2016 March Superintendent Message
The Nebraska Unicameral session is halfway through the 2016 legislative session. Many bills have been introduced to try and address the increased valuation of agricultural land, curb spending of government entities and change the budgetary guidelines that government entities follow. Our district has seen a decrease in the amount of state aid through the TEOSSA formula from a high in 2007-2008 of $2,365,609.14 to a low of $1,170,433.14 for this current school year. This is a difference of $(1,195,176.00). We are no longer an equalized district for purposes of the TEOSSA formula because of the increased value of agricultural land. I do however want to give you some other figures. In school districts of our size, we are compared with the ten schools above our population and ten schools below our population. Of these 21 school districts, our school’s General Fund Operating Expenditures per Student is less than the average and we rank in the middle of the 21 schools. The growth of our General Fund has averaged 1.77 percent over the past six budget years. The new state aid figures have been released and we are fortunate that the amount that was certified to our district increased by $39,930.52. While it is not a windfall, it is also not a decrease of which we are thankful. If you have any questions on the budget, TEOSSA, or how any of the legislative bills will affect our district, please give me a call or stop by my office.
The third nine weeks of the 2015-2016 school year ends on March 10th. It seems impossible that we can be that far into the school year, but we are. School will dismiss at 11:30 on March 10th. This month, on March 9th, students will be inducted into the National Honor Society. I want to congratulate these students as well as all of our students who have worked hard this year academically and in extra-curricular activities.
In the next few months students will be taking assessment tests. It is very important that they get an extra amount of sleep the night before the tests. It is also important for parents to inform their children how important assessment tests are as they give the school and state information as to our students’ progress. It is very important for you to encourage your kids to do as well as they can on the upcoming state assessments. Students perform better when they receive encouragement from home. Encouragement can go a long way in making every day better for a child. Our school will be evaluated with the states accountability system called AQuEST much in part based upon how our students do on the NeSA state assessment tests.
In March I will be working with the students, staff and school board in establishing goals for Hershey Public School. It is very important to set goals so that everyone has a focus on what will be important educationally for our students in the future. We will be having a school board work session on March 9th to discuss Hershey School goals. During the work session the board will review the priorities that the student council and staff came up with and then they will establish their priorities for the future.
March 1st is Nebraska Teacher Recognition Day. Let the teachers know you appreciate the hard work they do in educating the children of the Hershey School District.
Have a great month!
Mrs. Jane Davis, Superintendent