The Carson City School Board was told Tuesday the district faces a $1.5 million deficit for the 2018 fiscal year.
Director of Fiscal Services Andrew Fueling informed the board of the change. Originally, the district would only be facing a $500,000 deficit however the necessity of new teaching materials and possible additional busing added nearly $600,000. However, those purchases haven’t been approved yet. Some separate budget items may still be covered with grants or legislative changes. The board however won’t know until later in the year final changes and costs.
Fueling said the general fund will see a balance of 25.1 percent by the end of fiscal year 2017 and a projected balance of 24.6 percent by the end of fiscal year 2018.
The district also saw an increase of $700,000 in additional revenue with the number of students. With the increase they were able to hire additional staff at Carson Middle School, Fremont Elementary and Borderwich-Bray Elementary. The district also was able to add groundskeepers for the district.
The board also approved two new learning materials for middle school science and high school math.
The board approved the “Amplify Science” online text for sixth to eighth graders. It is $260,000 project that the district can use for seven years. Because it is all online based the company can continually update the program as curriculum and standards change. The text also is downloadable so students can use the textbook when not connected to the internet.
Trustees also approved the “Glencoe McGraw-Hill” textbook for high school geometry, Algebra I and II; and the “Pearson Blitzer Pre-Calc 6th Edition” for trigonometry and pre-calculus. It will cost $290,000 for the district.
Part of the general fund also may go toward the benefits and salaries of the school social workers. Currently, the 16 social workers are contracted by the district on a grant, but they are looking to make them full-time employees.
If the motion passes, the cost would be about $1.2 million.
Vice President Ryan Green, however, questioned the difference between the job of the social workers and school counselor.
Trustee Ron Swirczek argued that a social worker has the added advantage of being able to go out in the community. He cited the recent death of a Carson High School student saying the social workers were able to be at the hospital working with the students.
Several students also were honored at the meeting Tuesday for the American Citizen Essay. Nine students from the elementary, middle and high school levels were chosen as the winners of the essay contest.
Two hundred and thirty two students from each level wrote an essay based on the prompt “We are the people and what that means to me.”
The winners received a cash prize from Wells Fargo and the first-place winner from each level read their essay to the board.
The winners talked about how we the people means honor for the military, how the meaning has changed since the country’s founding and how Americans demonstrate the power of love.
“It is a phrase that means a thousand things in just three words,” said Ethne Myler, an eighth grader at Carson Middle School.