Central Montcalm school board gets a look at proposed 2014-2015 budget


By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 9:35 am on Wednesday, June 18, 2014

STANTON — An estimated loss of 37 students enrolled at Central Montcalm Public School in the fall was one reason submitting a balanced proposed budget was more difficult, Ron Simon told the Central Montcalm Board of Education at a Monday afternoon meeting.

Simon, the associate superintendent of finance for the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District, shares his services with the Central Montcalm district and was instrumental in putting together a proposed 2014-2015 for that school system.

“We estimate that number by the student count in the fall, and then again in February,” Simon said. “You lost some then, and we also look at the senior class departing compared to the incoming kindergarten class.”

The drop can be pointed to numerous reasons, including a drop in the birth rate.

“Society is also much more mobile today,” said Kristi Teall, in her last meeting as superintendent before she takes on the same role in another district. “But you keep doing good things here and they will come here.”

Simon presented a budget of $14,232,177 in revenue alongside a tally of $14,515,300 in expenditures, a deficit of $283.123. However, policy passed by Gov. Rick Snyder will change that, to the district’s benefit.

“You will end up with a positive number, not as high as we would like, but you are coming out OK,” Simon said.

“We are still in a better position than we were even two years ago,” said Teall.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the school board, in a 6-1 vote with Board Vice President Todd Giles casting the lone dissenting vote, decided to table the adoption of a Central Montcalm High School Athletic Code.

The parts in question concerned caffeine and THG (tetrahdrogestrinone, a performance-enhancing designer steroid) ingested by an athlete.

“How does an athlete know how much caffeine they can handle?” asked Bill Collins. “Can they drink a soda or a Starbucks coffee or an energy drink the day of a game, or not?”

“I feel this policy is not black and white, but a lot of gray areas,” said Board President Roxanne Switzer. “If we adopt this policy, how are we going to enforce it?

“Kids can buy THG right now, right in the county we live in,” said board member Mike Barnwell.

“There should be a zero tolerance for THG,” agreed Collins.

The board agreed to table the policy until next month, in hopes that it will return with more clear guidelines.

A workshop for any potential school board candidates will be July 10 at 7 p.m. at the high school media center. The workshop will help those considering running for a position on the board to understand what the duties and responsibilities are in attaining the position.

Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.

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