendance
"We have the least control of attendance," said Dixon. "This past school year, we had a lot of sickness.
"[Student attendance] was 96 percent during the last week of school," she said. "Three weeks before the end of school, student attendance was above 95 percent.
"It is not up as high as we normally are," Dixon said.
Salary and benefits make up 88 percent of the expenditures in the district.
"We like to be around 85-86 percent," the business manager said.
The increase is because of insurance, FICA and PERCI (retirement).
Negotiations have increase personal days so there will be the cost of substitute teachers, she said.
The district dipped into the fund balance $300,000.
"I actually was pleased that we only had to dip into the fund balance by $300,000," said Dixon.
A possible remodel of Goodsell Elementary in Shelley was presented by Superintendent Bryan Jolley at the school board meeting on Thursday.
The architect was showing what could be done with the least amount of remodeling, the superintendent said. The remodeling would be done on the west end of the building and a little bit to the east.
The architect suggested a couple rooms could be joined together to make a boardroom and professional development room.
A portable divider could be put in place if the room is not needed, Jolley said.
No cost figures were submitted at Thursday evening's meeting. Jolley will try to obtain costs for this project that will be presented to the trustees during the July school board meeting.
Trustees unanimously voted to increase the fee for the Hobbs Middle School Tech Art class. The fee was raised to $25 per person to cover the cost of the consumables used in the class.
Trustees have rescheduled their July board meeting to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17. A work session is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on the same day.
Topics to be discussed at the work session are social media and the board of trustees bylaws.
Superintendent Jolley said the Idaho Department of Education has released preliminary Star ratings.
"The appeal window is from June 19 to July 18," he said.
The final Star ratings will be released after the July date. Schools will keep the Star rating for the next two years.
"This ties into school improvement," Jolley said. "If the school is rating below three, it affects how [the school] will be able to spend Title 1 funds.
"Schools will not have as much flexibility," he said.
To establish Star ratings, students are compared against their peers in the state, the superintendent said.
These [Star] rating will measure growth better," Jolley said. "It will be a true growth assessment."