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MVSD looks to tighten budget, discusses spring levy amount

30 signed up for firearms training

In discussion at the Nov. 20 meeting in Kooskia, trustees for MVSD 244 school board (L-R) Casey Smith, Lot Smith, Mike Dominguez, Rebecca Warden and Brad Lutz.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
In discussion at the Nov. 20 meeting in Kooskia, trustees for MVSD 244 school board (L-R) Casey Smith, Lot Smith, Mike Dominguez, Rebecca Warden and Brad Lutz.

— Mountain View School District 244 Superintendent Marcus Scheibe has had a lot on his mind. About $1 million worth of thoughts.

“We have to figure out what to do with the loss of the SRS funds,” he said. “How do we handle this” more than $1-million-dollar loss?

Scheibe spoke to the board and a room of about 15 staff and community members at the Nov. 20 regular meeting in Kooskia.

“I have heard from some of our patrons that county taxes will already be increased, and raising the levy amount is not a good idea,” he said. Even in passing the levy [at the same amount as the past five years] there will still be cuts that need to be made.”

Scheibe said the most money can be saved in the areas of personnel and programs; however, “We don’t want to be a bare bones district. We have good choices for our students right now and we want to ensure that continues.”

Scheibe’s current recommendation is to leave the levy at the same amount for the coming year and spend time brainstorming with administrators on how to run the business of the district with less money. For the past five years, the supplemental levy amount has been set at $2,663,246. It has been approved each of those years.

Board chair Mike Dominguez said he was not encouraged when attending a recent school board conference.

“We were basically told by the state that we weren’t getting any more money and we need to ask our taxpayers for more,” he shook his head. “Something needs to be fixed.”

Budgeting and the spring levy will be topics that will be discussed at upcoming meetings.

In other news, Scheibe reported at least 30 staff and board members are signed up to take firearm training courses.

“The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office is ready to start this as soon as we want to schedule it,” Scheibe said. “However, as we are nearing the winter months, they questioned if we want to wait [until spring].”

“As I recall, a lot of it is classwork, so the weather won’t really matter,” trustee Casey Smith said.

Scheibe said one full day is on the shooting range.

Trustee Rebecca Warden said she felt the background and psychological evaluations need to be completed first.

“Why put someone through the course if they won’t be approved to carry?” she questioned.

The group agreed. Scheibe will look into getting the initial testing completed first.

The board also made a decision after nearly an hour in executive session at the start of the meeting. The board voted unanimously to place two unnamed teachers on unpaid administrative leave pending they obtain their Idaho teaching credentials. (Note: Districts often hire teachers who are in the process of or close to the point of obtaining their certification).

Additional news:

• GHS reported 38 percent of parents attended parent-teacher conferences this fall, while CVHS reported that had 51 percent attendance.

• The board voted to obtain three school buses, which will place the district on the rotation and depreciation schedules they feel are needed.

• The board voted to accept eight of nine open enrollment applications for students who wish to be admitted to MVSD 244 schools who currently live outside the district.


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