Humboldt School Board discusses allowable growth

DAKOTA CITY – The Humboldt Community School Board approved a resolution asking the Iowa House of Representatives and the governor to support a 4 percent allowable growth measure Monday.

A measure approve a 4 percent increase in allowable growth passed the Iowa Senate, but would require action by the Iowa House of Representatives. Gov. Terry Branstad has called for education reform legislation before they consider such funding.

Humboldt Superintendent Greg Darling said a 2 percent increase was allowed last year and zero percent the previous year.

“Four percent for us right now is approximately $270,000. If we don’t get that, we will be $270,000 less. That’s just the minimum,” he said. “Allowable growth is the amount the state and local pay the school for each student. We can’t spend more than that. That’s the problem. Right now it’s $6,000, we can’t spend more than that. So if they don’t increase it we can’t spend more money for kids, with the price of living what it is, for textbooks, heating, cooling, so if we don’t get that we have to reduce other things, programs, teachers, stuff like that.”

In other business, the board was updated on the Crisis Prevention Intervention program by staff members Mark Wenzel and Brenda McCartan.

The district is receiving training through the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency, Wenzel said.

The program focuses nonviolent intervention to de-escalate a situation when someone is compulsive or violent. The main goals are training staff in effective techniques in reducing tension and to help staff address their own anxieties.

Darling said he liked the program’s nonviolent approach.

“Our goal is to have everyone trained within the next couple of years” he said.

The board also approved the purchase of new lockers for the high school from Iowa Direct Equipment and Appraisal of Cedar Falls.

All of the high school lockers are being replaced and 100 more are being added at a cost of $54,964.

“I feel good about the bid, on our facility planning this is about $30,000 less than what we has planned for in the project,” Darling said.

Additionally, Kyle Kaluender was sworn in as a member of the board. A Humboldt resident, Kaluender serves on the Iowa State Patrol out of the Fort Dodge office. He and his wife have three children enrolled in Humboldt schools and their oldest son graduated from Humboldt last year.

Kaluender replaces Jennifer Berte, who resigned from the board in January.