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South Tama School Board approves $23.4 million budget

Tax Rate Drop of 4.8 Percent

April 12, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

While spending is up just over seven percent, South Tama's property tax asking will drop 78 cents for the 2019-20 fiscal year in a budget approved on a 4-0 vote of the school board monday night. Voting in favor by voice vote were members Ron Houghton, Jackie Dvorak, Mandy Lekin and Penny Tyynismaa. Member Alan Kline was absent.

The vote came after a public hearing in which no comments were heard.

The tax rate is set at $15.35 per $1,000 valuation in the new budget.

Article Photos

South Tama School Board (seated- Jackie Dvorak and Ron Houghton. Standing, l-r) Alan Kline, Penny Tyynismaa and Mandy Lekin.
Chronicle/News-Herald file

Board member Ron Houghton said it should be noted while property assessments went up in many cases in notices received by April 1, the South Tama school District has continued to lower it's rate.

At a March school board meeting, Mary Boege, district business manager, said finances for the district have improved over the last several years making the tax asking less.

The budget breakdown with the current year spending in parenthesis is: student support services-$12,697,239 ($12,092,609); instructional staff support services-$915,677 ($820,645); general administration-$675,025 ($669,890); school / buildingadministration $1,561,950 ($1,185,762); business and central administration-$532,407 ($507,054); plant operation andmaintenance $1,683,915 ($1,604,414); student transportation $927,525 ($878,300); non-instructional programs $840,750 ($790,500); facilities acquisition and construction-$1,090,000 ($930,000); debt service $958,083 ($974,433) AEA support direct to AEA $785,059 ($717,169).


The school board approved on 4-0 voice votes contracts for 2019-20 school year for Molly Karr, middle school 5th grade and Tiffany Bridgewater, elementary English Language Learner; and Dina Keahna for assistant varsity girls softball coach for summer 2109; and Araceli Angel- coaching volunteer girls soccer for current season.

Transfers were approved for Becky Thiessen from middle school student supervisor to elementary special education para-educator effective April 1, 2019; Susan Crain one-half time preschool and one-half time substitute to full-time preschool 2019-20; Jordan Paulson, full-time preschool to one-half time preschool 2019-20' and Nicole Hitchcock, special education para educator elementary and high school to elementary special education para-educator effective April 1, 2019.

Resignations accepted included: Jennifer Clemann, elementary special education para-educator effective March 29, 2019; end of 2019-20 school year- Vicki Riha, kindergarten, Michael Volk, talented and gifted teacher, Haley Ehrich, middle school counselor and Lacey Straits, elementary special education; Michelle Bradley, winter event coordinator for 2018-20 school year.

In addition, TLC recommendations from the Site Council Committee were listed in the board packet for the for the 2019-20 school year.

They are: Jon Huebner, instruction coach facilitator and instructional coaches Joy Schirmer, Keely Upah, Kathy Wilkerson and Seth Koch.

Also model teachers listed are elementary- Steve Bearden,. Melody Cole, Missy Jesina and Marilyn Rippy; middle school- Paula Miller, Ashley Raue, Ashley Steven and Amy Stotts; high school- Victoria Hamilton, Danny Mayo and Audrey Smith.

Health Insurance

To aid the task of retaining and attracting administrators, Superintendent Jared Smith recommended a hike in health insurance benefits for the eight positions.

Boardmembers approved a new family plan to be provided at a cost of $2,390 a month to the district. Currently administrators have been covered by a family plan at a cost of $1,874 monthly.

Smith said his review found South Tama at the low end of the scale compared to other WaMaC conference schools in providing health insurance coverage.

The new plan reduces the cost to the administrators for deductibles, coinsurance and other medical services.

The board also approved offering the option of a health insurance reimbursement arrangement for early retirees using the retirement incentive money to be used for health benefits.

In other business on Monday the school board:

heard a report on the iJag program from Beth Wiese, iJag coordinator and students. The program aids in preparing students for careers and involving local businesses in the preparation.

approved renewal of the Junior achievement program for 2019-20 for the middle school.

approved 1st reading of board policy covering responsibilities, duties and qualifications of administrative personnel.

held discussion on school-base therapists possibly to be implemented in lieu of a school resource officer position; special education programming; pre-kindergarten 12th grade leads for 2019-20 school year; and social studies curriculum adoption.



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