Thursday, September 15, 2022

Budget Needs





As we head in to the joint hearing on September 26 here are some points to clarify some of the issues:


— Chadron Public Schools continues to be an academic leader across the state.  The staff, academics, class offerings, and activities have helped to keep CPS on top.  

– Chadron Public Schools have not overspent our budget or our spending authority.  We have and continue to be fiscally responsible.  We are staying levy neutral with this budget, meaning we are staying at the 1.05 spending lid that is imposed by the state.  The increase in property valuation has allowed the 1.05 to bring in more money.  We have stayed levy neutral for 20 years or more (I quit after looking after 20 years).

– Valuation is updated yearly by the county by using metrics based on state statutes.  Valuation is based upon market value.  Land and houses have been selling at inflated rates, thus the increase in valuation across the board.  Residential and commercial are 100%  and ag is 75% of the market.

–Our valuation went up dramatically.  Typically if valuation increases and the student population stays the same state aid will go down.  Valuation is a resource in the state funding formula.  With this in mind, we do not want to bounce the levy up and down.  

–35% of our school district is in the exempt land category.  Public lands include more than our recreation areas.  With that being said we do receive some in lieu money for Wilderness Protection and Games & Parks  ($143,231 for 2022) and Forestry ($51,000 for 2022). If we were to collect money on these properties then we would net $ 1,837,000.

–Our district has operated very frugally.  However, we continue to have facility needs, transportation needs, and payroll expenses, and prices have gone up around 20% across the board.  Special needs and services have increased.

–Over the past three years, we received Federal ESSER Funds (COVID Relief Funds); funds could only be used for specific things that were approved by NDE. This is not a funding source for 2022-2223 but has offset some payroll and facility costs.

–Over the past four years, we received Federal AWARE Funds (for mental health and trauma-informed schools); funds could only be used for specific things that were approved by NDE.  We head into the last year of this grant, with some of these programs not being sustainable.

— Nebraska has always relied heavily on property taxes to fund K-12 education.  

— A heavy reliance on property taxes and relatively low state support creates taxing inequities, which have driven much of the debate on how best to finance education.  

— The districts with the lowest property wealth also have, on average, the highest tax rates. So while per-pupil spending can vary for many reasons, the fact that those districts with the lowest spending and the lowest property wealth tend to have the highest tax levies warrants further discussion.

— Because the state aid formula relies so heavily on local property values to calculate the resources of schools, the result is that urban school districts need more state aid even though they tend to have higher property tax rates.

— At the same time, the rural districts are seeing a loss of state aid due to increasing agricultural land valuations. However, agricultural landowners are not seeing incomes rise as fast as land values, so more of their income is being taken up by increased property taxes.

— These dynamics have fueled the ongoing rift in the Legislature and pitted urban and rural school districts against each other in the fight for state funding.

— Standard practice is to have 4 to 6 months of expenses in cash reserves, we do not even have 2 months.


Major needs across the district:

Intermediate school

Window replacement 

Gym roof replacement (still old style) 

Hallway tile flooring replaced

Drainage issue east side building 

Broken concrete replaced the front of the school/stairs

Fenced in playground

Exterior doors replaced (back door, gym door,)

Bathrooms 1st and 2nd floor remodel 

Primary school 

Windows replaced 

The peaked roof entryway needs replaced

Bathrooms remodeled (all 4) 

Classroom carpet replace (computer lab)

Back door replaced 

Irrigation for lawn

Driveway/road front of school drop-off replaced

Middle school 

Front doors replaced

Side door replaced (east side hallway)

Bathrooms remodel (1st, 2nd, 3rd floors)

Windows gym replaced

Irrigation lawns

No AC in the gym 

Tuck and point brickwork 

High school 

HVAC phases 2-5

Gym floor sanding

Bleacher replacement 

Flooring commons, entryways

Area D flooring

Auditorium house lights changed 

Public restrooms (gym area) remodel

District-wide

Broken concrete sidewalk repairs 

Practice field automated irrigation 

Roof leak repairs

Cars and vans replace

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Welcome Back 2022

Welcome Back,

I am excited to welcome you back to the 2022-2023 school year! As this is my third year as your Superintendent, I am committed to staying the course we have set for ourselves and continuing to provide stability as we grow as a District. My overarching focus this year is “Relationships Matter.” You will hear me addressing this theme throughout the year as we explore what it means, to our district, to our work, and by building relationships with one another and our students and families.  

We are committed to our students and our community.  The work ahead of us is multi-layered; it is a balancing act of meeting our student's academic and social-emotional needs, keeping students and staff safe, and continuing to adapt and evolve to the ever-changing requirements and guidance placed on all K-12 schools.  

Since May, the maintenance and custodial crew have made significant progress on several important projects.  It is incredible what they have accomplished.  Being able to do many of the projects in-house and using ESSER money has made an enormous difference for our district.

Here we are!! A new school year.  We all know the summer flew by.  As we head into the new school year, please ensure you are signed up for our Remind communication.  And stay tuned for the Chadron School App that our technology department is developing.  

 

 

With sincere gratitude,

Ginger L. Meyer, Superintendent

 


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

2022-23 School Lunch

2022-23 School Lunch

According to the Nebraska Child Nutrition Program, school meals will NO longer be provided free of charge for the upcoming school year.  Free and reduced meal applications will be mailed in mid-July.  Be on the lookout for these forms.  Please fill out and return it even if you do not qualify.  Completed forms are needed to help with State Aid and Federal Funds that help to fund and support our district.  Any questions, please call 308-432-0700

Friday, April 29, 2022

Welcome

We would like to welcome the following new Cardinals to the nest starting in 2022-23 school year.

Rick Barry as Activities Director.

Emma Hageman as Primary SPED teacher.

Heather Pearson as Middle School SPED teacher.

Katherine Burrows as Para.

Brenda Vogl as Activiies Administrative Assisitant

Rachel Gifford as High School English Teacher.

Katarina Rischling as Primary Kindergarten Teacher.

Lauren Collins as Primary Kindergarten Teacher.

Joshua Digmann as Middle School PE Teachers.


Staff changing positions within the district:

Kristi Dunbar to Middle School Teacher.

Bill Cogdill to Middle School Teacher.

Jenn Cattnach to Intermediate Counselor and Adaptive PE.

Mikel Landreth to Primary Counselor.

Mandy Brice to Para.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

LB 890 & 891

 

LB 890 & 891

Chadron Public Schools shares a unique story.  We are a rural district with a current enrollment of 925 kids K-12.  Our district is at the $1.05 lid. Forty percent of our land is in public, state, or federal lands.  Meaning not all of this land is taxable. Taxpayers are levied to the max to provide a top-notch education.  Our district does receive state-aid that we are grateful for.  We are a frugal district.  Two of our buildings turned 100 this year.  With enrollment growing, we need more teaching staff that we will be hard pressed to hire under current budgets. It is difficult to hire teachers in our part of the State. We are going to have to keep current and competitive to get educators to Chadron. Current revenue restrictions, over reliance on property taxes, and the burden of providing the necessary resources for our students and we are capped out at the $1.05 and even if we could squeeze another penny it would fall on the back of our limited tax base.  LB 890 would be that lifeline for our school and for our taxpayers.  LB 890 as currently written would significantly reduce our general fund levy.  With this model both our school and are taxpayers benefit greatly.  

(All of the below are estimates based on the latest #s from NDE models as of 1/15/22)
Current General Fund Levy $1.00
New General Fund Levy $0.64
 
Levy Reduction $0.36
Levy Reduction 36%
 
Current State Aid $4,611,004
New State Aid $6,747,479
 
Increase in State Aid $2,136,475 
New Max General Fund Levy $0.95
Our education community and other have joined together to support this bill.  It helps or holds harmless all Nebraska Schools.


I want to talk about some data points

Nebraska currently finances over seventy percent of the costs of operating its public school system from the property tax and other local sources while nationally only forty-three percent of the costs are supported by property taxes and other local sources.
The overreliance on property tax for or the support of the public school system has resulted in great disparities in local property tax rates.
The overreliance on the property tax for the support of the public school system has created inequitable educational fiscal resources for students.
Funding public schools in the state of Nebraska is no easy task.  One size does not fit all when trying to fund 244 separate school districts, each with their own unique needs.  
The intention of this bill is to be simple, transparent, and equitable. There are two valuable outcomes: 1) a structurally sound and sustainable school funding model and 2) a substantial reduction in the reliance on property taxes to fund public schools. The introduced LB890 with LB891 has an estimated 50/50 split statewide between local property taxes and state funding.


Sincerely,


Ginger Meyer, Ed.S
Superintendent, Chadron Public Schools



Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Digital Citizenship -- December 15, 2021


Digital Citizenship -- December 15, 2021

Chadron Public Schools is pleased to offer Digital Citizenship to students and parents.  On December 15, 2021 Karen Haase from KSB Law Firm will present the ins and outs of digital citizenship.  There will be a session for Middle School and High School during the school day.  We will also have a parent session.  Do you want to know about the Apps and Social Media that your kids are using?  Do you want to know about laws that govern social media use.  Do you want to know how schools respond to these problems?   We warn kids about the problems that crop up, but we cannot stress enough how technology keeps changing.

Karen Haase has a background as an educator.  She and her firm are cutting edge in the practices of school law.  KSB believes passionately that schools should use technology to increase engagement and student achievement.  As a result, we work tirelessly to be a leading authority at how digital citizenship intersects with education.  Sadly, all too often we see the negative side of digital communication when students as well as adults misuse technology.  A digital citizen is a person who utilizes information technology in order to engage in society, politics, and government and who uses the internet regularly and effectively.

Parent Session will be held in the Auditorium at 5:15 on December 15, 2021

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

CoVid and Flu Shot Clinic

CoVid and Flu Shot Clinic


On November 15, 2021 there will be a CoVid and Flu shot clinic at Chadron High School. This will be in the high school library beginning at 5:00pm, with an end time of 7:00pm. This clinic is for ages 5 and up. A parent or guardian must be present. Please enter the school through the main entrance, by the high school office. WNC will be providing this clinic.


Yesterday, the CoVid Vaccination was approved for use in 5 year olds and up.

Budget Needs

As we head in to the joint hearing on September 26 here are some points to clarify some of the issues: — Chadron Public Schools continues to...