Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education

The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education (BOE) met in special session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Sabetha Middle School commons area. Board members present were Anissa Bloom, Kathy Lippert, Jim Scoby, Leslie Scoby, Kent Saylor, Phillip Buessing and Stan Keim. 

Kickhaefer and Buessing Audit

Ken Kickhaefer of Kickhaefer and Buessing, P.A. was present to review the Prairie Hills USD No. 113 fiscal year 2022 audit with the board. He went over multiple sections of the document and answered questions from the board members.

After going over the document, the board members approved the audit with all in favor.

Viability Report

Superintendent Todd Evans talked about the 2021-22 viability report with the board members. He stated that a small section of the report was incorrect and he corrected it just before the special board meeting started.

Board Clerk Deb Damman talked about a section of the report regarding admin expenses and how she had allocated the figures on the document differently this year compared to the previous years.

Kickhaefer returned to answer some more questions from the board members.

J. Scoby spoke about how Axtell and Wetmore schools have declining income due to headcount declining over the years, and how expenditures are increasing. He said things may need to change if expenditures do not decline.

After further discussion, the board accepted the 2021-22 viability report, with all in favor, as corrected.

Discussion

Superintendent Evans discussed campus viability with the board members, as well as unweighted FTE (full-time equivalency) and information about financial challenges in the school district. When asked how many students he estimates will attend the district schools next year, Evans shared his enrollment projections for the 2023-24 school year based on previous years.

Evans also went over the past years’ unweighted FTE figures that he used to calculate this year’s budget. He estimates that there will be a decrease of 9.7 unweighted FTE for the 2023-24 school year. Evans also shared that the district may receive increased funding if the base state and per pupil is increased according to the results of the Gannon education funding court case.

Evans estimated that compliance with the Gannon case would result in a 5.2 percent funding increase because it is to be based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index). Evans also asserted that he is skeptical of the legislature’s willingness to put that much additional funding into education.

The board members asked Evans questions about campus viability and the viability report. Evans plans to gather information and answer these questions during a future meeting.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14.

Erin Herrmann72 Posts

Erin Herrmann is one of two co-editors at The Sabetha Herald. She specializes in school board reporting, features and advertising design. Erin lives in Sabetha.

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