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The Press Newspaper

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Voters in the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District will see an emergency operating levy on the May ballot.

The B-C-S school board has unanimously voted to place the $1.32 million, 5-year issue on the ballot in the hopes of fending off a projected budget deficit in fiscal year 2013.

Tied to the board’s decision to seek the millage was another recent decision to realign the district by closing Rocky Ridge Elementary School.

That move, board members say, will help the district save revenue and reduce the amount sought in the levy.

Fifth grade students at Rocky Ridge will be moved next school year to the middle school and the lower grades will attend R.C. Waters Elementary.

“With the current amount requested, we are setting some parameters for future budgeting,” Diane Kershaw, superintendent said.

She said the administration was able to determine a more accurate financial need for the school board to consider after an extensive review of student and staff scheduling, pending retirements, and the realignment.

As recently as two years ago, the district’s five-year forecast projected a deficit of about $1.2 million by the end of fiscal 2012.

Rick Bast, board president, said the projected deficit was pushed back as a result of a tighter rein on spending.

“Through careful spending we were able to hold that off until 2013, once again showing that we are truly responsible with taxpayer dollars. We will continue to provide the community with district information to help them make an informed decision for the May ballot,” Bast said in a prepared statement.

According to Bast, the district historically has made requests for additional operating revenues every 10 years or so.


Resignations accepted
Personnel matters approved by the board, included accepting the resignation of Vikie Barman, middle school health/physical education teacher, effective June 30, and accepting the resignation of Gail Whitman, social studies teacher, effective May 31. Both have been teachers for 35 years.

The resignation of Diane Wise, a guidance counselor/ student support specialist for 23 years, was also accepted, effective July 1. 

Andrea Swope, a recess/classroom assistant, is being transferred to the middle school as a study hall monitor/tutor from Rocky Ridge.

During the board’s organizational session, Rick Bast and Jamie Tooman were elected president and vice-president respectively.

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