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ELC board OKs 2020-21 budget

By Staff | Apr 6, 2020

The Estherville Lincoln Central School Board met in special session Monday evening for the 2020-21 budget hearing and related matters, as well as passing a resolution in relation to the current shutdown of the school district.

The board approved the budget as presented.

“The board voted to keep the tax rate relatively stable for next year at $16.29686/1000 taxable valuation,” said ELC superintendent Tara Paul. “This is where the board will certify for FY21 and it will be no higher than this amount. The Department of Management may lower it on their end, but it will not be any higher than this amount.”

Paul said the shutdown hasn’t affected this year’s budget.

“At this time, there is no affect on the budget,” she said. “This does not mean that we won’t see any, just that the Department of Education, governor, and state elected officials are working through more pressing issues at this time. We have been in constant contact with the Department of Education and will continue to follow their guidance as it relates to educating our students and funding that education.”

The school board also approved its contract agreement with the ELC Education Association, which is the teachers’ union.

“This agreement is a 2 year agreement that states each ELC certified staff member will receive $1,200 dollar increase for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022,” Paul said. “The agreement also increases the base wage each year by removing the top step for two years. Year one is a 1.9 percent increase and year two is a 1.87 percent and approximately $121,000/year (for the school district).”

In other business, the board approved a pandemic response and emergency suspension of policy due to COVID-19. Paul explains it gives the district authority to close school if needed due to a pandemic without board approval. It also gives the district the authority to pay employees, as long as it’s allowed by the state.