FEATURED PROGRAM -- April 24, 2012

Richard Conley, Superintendent
Boundary County School District

Dick Conley with President Wilma DeVore

Dick Conley spoke to the Rotary Club at the noon meeting on April 24th regarding the state of the Boundary County School District over the last nine months.  He also left some time for questions.

He stressed that he is blessed with great kids and a staff that work with you.  Spring sports are almost an everyday occurrence having been held in arrears because of the wet and cool weather.  In addition to the sports venue and the array of extra curricular activities available for the students, Dick also commented on the availability of the outstanding academic program often put at risk because of the constraints on financing.

The Superintendent stated that the District has a budget shortage of approximately $300,000.  Enrollment is down 130 students compared to last year, a reflection of the poor economy. Mnay families have relocated to North Dakota and other areas where employment opportunities are better.  When enrollment drops, funding is affected. The school district is in the throes of studying ways to save money keeping in mind that further reductions in academics reflects on the quality of education and the livelihood of the faculty and staff. Salary adjustments are not expected to materially increase in the near future.  Outside contracted food service is being considered, however, staff is concerned that they will loose their jobs.  The District has also lost approximately $330,000 of U.S.  federal government  money from funds generated from the Federal stimulus.  What money may be available from the federal and state government is earmarked for programs where it is needed the least and not for programs that matter, as for example, teachers and teacher salaries.

Dick commented that the District is not current with the state of the art when it comes to computers for every classroom, that the 4-day school week will stay because of savings. Enrollment continues to be the main problem, which  is the driver.  He thanked the school board for their continuing deliberations.