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Mark Messman Superintendent, Eden Valley-Watkins Schools April 19 Update Legislative Committees: The House and Senate Edu- cation bills were released and heard last week. The short news is that the House bill contains more money. The House bill raises the pupil funding formula by 2 per- cent in year one and 2 percent in year two. The Senate bill raises the pupil funding formula by 1 per- cent in the first year and 0 percent in the second year. Both bills will fully fund all-day kindergarten in the second year (2014-2015 school year) of the biennium. These amounts make up the bulk of the new spendable revenue. Both bills will go through the finance and tax committees before going to the floor for a vote. Along the way, amendments are allowed and added, so the bills are constantly changing. Once off the floor, a conference commit- tee made up of members selected from both the House and Senate will meet to combine the two ver- sions into a single E-12 education omnibus bill. The bill returns to the House and the Senate floor for a vote and then goes to the gover- nor. Amendments are not allowed after the bill is out of conference committee. Strategic Planning: We'd like you to take part in the Eden Valley- Watkins School Dis- trict's Strategic Planning process. Strategic planning is an organiza- tion's process of defining its Strat- egy; or direction, and making deci- sions on allocating its resources. We have scheduled three com- munity meetings to take place on May 15, 22, and 29, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the High School Media Center to solicit your feed- back and values, as we develop our strategic plan. We would be happy to have you join us for refreshments and sandwiches as we shape the future for our school district. Please RSVP to Marsha Davidson in the District Office at (320) 453-2900 ext. 1142, if you would like to be involved. High quality schools for all children no matter the zip code: What happens if a family in one community pays $3.50 for a gal- lon of milk while another family in a neighboring community pays $10.507 What if the family pays three times as much for most of their everyday necessities? Obvi- ously, the quality of life for that family is greatly diminished. This scenario plays out today in schools all across Minnesota. Back in the 1980s, many school districts struggled to provide a quality education for their stu- dents. The state funding per stu- dent was inadequate, and schools were forced to rely on voter- approved school levies just to pro- vide the very basis. The taxpayer cost per levy dollar was based on the individual property wealth of a school district, those districts with significant commercial or industrial development held a dis- tinct advantage. The larger tax base lowered the cost for all. Tax- payers in districts with mostly res- idential development paid two or three times as much for each levy dollar, and were unable to sup- port sufficient levy revenue for their schools. As a result, Minne- sota's education system became one of "haves" and "have-nots," with the quafity of a c.hild's educa- tion dependbnt mainly upon their zip code. Educators accused the Legis- lature of not meeting its constitu- tional obligation to provide a "gen- eral and uniform" system of pub- lic schools. In the resulting 1991 lawsuit, the appellate court agreed that reform was needed when dif- ferences in school funding were based merely on the property wealth of each school district. The Legislature responded with sev- eral measures to reduce the dis- parities. One major change was the adoption of equalization, which is a match of state aid to make the cost of a levy dollar uni- form across the state. Over the next several years, the funding disparity between school districts in the top five percent and the lowest five percent shrunk from 35 percent to 19 percent. Unfortunately, the funding disparity has crept back up to 31 percent, mostly because the ero- sion of equalization has resulted in less levy revenue in low prop- erty wealth districts. Because the State Legislature hasn't adjusted equalization since 1993, resi- dents in some communities once again pay two or three times more for each levy dollar. For exam- ple, the state allows districts to have school levies up to $1,633 per pupil, and many do. The annual cost to a taxpayer per $100,000 of property value in a high property wealth school district for this levy amount is $151, while for residents and small business owners in the Eden Valley-Watkins district the cost escalates to $494. It is time to bring greater equity to our schools. Students today won't just compete against stu- dents in the next town or next state; they will compete against the entire world. All students must have equal access to a high qual- ity education regardless of where they live in Minnesota. Many leg- islators recognize the need to make school levies more afford- able in low property wealth dis- tricts. Contact your legislators today to say that increasing equal- ization must be part of the final budget agreement. This information is provided by Schools for Equitable Education, an association of 62 Minnesota School Districts, including the Eden Valley-Watkins district. SEE works to advocate for equity and adequacy in K-12 education fund- ing and policy. For more informa- tion, visit www.schoolsforequity. org. Senior of the Week: The EV-W School District would like to recognize DeAngelo James, son of Tom and Peg. DeAngelo has been very personabl e and out- going in the EV-W school setting as he welcomes many new students and staff to our appealing school climate. He is actively involved in the DECA program and also par- ticipates in many school plays. DeAngelo has established a solid work ethic as he's been employed by Cutco industries in the sales department. The EV-W admin- istration, faculty and staff are extremely proud of your accom- plishments. Congratulations! School menu EV men's softball Apr. 29-May 3 applesauce, milk. league needs Tuesday: Ham & cheese on a Breakfast WG bun or turkey BLT wrap, French . teams Monday: French toast sticks, sau- fries, baby carrots, radishes, melon, sage links, assorted juice cups, milk. diced pears, milk. Eden Valley men's softball league Tuesday: Pancakes, sausage Wednesday: Cheesebread is looking for teams to play on links, assorted juice cups, milk. dunkers w/marinara sauce or dell Wednesday and Thursday nights. Wednesday: Breakfast pizza, sub, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, Call Cory at (320) 249-1976, if inter- assorted juice cups, milk. oranges, milk. ested. Thursday: 3 donut holes, cheese Thursday: Soft-shell tacos or stick, assorted jnice cups, milk. crispy chicken salad w/ 2 garlic Eden Valley city Friday: Mini cinnis, cheese stick, toast, cinnamon churro, baby car- assorted juice cups, mile rots, broccoli, radishes, applesauce,, garage sale Lunch milk. Saturday, May 11, has been Monday: Chicken nuggets, gar- Friday. Corn dog or BBQ riblet, set for the Eden Valley city-wide lic breadstick or crispy chicken wrap, baked beans, cucumbers, baby car- mashed potatoes & gravy, cherry rots, peaches, milE garage sale. Contact Michelle tomatoes, broccoli florets, kiwi, Hanson at (320) 453-2368 to reg- ister, or e-mail your listing to t nmichelleh@live.com. A reply will WWWotrlCOUIItyIICW$11111 be sent to confirm receipt ofe-mail 0 registration. Deadline for registra- tion is Wednesday, May 8. Spon- sored by the Eden Valley Chamber of Commerce. EV-W presents 'Leaving Iowa' By Vicki Meyer Secondary Theatre Club Director The EV-W Drama Club will be presenting the comedy "Leav- ing Iowa" for their spring produc- tion. Public performances will be at 7:30-p.m. Friday and Sat- urday, May 3 and 4, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, on the EV-W High School Cafeteria Stage. Tickets will be sold at the door, Adults $5, Stu- ii:ii! dents and Senior Citizens $4. "Leaving Iowa" follows Don Browning as he takes a trip down memory lane while trying to find a suitable place to lay his father's ashes to rest. He re-lives all the family vacations that he spent with his parents and sister. The places they go and the people they see weave the story together to offer a humorous, touching play. Don is played by Kirby Knutson, with Patrick Latcham as Dad, Madi Field as Mom and Heidi Geislinger as Sis. The interesting characters they meet along the way are played by Nick Block, Evie Zadra, Travis Massicotte, Anne Benson, Carter Geislinger, Nathan Liter, Raven EV-W Drama Club will be presenting the comedy "Leaving Iowa" Koltes, Matt Benson, Tawner Cle- land-Schmitz, JaDyn Nohner, Jack May 3, 4, and 5 at the EVW High School Cafeteria. Here are pictured Bates, Emily Sieben, Erin Silo, Lily from left, Patrick Latcham Madi Field. Heldi Geislinger Kirby Knutson Yungen, Kaitlyn Gruber, Macken- during rehearsals. Submitted photo. zie Field, Ashley Deluliannie, Dyani Acosta, Justin Vannurden and Mor- gan Goetsch. Travis Massicotte is the student director and Middy Geilsinger and Nathan Utecht are the light and sound technicians. Valley Daze are coming soon Valley Daze will indeed come June 20-23. There wilt NOT be a parade this year (the Kiddie Parade WILL still happen) because of road construction. But many other events remain the same. There again will be a Thursday evening family kickoff in the park, and a Business Expo Friday and Saturday. The craft fair and the car & tractor show are still being held. And, naturally, tots of food, enter- tainment and fun for the whole family. The Valley Daze Committee is hard at work planning some new and exciting events for this year (in part to compensate for there being no parade this year). Watch for details here. Be sure to plan to come out and support Valley Daze, June 20-23! EV-W Drama Club will be presenting the comedy "Leaving Iowa" May 3, 4, and 5 at the EVW High School Cafeteria. Here are pictured from left, Madison Field, Heidi Geislinger, Kirby Knutson, Patrick Latcham during rehearsals. Submitted photo.