The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wakefield-Marenisco passes $3 million budget for 2019-20


June 19, 2019


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Wakefield — In their first meeting after school ended last week, the Wakefield-Marenisco district board of education voted Monday to pass its 2019-20 fiscal budget, which includes just over $3 million for both revenue and appropriations in the general fund.

The vote followed a budget presentation in a prior budget hearing led by Tina Trevarthen, business manager for the Wakefield-Marenisco school district. She said the budget is based now on an estimated number of 289 students.

The general fund includes expenses for basic programs, staff, business, athletic needs, and capital outlay.

Separate breakdowns also were provided for the food service fund, the debt retirement fund bus bond, the capital projects fund, the bus purchase account, the scholarship fund, and the activity account.

Trevarthen said the school will purchase a new bus at a cost of $89,000 in August.

Superintendent Jason Gustafson told the Daily Globe Tuesday that the coming year’s budget is conservative because they do not yet have details on the state’s funding formula.

Budget details are open for review by the public at the Wakefield-Marenisco K-12 School.

Lunch prices rise

In other news, the board also voted to raise lunch prices by 25 cents for elementary and high school students, as of the coming school year.

The cost for elementary students will rise from $2.75 to $3, and the cost for high school students will rise from $3.25 to $3.50. Gustafson said he expects no student hike to occur in the following year on 2020-21, although he later added that adults might see a hike in that year.

In other news, the board also:

—Learned from Gustafson that he is working with Bessemer Area Schools to create a position for a part-time counselor in Wakefield. “This counselor would be strictly here for students to talk to and to give support, not be a guidance counselor,” said Gustafson, who expects that the person hired would serve two days per week in each school. Two-year funding for the position was allotted to the Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District and local school districts.

—Learned that Gustafson is working with GOISD to provide, as of the coming fall, one year of foreign language via ITV instead of Odysseyware. He said the new venue is a pilot program with no cost except books and materials.

—Learned that, as per pending NEOLA policy updates, substitutes in career and technical education will not need to have a teaching degree as long as they have a professional license in the field taught, two years of related experience in the past decade, and a high school diploma. Board members heard the first reading of the updates and will vote on them at their next meeting.

—Voted to renew membership in the Michigan High School Athletic Association, based in East Lansing.

—Voted to accept budget amendments for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

At the end of the meeting, the board went into a closed session to evaluate the first year of superintendent Jason Gustafson.

The board will meet next on July 15 at 5 p.m. in the board room of the Wakefield-Marenisco K-12 School. The public is welcome.


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