Glenville-Emmons to vote on school funding in November

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Facing state budget shortfalls and quickly declining enrollment, the Glenville-Emmons School district is putting a levy referendum to voters on the Nov. 5 ballot.

&uot;We are anticipating deficit spending over the next two years,&uot; said Debbie Peterson, the district’s business manager. The reserve fund for extra school costs has dropped significantly and will keep doing so. &uot;A referendum would most definitely help to relieve these drops.&uot;

Peterson estimates that the reserve fund will fall almost $100,000 each year over the next two years.

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The district is seeking an extra $625 per student over seven years, an amount which would total about $300,000 for this upcoming year. The yearly cost of the referendum would

change according to enrollment numbers.

According to Glenville-Emmons Superintendent Todd Chessmore, the projected rate of decrease in enrollment is 8 percent over the next two years, dropping from 494 last year to 472 this year and 460 the following year. This decline in enrollment has decreased the amount of funds allotted to the school by the state.

&uot;This decline is the main reason for the referendum,&uot; said Chessmore. &uot;With our drop in enrollment we get less money from the state. On top of this we’re dealing with a lack of state funding to keep up with growing school expenses and inflation.&uot;

The Glenville and Emmons school districts combined their separate 1996 referendums when they merged in 1999. The result was a ten-year $439 per student referendum that will be in effect until 2006. Still, the superintendent is certain that a second referendum is necessary &uot;in order for the district to function.&uot;

Chessmore was unsure which areas would be subject to cuts if the referendum were to fail, but said consequences of such a vote would include staff cuts. The district is planning a September community meeting to discuss the referendum and the possible financial consequences of going without.

The superintendent is positive about the referendum’s chances, however. &uot;The Glenville-Emmons community has always been very supportive of having quality education,&uot; he said. &uot;I believe the community will keep the school alive and well and will keep us in the direction we’re headed.&uot;