STMA board wants 2% reserve fund balance

The St. Michael-Albertville School Board wishes to increase the district’s reserve fund balance from 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

This is in anticipation that the district would need some of the reserve to fund future budgets. The board also approved the World’s Best Workforce, a long-term strategic plan to support and improve teaching and learning.



Supt. Jim Behle provided an update of the current budget and initial projections for the 2014-15 budget.

He said staff revised this year’s budget to show a surplus of $221,000, with a projected ending balance of $9.355 million and 2 percent of the general fund expenditures. Current board policy requires a 1.5 percent balance.

Behle said 2014-15 budget revenues have been difficult for staff to determine due to changes in the state’s funding formula. Behle said that he and finance director Ginny Verbrugge continue to work on preliminary revenues but have yet to determine revenue projections for special education, and hope to have that work completed soon.

As a result, Behle said end-of-year range comparison between revenues and expenditures ranges from a deficit of $250,000 to a net increase of $500,000.

Board members Doug Birk, Gayle Weber, Jeanne Holland, Carol Steffens and Jeff Lindquist discussed budget parameters and on what role they wish to play in determining budget reductions, if necessary.

The wished to stress the following points:

• Maintain a 2 percent fund balance for future years when the school district anticipates needing reserves to fund the budget.

• The board will set a budget level (parameter) at a future board meeting. Administration is to determine reductions or adjustments within the budget parameter and report changes to the board, with the board providing direction on significant changes on staffing affecting class size or structure (leaving the details to administration).

The board was expected to continue the next board meeting.




In other news, curriculum staff Ann-Marie Foucault, Teri Johnson and Jim Pothoff were present with an updated about the World’s Best Workforce plan, a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan to support and improve teaching and learning.

Foucault said the plan is intended to serve as a foundational document that aligns education initiatives that serve students pre-k through high school. Additional, it pulls from current district initiatives and plans and does not represent changes except in two areas; grade level achievement and benchmarks were established.

Pothoff reviewed how the benchmarks will serve as predictor of achievement on statewide assessments such as the ACT exam. In addition, he said the district would need to come up with a plan to address the outcome of all students being ready for kindergarten.

Foucault said the district would publish a report on plan results each fall, host an annual public meeting, periodically survey constituents about the level of satisfaction with the district, and submit an electronic summary of the report to the state commissioner of education. The full report is available on

The board approved the World’s Best Workforce as presented.

In other action, the board:

OPTED to remain with Wright Specialty for one more year (property and liability insurance) and would review the Minnesota Insurance Scholastic Trust (MIST) and the bid process in February 2015.