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School board approves levy 4-2

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington District 518 Board of Education met Tuesday evening in regular session to certify the district's 2015 levy of $5,212,320.13 for taxpayers in the district. The measure was met with discussion and a bit of opposition ...

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington District 518 Board of Education met Tuesday evening in regular session to certify the district’s 2015 levy of $5,212,320.13 for taxpayers in the district. The measure was met with discussion and a bit of opposition from two board members. 

A change in state law now permits the district to seek a levy for ongoing maintenance in the district. Superintendent John Landgaard explained to the board that historically, the district had used a portion of curriculum funds to carry out the needed upkeep.
Board member Scott Rosenberg questioned if the board should seek out the additional levy just because the district had the ability to do so. He told his fellow board members early in the meeting that he would be casting a dissenting vote on the matter.
Board member Joel Lorenz also questioned the levy figure. Another member of the board, Brad Shaffer, commented that he had shared a few of Rosenberg’s concerns about the proposed levy. He noted, though, that while the number may appear large at face value, it’s well below the district’s levy to fund the 2012-2013 school year.
After further discussion, the board put the matter to a vote. The levy passed 4-2, with Rosenberg and Lorenz casting the no votes. Member Linden Olson was absent from the meeting.

Going paperless
Beginning in 2016, the school board will be a bit greener thanks to a unanimous vote to go paperless.
Landgaard outlined options for the members to use existing iPads or Dell tablets to receive board paperwork. He said the district would need to purchase keyboards for either option, with an additional choice being the district’s purchase of a laptop for each board member at a cost of approximately $700 each.
Board member Lori Dudley asked why all of the members had to have identical devices, adding that she’d prefer to use her personal laptop. Other members echoed her sentiments.
As a result, each member will provide their own electronic device - such as a tablet or laptop - for use at meetings. If they don’t have one, they are to make arrangements with the district to provide one.
In other business, the board:

  • Approved a student teacher agreement with Buena Vista University. 
  • Approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Education Minnesota Worthington relating to community education teachers. 
  • Approved a funding request of $7,500 for the Vision 2030 Committee.
  • Approved to increase an ECSE Paraprofessional position of .5 FTE (full-time equivalent) to 1 FTE due to an increase in special education students.
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