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R-I funding down $419,000 due to COVID-19

R-I funding down $419,000 due to COVID-19

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Fredericktown R-I School Board

Superintendent Chadd Starkey runs his first Fredericktown R-I School Board meeting after the retirement of Superintendent Brett Reutzel. 

The Fredericktown School Board met for its monthly meeting June 23 to discuss budgets and curriculum.

Superintendent Chadd Starkey asked the board to amend the 2019-2020 budget. He said, according to the state foundation formula, the district is going to get 95.2 percent of what it was supposed to get.

"The cuts have come the last two months, all of it," Starkey said. "The five percent has come from our payment the last two months which is amounted to about $419,000 we didn't get because of COVID-19. This is going to result in some budget adjustments."

Starkey said, due to receiving less revenue, the district will have some places where it will need to cover unexpected costs. He asked for approval to transfer funds. He also asked for a continuation of the current budget into 2020-2021.

"The reason for this is we are going to get more withholdings in July and August, and I want to see what those look like before I give you a budget for the year," Starkey said. "It is ready to go except we are just waiting to see how much they are going to withhold, so we can estimate the revenue correctly or close to correctly."

Starkey said the district's CARES money has been approved and they received $340,000. He said the plan is to split the money into the two fiscal years to try and balance out the cuts. 

The board approved the 2019-2020 budget amendment, the funds transfers and the continuation of the budget into 2020-2021.

"I'm just going to scratch the surface," Assistant Superintendent Shannon Henson said. "How do we do the curriculum work? It comes down from the building principals, from central office but 90 to 95 percent of the work that is done on curriculum is done by our staff, by our teachers. They are the ones that are in the classroom. They are the ones that understand it."

Henson said creating curriculum really is a shared work and is adjusted during the school year. He said most of the work is done over the summer with audits and rewrites. 

"It's a lot of work," Henson said. "It's a big part of education, keeping your curriculum current, keeping it updated and making it a living document that teachers work with everyday."

The board appointed Starkey as the authorized representative and Judy Graham as the secretary and treasurer.

Salary schedules for certified, classified, coaching and bus drivers were approved by the board allowing all steps and increments to continue but keeping the base the same.

During Starkey's superintendent's report, he presented the board with a draft of the reopening plan. 

"I think this will be revised a little bit before we go into the school year," Starkey said. "I think it is just kind of an open thing. I don't think anyone knows 100 percent how to handle this, but I thought if we didn't have this, parents are going to be upset. We have to have something in writing that shows we are taking this serious, and we are going to follow certain protocols."

Starkey and the board discussed several concerns and plan to continue to improve the document before the start of school Aug. 25.

"We've got a little over 600 enrolled in summer school and that is really about normal, I think," Starkey said. "Enrollment numbers are good and we are happy about that."

The school board will not meet in July. 

The next meeting of the Fredericktown R-I School Board will be at 5 p.m., Aug. 18 at the district offices. The tax rate hearing will also be at this time. 

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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