Board approves $12 million school budget

Levy increases 4.1 percent, tax rate up 39 cents per thousand
by Dave Cary Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH - District voters approved a levy of $12,574,939 at the School Board's annual meeting Tuesday night. The action means that the only remaining step for the 2013-14 budget is formal certification of the levy by the board, which will come next month.

The levy - a combination of four separate levies, the largest being the district's general fund - is some 4.1 percent higher than last year's. Business Manager Jon Miller said the increase will work out to about 39 cents per $100,000 of assessed valuation, or a tax boost of $39 on a $100,000 home.

The action followed a lengthy presentation by School Board President Mark Rhyan, which portrayed a forwardlooking, mission-oriented school district that is well run financially.

Rhyan was challenged by a couple residents on a few points. Last February he had said a 40-page state report on taxes, if adopted, would virtually end sports and extracurriculars at many schools. This, of course, didn't happen statewide; but, Rhyan said, his remarks had been picked up and amplified and he felt they were instrumental in getting the tax policy changed.

Challenged about the district hiring a dietitian in the midst of tight financial times, Rhyan said the position was mandated.

Besides approving the levy, district voters approved the School Board's engaging a legal counsel for the next year - a routine move - and kept the same salaries as in the past for board members.

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In regular business - taken up at the regular board meeting, which followed the annual meeting, the board accepted the following donations:

$40.85 from the Sheboygan Human Rights Association for student transportation.

$1,100 from the Fairview PTO for a music room sound system.

$1,000 from Joseph and Sheila Hnilicka for the PHS band program.

A donation of interior doors and windows from Drexel Building Supply, which will be used in building construction classes at PHS. They are valued at $600.

Donation of a vehicle from Heather and Andrew Thorson to enhance student learning in the PHS Auto Department. This donation was valued at $1,600.

In personnel matters:

Dave Schroeder has been selected to teach 100 percent fifth grade at Riverview Middle School. Schroeder has a bachelor's degree from Cardinal Stritch University, and this will be his first teaching position.

Penny Nicolaus has retired as a Special Education aide at Horizon Elementary School.

Heidi Rautmann has been hired as a Special Education aide at Horizon School.

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The board took up amendments to four different policies.

The first, concerning Community Education, formally established an advisory council to provide for citizen input.

The second, on harassment, states that harassment will not be tolerated and named Assistant Superintendent Dan Mella and Director of Pupil Services Ann Gamoke as school contacts.

The third, on Equal Educational Opportunities, also directed inquiries to Mella and Gamoke as did the fourth, on the employee discrimination complaint procedure.

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