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District 518 sets preliminary levy at maximum; plans for lower final levy

According to Superintendent John Landgaard, the district is looking at a reduction in its levy of 4.13% compared to last year, though he cautioned that some adjustments still need to be made.

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Worthington High School. Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education set its preliminary levy at the maximum allowed Tuesday, but anticipated it could actually be lower than last year’s levy.

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“And we are not asking the state to spend the budget surplus on us. What we are asking the state to do is to make bold strategic investments in us so that we can help the state grow with surplus even more."
“... there’s no question that if we can chip away at this (child care) issue, it will help ease the burden of the workforce shortage.”
This is the final of six installments featuring new teachers in Worthington District 518.

“We’ll finalize this in December,” said Brad Shaffer, school board member. “This doesn’t tie us down to anything, we just can’t go over whatever it is.”

According to Superintendent John Landgaard, the district is looking at a reduction in its levy of 4.13% compared to last year, though he cautioned that some adjustments still need to be made.

The board also discussed the possibility of collecting $42,000 using a lease levy, but the motion failed, as the school board preferred to use money from the general fund for those costs.

“I think this is really kind of a poor deal to ask to get another $42,000 from the public by a lease levy. To me, it’s kind of petty to do that after what we did,” said Mike Harberts, school board member, stating that District 518 had overbonded for the Intermediate School.

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Landgaard said the advantage in using a lease levy would be in freeing up general fund dollars, but that it was the school board’s choice whether to use it or not.

“I don’t have any strong feelings either way. It isn’t going to change anything,” said Joel Lorenz, board member.

District 518’s Truth in Taxation public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 20.

In other news Tuesday, the board:

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CHANDLER — The Monogram Foods Loves Kids Foundation, the charitable fund of Monogram Foods, announced that 11 local organizations will receive a 2022 grant. A committee of team members from Monogram Foods in Chandler divided $60,000 among the charitable organizations. The initiatives funded by each grant are as follows:
“The thought is that by bringing those college students back to the local area, they’ll likely choose to work here and then build their families here as well.”
The public is invited to the Worthington Fire Department's annual pancake feed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Worthington Fire Hall.

  • Accepted donations from Round Lake Winery for the FFA chapter, and recognized American Lutheran Church for bringing treats to Intermediate School staff, as well as JBS for donations of school supplies.
  • Approved a slate of night school teachers: Shaine Rasmussen and Patrick Mahoney, science teachers; John Borrero and Brian Bau, social studies teachers; Austin Smith and Kenneth Greenbush, math teachers; Stacy Sauerbrei, language arts teacher; Megan Haufmann, Spanish teacher; and Paul Barduson, Krista VanNote and Kelli Borrero, EL rover teachers.
  • Approved two employee requests for sick leave due to pregnancy and child care leave without pay.
  • Approved a tax abatement request for Brad and Sheryl Hoekstra through the Nobles Home Initiative for a piece of property in Worthington's Woodland Court Addition.
  • Approved the second reading of Policy 524 on Internet Acceptable Use, Safety and Data Privacy Policy and the first reading of Policy 726 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone).
  • Approved an agreement with the JBS Field House to allow students to use half of the facility from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 12 through Nov. 8 at no cost.
  • Sent a resolution asking the Minnesota Department of Transportation to do another speed study of the Crailsheim Road and Oxford Street corridor “during a period that will be representative of actual traffic patterns.” The request is in response to a previous study done before school began whose results the board — along with the Worthington City Council and the Nobles County Board of Commissioners — said did not adequately address safety concerns.
  • Heard from Landgaard that the state of Minnesota has made changes to its process for online education, and that no applications will be looked at until June 1, meaning that potential approval would not come until August — decreasing the school’s ability to start a new program for that school year.
A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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