District 518 discusses tax abatement planWORTHINGTON — District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard informed the board of education that Worthington School District 518 will not have future cooperative sponsorship agreements with Iowa for extra curricular activities.
WORTHINGTON — District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard informed the board of education that Worthington School District 518 will not have future cooperative sponsorship agreements with Iowa for extra curricular activities.
“Our district is not the one that stood in the way,” Landgaard said. “It’s the Iowa high school league and Iowa Department of Education that made that rule.”
Currently, there are two students from Iowa who play hockey for District 518 through cooperative sponsorships. Landgaard said these two students will be grandfathered in, but future agreements will cease.
Board member Mark Shepherd asked if there would be discussions between the Minnesota Department of Education and Iowa Department of Education to which Landgaard replied that discussions have began.
In an unrelated matter, the board discussed the abatement plan that was spearheaded by the Worthington Economic Development Ad Hoc committee. City council members discussed the proposal with Nobles County commissioners and several school board members at a joint meeting last month.
The original proposal, as presented by the Ad Hoc committee, is a five – year, 100 percent tax abatement program for contractors and home owners building single family houses with an assessed market value of $200,000 or more.
School board chair Brad Shaffer reminded board members the city’s goal is “not to give a tax cut to people who can afford but to create more higher valued homes so that when those homes did come into the tax base, they would have a significant effect.”
“This needs to be district-wide,” said board member Scott Rosenberg. “We’ve got tax payers outside of the Worthington community who are also going to have to pay for this abatement within the limits of Worthington.”
The school district operations committee proposed four options to the boards:
l Approve original abatement plan by Ad Hoc committee.
l Approve the abatement plan as a one– to three– year plan instead of the intended five years.
l Approve the abatement plan for contractors only for “X” (to be determined) of years for houses over $200,000 in which taxes would begin once the house is occupied (rented or owned).
l Do not participate in the abatement plan.
Board member Linden Olson suggested a fifth option be added — approve abatement for any single family dwelling in the county until occupied.
Majority of the board members were in favor of the second, third or fourth option. Olson was inclined to the newly-added fifth alternative. Board member Lori Dudley was in favor of the second option.
Landgaard said he was uncertain if the school district had abatement authority and would need to do further research. Input from the school board will be shared with city council members.
In other business, the board:
* Approved the resignation of Julie Buchholz as seventh grade girls basketball coach at the middle school.
* Approved the employment of Micaela Massey as ninth grade girls basketball coach at the high school, Antonia Muniz as Class 1 custodian at Prairie Elementary, Katy Johnson as first grade program assistant with EDGE program, Joan Phillips as ESL teacher with EDGE program at Prairie Elementary, Brenda Hackbarth as parent educator with ECFE, Heather Knigge as special education paraprofessional at the middle school, Nicole Bosma as ECFE parent educator with community education, Perla Benegas as senior class adviser at the high school, Francisca Olivia Ordaz as enrichment instructor with EDGE program, Phone Siri and Katie Reller as program aide with EDGE program, Than Than Cho as refugee after-school program aide with NCIC, Jessica Velasco as service learning leader with NCIC, and Chad Duffy as seventh grade girls basketball coach at the middle school.
* Approved a reduction in time from 1.0 FTE to .5 FTE for Dan Bogie as a paraprofessional at the high school.
* Approved the tentative 2011-2012 seniority list for teacher in the district.
* Approved the 2011-2012 enrollment report.
* Approved the Flexible Learning Year Annual report with the addition that District 518 students’ state assessment math scores were down four percent from the year before while there was a 9 percent drop in math test scores state-wide. Landgaard stressed that drop in test scores are not good but students were subject to a new math test this year.
* Approved the paraprofessional services agreement grant contract.