Gifted and talented programs in the Brainerd School District will remain under the direction of a half-time gifted and talented coordinator as opposed to a full-time position despite some discussion to change it back to the old ways during the Brainerd School Board meeting Monday night.
Board member Jim Hunt motioned that the new position of the half-time gifted and talented coordinator should be reinstated back in to a full-time position.
"I see taking away that full-time position as taking a step backwards," said Hunt. "I think by putting it back as only a half-time position we lose something of value in this district"
The gifted and talented program saw changes due to cuts in the budget this past year.
"I have a special place in my heart for the gifted and talented program we created and I think we are only slowing it down, and I hope not going backwards," said board member Ruth Nelson. "If you want to add it back, I think then we would need to review our cuts and I am not sure where we are at in that.
"Right now I think we should look at this as a trial and see what we can get done with the half-time position."
Nelson's thoughts were echoed by Reed Campbell, Tom Haglin and Kent Montgomery.
The motion failed with a 4-2 vote with chairman Chris Robinson voting in favor of changing the position alongside Hunt.
Also during Monday's meeting, Superintendent Steve Razidlo informed the board that the state's new Multi Measurements Rating (MMR) — formerly the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) — standards will be released next week.
"I am sure you will be hearing a lot of about this in the next week," said Razidlo. "It will be the first time we see where schools across the state of Minnesota stack up according to the new state standards."
Razidlo said that this was the first release of information since the state was given a waver from the federal NCLB standards.
The Board approved the second revision for the 2011-12 budget.
The first revision showed a change in the preliminary budget’s deficit, going from $1.2 million to a $356,201 deficit.
Fiscal year 2012 April budget revision changes showed the beginning revenue at $68,517,671, with $100,000 special education aid and excess cost, $101,000 in erate additions and $106,981 added in title funding allocation. Forty-thousand dollars was deducted from third party billing, putting the ending revenue under this revision at $68,785,652.
Changes were also seen on the expense side, with a beginning expense at $68,873,870. An unseasonably warm winter saw $200,000 saved in heating expenses and $100,000 saved in snow removal; $300,000 was used for the wireless project, $225,000 for retirement benefits, $50,000 for teacher substitutes and $29,000 for miscellaneous charges, bringing the ending expense to $69,177,872 and the new resulting deficit to $392,220, a deterioration in overall net results for the year by approximately $36,000.
Approved the following gifts and grants: Donation from Dean Foods Company (Land O’Lakes milk caps collection) of $101.00 for Riverside Elementary School; Donation from Box Tops for Education of $2045.20 for Riverside Elementary School; Donation from Pierz PTO of $200 for the FRED Program; Donation from Harrison FTA of $3627 for E Instruction Touchboards.