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North Union adopts instructional support levy resolution

Also, PPEL question to be on ballot in Feb.

November 15, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

ARMSTRONG - The North Union Board of Education Tuesday night held a public hearing and adopted a resolution to participate in the instructional support levy program and also discussed a voter approved physical plant and equipment levy and accompanying revenue purpose statement.

Superintendent Matt Berninghaus said the instructional support levy would allow a district to raise the "credit card limit" by up to 10 percent. He said the preferred method would be through a combination of property and income surtaxes.

Berninghaus then explained how the income surtax would work.

He said the income surtax would be a "tax on a tax". For example, if someone's total Iowa income tax liability for the year were $2,000 then that person's income surtax at 5 percent would be $100.

To implement the instructional support levy, Berninghaus said the board would pass a resolution of intent to participate - which it did at the last NU board meeting. After that, the public hearing was set for last night and the resolution adopted which was done later in the meeting.

Regarding the PPEL, Berninghaus noted Sentral currently has a .67 maximum levy through 2021 while Armstrong-Ringsted has a maximum PPEL of $1.34 through 2018. The recommendation for North Union was a $1.34 maximum levy to be placed on the ballot in February 2014.

Included purposes for PPEL money would be for purchase and improvement of grounds and property, purchase or lease of equipment or technology over $500 in value, paying building debt, procuring ot acquisition of library facilities, repairing buildings, energy conservation or transportation.

The board also held a public hearing on the proposed whole-grade sharing agreement which would be effective July 1, 2014.

The agreement would continue for five years and would end if North Union and North Kossuth would reorganize.

Berninghaus said action on whole-grade sharing could be taken 30 days after Tuesday night's public hearing.

Assistant principal Robert Zotz reviewed plans for J-Term Jan. 6-17.

Zotz said staff visited Spirit Lake School district last year to see how that district handled project-based learning. He said Newell-Fonda also has a J-Term.

Among J-Term classes are senior internship, Mind Your Own Business, An Amazing Adventure (a combination of Spanish and Family and Consumer Science), Sports Franchise Management, Advanced Egg Tossing which incorporates construction of a trebuchet or catapult, and C.S.I.

"Skinny" classes that will break up the day include Game Theory, Multimedia Projects, ACT Math Refresher, OSHA certification, Chess Strategy and Parliamentary Procedure.



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