Republishing and refinancing

The Augusta USD 402 Board of Education began Monday night’s meeting with a hearing to approve republishing the 2013-14 budget.
As a result of the increase in audited full-time enrollment (FTE), as well as weightings for at-risk K-12, and vocational programs, the budget has to be republished.  In addition, the State KPERS contributions that flow through the district budget were higher than projected and the final special education flow through and local transportation expenses are anticipated to be higher than projected.
“The final legal max for the general fund may be less than the published amount depending on the final special ed payment we receive in June, but we need your approval to republish these budgets tonight,” Superintendent Dr. John Black told board members.
The board unanimously adopted the amended budget.
Refinancing 2008 bonds
When it comes to refinancing the 2008 Bond Issue, the BOE has done so when it can obtain a minimum of a 3.0 percent savings.  
The district’s Fiscal Committee recently met with Dustin Avery of Piper Jaffray who presented options on bond financing.  He had identified two issues totalling $3.8 million.
A resolution from the Fiscal Committee allows Avery to monitor the market and to refinance designated bonds at a time he feels is a benefit to the district, with a savings of no less than 3 percent.
“He will monitor to achieve the best results for our district, contact us and initiate the transaction. How long could it be?  It could be tomorrow or at the end of the calendar year,” Black advised.
Successful program
AHS Principal Donna Zerr reported to the board the Zero Policy/Academic Success Plan initiated last year has been successful.
“Many Fs given to students are attributed to missed assignments. This program has been very successful. Our biggest target has been the ninth graders and it all seems to work after they’ve figured it out,” Zerr continued. “There has been communication every Monday with parents concerning missing assignments.  This has been a school-wide effort.”
The pilot program was voluntarily led by Zerr and Assistant Principal Ryan Muhlig, and Zerr advised she would like to request funding for a teacher to administer the program.  Funding would be two hours a week for 36 weeks totaling 72 hours. At $15 an hour that would total $1,080.
Zerr’s report and the board’s approval of the program will be relayed to the Fiscal Committee where means for funding  for a teacher will be determined.
Meal price increase
Due to the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Equity in School Lunch Pricing, the local district has been required to gradually increase the prices over time until they meet the requirement of paid meals on average equal to the difference between free meal reimbursement and paid meal reimbursement.
According to Sec. 205 Equity in School Lunch Pricing, the district has to raise the price per meal a minimum of 10 cents for the next year.
The board approved the following recommended meal prices for 2014-15:
Elementary: Breakfast - from $1.45 to $1.55; Lunch - from $2.40 to $2.50
MS and HS: Breakfast - from $1.70 to $1.80; Lunch - $2.70 to $2.80
Adult and Second Meal: Breakfast - $2.10; Lunch - from $3.30 to $3.40
The board also approved renewal of the Fixed Price Food Service Management Contract with OPAA!
Summer projects
Black discussed summer projects in process around the district. Work on the windows is continuing at Ewalt Elementary and should be completed soon.
 Weather has slowed the soft surface installation projects and swing set placement at Garfield.  Last week’s heavy rains exposed a water problem in the “V” area on the south side of the building.  Water was seeping under one of the doors and re-grading will be required.
Concrete will be placed under the bike rack at Robinson Elementary.
Black also shared although there is no grass problem at the ball fields now with the artificial turf, herbicides were used to rid maple trees that have germinated from seeds.

A special BOE meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on June 26 to close the fiscal year 2013-14.