The “Donut Hole”
If you haven’t yet heard the term “donut hole” used in educational conversations, you will soon. The term is used to describe a large group of Minnesota school districts, 132 to be exact, that were overlooked at the last legislative session. Approximately one-third of Minnesota’s school districts don’t qualify for Small School Revenue or the Location Equity Revenue that was created in the 2013 session.
The Eden Valley-Watkins School District is one of many that will experience the financial inequity of last-minute legislative bargaining. Location Equity Revenue provides an additional $424 per pupil unit in the seven-county metro area, and $212 per pupil unit to those outstate school districts with enrollments that exceed 2,000 students in grades K-12.
Last weekend I came out of the closet – with an armload that included an old Christmas sweater, two pairs of mom jeans and a maternity top from 1997.
I’d been aware of the need for an organize-the-closet day, but had been avoiding the task. Now I was (finally) coming clean, much to my own surprise.
I hadn’t planned to spend the day sorting through my impressive collection of leg warmers and shoulder-pad-laden blouses, but I woke in the morning with an inexplicable desire to reinvent the bedroom closet. The task beckoned like an itch and I dove in with the confidence of a woman in possession of a back-scratcher.
Good news for taxpayers!
The District has been working on refunding (refinancing) a 3.5 million dollar bond with a 4.1-percent interest rate that dates back to 2004. We received a promising rating of “Aa” credit enhancement and an “A1” underlying rating from Moody’s. The rating and competitive-bidding market produced nine bidders and a $55,000 purchasing premium that was paid by the winning bidder. The new interest rate of 1.65 percent will reduce the annual tax burden of district residents by $52,000 a year. The total savings through maturity (2021) of the bond will be $367,000 or approximately 9 percent. The net result will be a reduction in future debt-service payments and reduce the District’s property tax levies for taxes in 2014 through 2020.
Blurt: verb 1. An impulsive comment or question that comes across as inappropriate or unwanted. 2. To utter abruptly. 3. To speak out of turn. 4. To say something suddenly, without careful consideration.
My youngest son came home from school last Tuesday acting a little less animated than his typical mid-week, hyper-energetic, 11-year-old self. When I inquired whether he’d had a good day, he paused (which is unusual) and said, “Not really. I guess I had a couple of blurts.”
I nodded my head in recognition. Been there done that. Most of us have experienced the blunt reality of a blurt – when words escape from our mouths before being filtered for suitability of content or timeliness of delivery.
“What in the world did you do to your hair?” “You’re serving that for dinner again?” “I thought you said you’d lost weight.” “I think poodles are the worst breed of dog ever. Oh, is that your poodle? Cute dog.”
Congratulations to Becky Kuechle, Special Education instructor, and Karen Buermann, first grade teacher, on being selected by their peers as the District’s recipients for the Leadership in Educational Excellence Award. This honor, which is annually sponsored by Resource Training and Solutions in St. Cloud, is presented to staff that have gone above and beyond in providing quality instructional experiences for their students. Becky and Karen will be recognized along with recipients from other districts throughout central Minnesota at the Rivers Edge Center in St. Cloud on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Congratulations again to Becky and Karen, and thanks for the work they have done for the educational benefit of our youth!