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PR-B School board shcedules special meeting on levy for August 13

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The Pine River-Backus School Board cancelled their finance committee meeting to make time for a special board-approved levy discussion meeting at 5 p.m. Aug. 13.

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The 2013 legislative session marked a big change in the way operating levies are handled by school districts, when it was decided that school boards would be able to approve an operating levy of up to $300 per student without voter approval. The PR-B School District currently has an operating levy of only $1.02 per student, so this authority could mean big changes for PR-B.

Jolene Bengtson, PR-B Business Manager said that the Aug. 13 meeting would be dedicated to discussing the district’s levy options, but not to make any decisions.

“We’ll be talking about what type of revenue that could mean for our district,” Bengtson said.

She also explained that the board would be discussing the possible reinstatement of programs that were recently cut as well as the implications for local year round property owners.

In addition, some board members will be attending a July 23 training session in Bemidji in order to learn more about the board’s options and the actual cost this could mean for district taxpayers.

The school board is required to make a decision before Sept. 30. The Aug. 13 meeting will serve as an opportunity for those living within the school district to voice their concerns regarding the possible increase in the operating levy. More information will be available in this paper in the following weeks.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the hiring of Erica Norman as varsity volleyball coach for the 2013 fall season.

• Approved the hiring of Tracy King as assistant volleyball coach for the 2013 fall season.

• Approved the hiring of Shari Kamholz as assistant volleyball coach for the 2013 fall season.

• Approved the hiring of Kay Sawyer as junior high volleyball coach for the 2013 fall season.

• Accepted the resignation of Rachel Jacob, ECSE Teacher, effective July 25.

• Changed the starting time for remaining 2013 regular board meetings from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Approved the hiring of Tammy Ott as elementary teacher effective with the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Approved the hiring of Jennifer Kotaska as early childhood special education teacher effective with the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

• Authorized the posting for a .8 FTE early childhood family education teacher.

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