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October 17th Richland School Board Meeting

The Richland School Board met for regular business on Monday night.

At the meeting the board approved hiring two new positions to help meet the needs of students in the district. The first position is a half-time Certified Nursing Assistant. It was explained that the district is at the “breaking point” for nursing services with 90 students across all five school buildings with critical health alerts, 15 students with diabetes, and six who are considered medically fragile and/or in wheelchairs. Special Education Director Shaun Tjossem said that all of the medical or health needs cannot be met by the one current Registered Nurse. The CAN position will continue for the remainder of the school term and will be reassessed later in the year. The other position that was approved is a Special Education Cognitive Disability classroom aide at Jefferson Elementary. Tjossem said that a student has transferred into the district that has medical needs that require 1-to-1 assistance.

The Richland School District’s financial situation is becoming clearer. Business Official Kathy Stoltz reported to the board that the 2016-17 budget will be close to balanced. A couple of financial positives that were outlined included the increase in students in the district which added $195,000 to the revenue cap. There was also a 7.3% increase in equalization aid from the state. Stoltz did outline to the board that a one-time revenue source from the City of Richland Center in excess of $200,000 will not be available at this time next year. Still, the anticipated tax levy for next year is expected to be about $5.7-million – nearly 4% more than last year; however the mill rate will be reduced by about 10-cents to just over $9 per $1,000 of property valuation. The School Board will hold a special meeting next Monday night to finalize the tax levy and approve the 16-17 school year budget.

In other news from the Richland School Board meeting Monday night, the school board honored and recognized Mike Young and Mark Knoble for their efforts in safely evacuating students from the burning bus at the high school last week.