NK BOE Talks Finances

NEW KNOXVILLE — New Knoxville Board of Education members look forward to a presentation from Superintendent Kim Waterman and Treasurer Cathy Doseck in a future meeting to get a better idea of the district’s fiscal situation and when bonds will expire as they look at where the school will spend in the future.

“Medical insurance is just astronomical,” board member Steve Frankenberg said as he looked over the school’s bills.

Doseck said medical insurance costs did increase this year and may go higher with provisions required by the Affordable Care Act. Waterman said the five-year projection is that funding will get tighter; besides the ACA, there is a new funding structure proposed by Gov. John Kasich, which will not offer New Knoxville an increase in funds if the legislation is approved as presented.

“It doesn’t look good,” Waterman said. “Don’t get me started.”

Doseck reported that the school is where it should be for spending at this point in the year, though a few one time purchases do make the rate of spending this month seem higher.

The board also approved basketball ticket takers be paid out of the payroll fund instead of by the athletic department after a new IRS requirement that specifies they be paid that way to ensure all taxes will be paid properly. Ticket takers make $20 per game.

Finances have even become an issue with school field trips, with costs going up for parents to pay despite the school’s efforts to keep the trips accessible to everyone. The eighth-grade field trip, for example, is up to $670. The school has worked with travel companies to cut the number of nights from five to three.

Besides cutting the number of nights the students stay, the school has made efforts to have them return late, sleeping on the bus home, and has dropped events like dinner theater and trips to Gettysburg as travel becomes expensive and they do not want the trips to be cost-prohibitive to students who want to attend.

Senior students traveling to Chicago will leave at 5 a.m. and return around midnight to avoid a costly hotel stay. In other financial news, the school will receive a grant to pay for the $2,000 in suicide prevention classes teachers are now required by law to take, and the elementary music department received a $1,000 grant for instruments and books. The grant bought drums, finger cymbals, triangles, and brightly illustrated books with musical themes.

First-grade students attended the meeting to play “B-I-N-G-O” for the board on the new instruments.