Otsego anticipates more funding from state over next two years PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 25 July 2013 09:08
TONTOGANY - The Otsego School District will be seeing a bump in its funding from the state of Ohio.
Treasurer Dawn Jacobs announced at Tuesday's school board meeting that the district should be receiving approximately $206,000 more from the state in fiscal year 2014, and $101,000 more in fiscal year 2015.
The increase is coming as the result of a new school funding model in the recent state budget.
Otsego is "trying to get back to those funding levels we had a few years ago," Superintendent Adam Koch said.
Jacobs said that Otsego likely wouldn't see the effects of the new funding formula until October.
Koch also spoke about new changes to the school district "report card" system used by the state. Instead of particular rankings, the schools will be graded like their students, on an "A through F" schema.
"We're going to make some changes, we're going to do all we can to keep improving," said Koch of the new system, which grades schools on a series of categories.
"It's a lot of new stuff, a lot of new changes."
In other business, the board:
•    Heard a plan for new landscaping at the high school and junior high buildings. Koch said that he wanted the landscaping to be a community project, and will be offering opportunities for local residents, student, teachers, and parents to help.
•    Accepted a financing proposal for the purchase of five propane-powered school buses. The district is expected to begin using the buses in March. Koch explained that propane is two-thirds of the cost of diesel fuel.
A fueling station is to be set up at the district's bus garage.
"Overall, the propane will save us a significant amount of money," he said.
•    Gave final readings to the athletic handbook and coaches' handbook before approving them. Member Elizabeth Gorski took issue with the athletic handbook, saying that the drug policy in the document should be more explicit and easier to find.
"I will approve it, but I wish it were laid out, because there are serious consequences for these kids," she said.
"It's forcing people, which I don't think is a bad idea, to read it," said member James Harter during the discussion of the issue.
•    Heard that there is a plan in the works to improve sections of the decades-old visitors' side football bleachers at the high school. As a part of the work, the steps and seats at the bleachers would be "closed in" and not open.
•    Approved soundproofing work at the elementary school.
•    Approved the hiring of Jessica Longenberger as an intervention specialist for the district.
•    Held a moment of silence for 9-year-old Devin Woodward, Grand Rapids, an Otsego student who drowned in a pond at his home on Friday.
•    Went into executive session to discuss the hiring of an employee. No action was taken.

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