School won’t hold budget authority election

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Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2012 8:00 pm

The Sidney School Board voted Tuesday evening not to ask the public for more budget authority this election cycle.

After meeting with Jim Standaert, senior fiscal analyst of the Montana Legislative Fiscal Division, and Sen. Llew Jones, R-Conrad, local school officials found that they could transfer $171,701.43 of oil and gas revenue from the elementary district’s building fund to the general fund under Senate Bill 329. With that move, trustees felt that an additional budget authority request wasn’t needed.

The Office of Public Instruction originally told the school district it wasn’t possible to make such a transfer. School officials didn’t hear back from OPI Tuesday.

Trustees voted unanimously to cancel the election – since trustee candidates are running unopposed – and to make the transfer.

Sidney Superintendent of Schools Daniel Farr is confident what Standaert and Jones advised, even if OPI comes back and has a different interpretation.

“We’re going to ride this horse,” Farr said. “It helps our taxpayers quite a bit.”

In other news during Tuesday’s meeting:

• Turning in resignations were band teacher Malcolm Cain, high school business instructor Caryn Fehilly and speech teacher Geri Willer.

• Hired were Jesse Nesper for high school math, Jace Sullivan for middle school math and Molly McGlothlin for K-8 art. Transferred were Beth Thompson from fourth grade to second grade and Terry Bowen to elementary counselor.

• Farr heard of a new development, Pheasant Run, will consist of 54-58 apartments. The maximum amount of new students is expected to be 100 from this development.

Farr says the projection amount of new students is now 946 in the next 2-4 years. He told trustees half of that amount could be in school during the next year.

• The Sidney Education Association’s banquet is May 12 at the Sidney Country Club.

• Tammy Leland was selected the special education teacher of the year in Montana.

• Trustees tabled the decision to rehire the coaches for the cheerleader/drill squad after more information is compiled about forming a JV team.