I hope everyone survived the Thanksgiving Break with all the turkey, dressing, pies and Black Friday shopping. I was involved with my first and last Black Friday experience and decided I would much rather be at school with kids and staff but that is another story.

In the next few weeks before our Winter Break our Fine Arts Department will be putting on a number of concerts and programs. This is a great time to get out and witness another aspect of our students. Ms Bahr, Ms Book, Mrs. Merkel and Mr., Struve all do a great job of preparing our students for their performances. Weather permitting, get out and support these kids and maybe you will even have a sighting of Old Saint Nick.

Please visit the website for the first edition of the District Newsletter. A special thanks needs to go out to Mr.Lahndorf and his class for putting this together for the District.

My Second Coffee with Central Office will be on December 13th in the Manning Cafeteria starting at 9:30a.m. Everyone is invited to come and ask questions, meet the administrators, and have a cup of coffee and possibility a sweet roll. Mark the date on your calendar.

I have tried to communicate to the patrons in different articles on the topic of school funding. One of the most difficult and confusing elements of school funding is how Iowa law restricts the ways K-12 public schools can use various funding sources. Simply put, if we have a shortage in one area of the budget we cannot use other funds available to the district to offset such a shortage unless specifically allowed by law.

According to the Iowa School Foundation Formula, the largest funding source for schools comes from state and local property taxes. Revenues received under the formula are part of a school district’s General Fund, which covers most of our expenditures for faculty and staff salaries. We also have dedicated funding streams for facilities, such as the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL), which can only be spent on buildings, grounds and certain equipment such as computers. People often refer to the General Fund side of the budget as the “breathing” part of the budget, while the other side is referred to as the “bricks and mortar” side.

In my next article I will write about instructional expenditures and the state penny sales tax.

Mark your calendar for the December 13th Coffee and check on all IKM-Manning holiday concerts and programs.

Yours in education,

Dr. Ward

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