State school funding still uncertain

GLADSTONE — Gladstone School District adopted its preliminary 2019-2020 fiscal year budget during a special meeting in June. Superintendent Jay Kulbertis explained to the school board members how although they had to adopt a budget before July 1, the state’s contribution to local school’s will more than likely not be adopted until September — leaving some unknowns.

“I had an opportunity to meet with Representative Beau LaFave and Senator Ed McBroom to talk about education in general, but school funding most specifically,” he said. “According to both of those gentlemen, the issue is that at this point the Governor wants a road solution that’s tied to a school budget, the Senate wants to do them separately, and the House originally said ‘hey let’s do them separately,’ and now is saying ‘hey let’s do a little bit of road funding while we talk school funding.’ So they’re still not even close to being on the same page and they’re not scheduled to be back in session until the end of the summer.”

Gladstone School District adopted its preliminary 2019-2020 budget on June 26, before the July 1 deadline. When it came to revenues provided by the state, it had to be estimates. The district’s budget will reflect the actual revenue provided by the state after the state budget is adopted and the district’s budget can be amended.

“A whole lot of moving parts with the state budget. We’ve adopted our initial budget, there’s not a whole lot we can do in the interim so we’ll continue to move things forward. Our hope is to get all of our folks in place, make all of our hires, get all of our training scheduled, so that we’re ready to start the school year regardless of what the state does to us or for us,” Kulbertis said.

In other business, the board:

– Approved minutes from the regular meeting on June 17 and the special meeting on June 26.

– Approved the payment of bills.

– Accepted the letter of resignation from Debbie LaFave as a Teamster employee.

– Accepted the letters of resignation from Kelly Shea as the varsity baseball coach, Dan Williams as the boys’ tennis coach and Dan Seronko as wrestling coach.

– Approved Clyde Lancour’s request to retire with benefits.

– Approved the annual Schools of Choice resolutions. Kulbertis explained the district will accept school of choice students from anyone in the ISD and school of choice students from any ISD that touches their ISD.

– Approved the annual instructional days and hours resolution.