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ELC approves $26.6M budget

By Staff | Apr 12, 2011

The Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District Board of Education Monday night approved a $26.6 million budget that sets a mil levy of 16.61753 for the coming budget year.

The budget actually represents a substantial reduction on taxes levied on property, at $5,017,574. That compares with $5,558,943 estimated for the current year.

The budget assumes zero percent allowable growth.

State Foundation Aid is predicted to trend upward, from $7,667,710 for the current year to $8,134,620.

Projected revenue losses include $72,171 in ARRA for the current year to zero and a reduction of IDEA and other federal money, down from $1,129,804 to $577,866.

In other business Monday, first-grade teachers discussed their collaboration with the Estherville Good Samaritan Society.

Instructor Tara Laabs started the program in 1999 after she was inspired to teach compassion in her classroom.

Teacher Jeremy Zeigler also talked about the program which he said helps teach students good manners, being a hero, being a friend, family and dealing with consequences.

Teacher Denise Christensen observed great interaction between senior citizens and children. “I love that interaction between the residents and the kids,” Christensen said.

Kris Schlievert, elementary principal, said every class visits Good Sam once a month, a repetition that helps students develop their own reading fluency after reading several times to residents, according to teacher Anna Fiene.

And Lindsey De Vore said the frosting – or perhaps, more accurately, ice cream – on the cake is the April trip when kids share homemade ice cream with residents and get to converse with them. Anne Peters told how rewarding the program was as well.

“It just makes their day,” said Rhonda Russell, who works in activities at Good Sam. Russell observed that first-graders in the first program in 1999 are now seniors.

“I see those kids and they remember coming to Good Sam,” Russell said. “Children are therapy. When the first-graders come to Good Sam, it just really, really means a lot.”