Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 30-08-2013

The new Ellendale – Edgeley/Kulm football coop will kickoff tonight vs Lakota.  This is a big first step in what I hope will be a long and victorious partnership.  I want to give credit to our athletes, first and foremost.  They have really taken positive steps to make this new coop work.  Our student leaders, our upper classmen,  appear to be moving past the thought of losing the old Red/Black and now moving to the new Black/Gold.  As you can see in this picture our starting QB, Chase Durheim, is sporting his new Thunder uniform #15.

I also want to thank our coaches and activity directors in each of the communities.  They have worked tirelessly to prepare the program for success and it shows.  From the uniforms, to the pre-season meetings, to event to bring all 3 communities together their work is very much appreciated.

In conclusion I just wish them the very best of luck.  I do believe this year and in the future this coop has the potential to do wonderful things and possibly bring the title of “CHAMPIONS” back to each of our communities.   And, eventually I pray that our athletes will say they bleed BLACK and GOLD & RED and  BLACK, depending on the season of course.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 22-08-2013

Taxation is always a hot topic and with recent legislative action more and more information is flowing is required of schools, and all political entities, to be very transparent with where their tax dollars are being spent.  I do believe this is a very good thing.  So in light of that requirement and the upcoming meeting for public input on taxation, hosted by the Ellendale School Board, I thought I talk about the number 18.

This should really be the number -18 but to keep in tune with my theme this year I will just stick with 18.  -18 represents the true percentage reduction in the taxation request that is being projected for the Ellendale School general fund budget.  The general fund is the primary fund for the district and accounts for the majority of the tax request.  Now you might say, “Hey I just read in the paper that the budget was going up 4.53%”.   That is true based on the calculation matrix we are required to use by law.  This is comparing 2012-13 to the project 2013-14 as if no tax reduction was being implemented.  It tries to provide a true sense of school budget growth.  I do think 4.53% is a reasonable increase but that is not the whole story.

Now for the rest of the story (I loved Paul Harvey).  Inside the new state funding formula for schools was a significant increase in the student per pupil payment.  It increased from $3,980 to now $8,810.  This increase in funding equated to a foundation aid increase of nearly 1,128,192 for Ellendale School.  Wow! that is a pile of money.  Maybe I should have led with that number.  But then the new formula removed the old property tax buy down program (Mill Levy Reduction) which equated to a reduction in the districts revenue of -826,108.  So if we do the number crunching there the district is still ahead $302,084 on the foundation aid side.

Now for the property tax side, the one you are probably most interested in.  Legislation now reduces schools taxing authority from the old 100-110 mills to now 60-70 mills.  In addition they provide another 12 mills (which would get the school to 82) but the district is now able to use these next year.  So in 2013-2014 Ellendale School is starting at 60 mills and working from there.  The district is limited in its growth a total of 12% so the maximum that EPS can tax this coming year is 67.2 mills, which is what the Board is proposing.  Based on our projections including estimates of the 2013 valuations this tax rate will generate $966,509.  This is a reduction from $1,173,892 that was requested on your 2012 tax invoices.  When you do the math that is a reduction of $207,383 dollars of -18% from last year.

You may have seen the tax notice showing growth of 4.53% but in truth the local request for funds is going down 18%.  This should result in everyone paying much less than you did last year.  Of course this is always confused and compounded by taxable valuation increases but none of us really have any control over that.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 19-08-2013

I want to welcome everyone to the new 2013-2014 school year at Ellendale Public School.  Tonight, during open house, it was wonderful to see all the smiling faces on both the kids and parents.  I am pretty sure the kids were excited to see their rooms and fill their lockers.  However, maybe the parents were smiling just to knowing it meant the kids were out of the house.  :-)

I want to take a few lines here to introduce the many new faces at EPS this year.  This is an unprecedented year for us with 8 new people joining our ranks.

  • Miss Brandi Weed – Guidance Counselor
  • Mrs. Rachel Land – HS Math
  • Miss Felicia Lamb – HS Science
  • Mr. Jeff Lagodinski – Special Education
  • Mr. Harley Wagner – PreSchool Bus Driver
  • Mrs. Nicole Byerly – Head Cook
  • Mrs. Ashley Pederson – Cook
  • Mrs. Amber Rosinski – Secretary.  Mrs. Rosinski started late last year but we thought it worth the introduction as this is her FIRST, first day.

I also want to set the stage for many of my upcoming posts this year.  I am making a pledge to write one blog post each week with the theme focusing on a number.  Each week will be a new number and I hope to not repeat any during the entire year.  In this post the number was 8.  I want to encourage you to stop back each week to learn more about how numbers effect your school.