Money woes at Rockridge reflect all schools

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Ten members of the Rockridge FFA dressed in uniform for the May 10, 2010 Rockridge School Board meeting. Al Hyett (right) gave an annual report on the Ag department with the help of the FFA members.

The Rockridge CUSD #300 School Board had some more ugly news about the school’s finances at Wednesday night's May 10, 2010 board meeting.

While this situation is being felt by every school district in the state, Superintendent Jack Bambrick said, "It keeps getting bigger and bigger and we keep getting in it deeper and deeper."

He said that usually the district at this time of year has received from 80 to 85 percent of its revenues, but due to the economic situation in the state, only 72 percent of the revenue is being seen in the district's education fund, only 60 percent is seen in the operations and maintenance fund and the transportation fund has only seen 53 percent of its revenue.

He said there is some good news in that the education fund is $461,000 better than what was projected. He also said the O & M fund would need an additional $60,000 put into it, for construction of the Press Box. "We have not yet received the insurance," said Bambrick. “Our claims total right around $1 million from that storm.”

He said that the state has vouchered the second and third quarters' transportation payment, but has no money to pay it.

Budget committee chairman Dan Neneman told the other board members the district's expenditures to date were $400,000 less than what was expected, with $696,000 owed to Rockridge by the state."

Bambrick said the budget shows a $1.8 million loss, of which $1.4 million is from the education fund."

He said the district is expecting $2 million from the state by the end of the fiscal year in June. "Whether we receive the $696,000 is just a guess," he added.

The board also failed to approve two extracurriculars – junior high cross country and junior high girls’ bowling.

During public comments, three individuals spoke up in opposition to the board’s decision to not approve junior high cross country.

Cross country coach Sue Miller said she will continue to come to the board about the junior high cross country program. “We’ve offered to fund it by volunteers,” she said. She said the district already had uniforms. “We’ve got a health problem,” she said, referencing a nationwide obesity problem. “It’s the cheapest sport out there.”

Running enthusiast Susan Peroutka told the board she had three high school students and one junior high student attending Rockridge. “I’m very much in favor of the program,” she said. She pointed to the recently held Gilda’s run that had entrants from age three to age 84. “It’s a tremendous runner’s run for a cause,” she said. She encouraged the board to help families “instill healthy habits, values that this sport instills these days.”

The high school’s cross country team captain Daniel Winter, a senior, also encouraged the board to reconsider a junior high cross country team.

In other business the board:

• Approved a high school football camp June 14-18;

• Learned Rockridge High School graduation was at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 6, 2010 in the gymnasium.

• Learned the Junior High promotion is Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 7 p.m.

• Learned new student registration for 2010-2011 school year is Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with freshman orientation on Monday, Aug. 9; seventh grade orientation Tuesday, Aug. 10.

• Approved job sharing Rockridge Junior High's athletic director responsibilities between Candy Blankenship and Jason Kirby.

• Approved the request for use of facilities by Reynolds American Legion Baseball;

• Agreed to approve resignations with regret from Rachel Anderson, eighth grade volleyball coach; Nick Bull, sevent grade assistant football coach, Tom Hasson,, eighth grade football coach, Ray Leng, seventh grade scholastic bowl coach and Glenda McCannon, bus driver.; also Veronica Fink at the end of the 2009-2010 school year;

• Approved hiring Stephanie Mowers as seventh grade scholastic bowl coach.

• Approved honorable dismissal of classified staff including: Lori Barber, kitchen helper; Rosalie Davis, aide; Brandy Robinson, aide; Patricia Thomas, library aide and Penny Burger, aide.

• Approved budget amendment for O & M funds from $872,500 to $932,500.