Wednesday, January 28, 2015


On Wednesday January 21, 2015, Eric Bixby, Scott Bruns and I went before the School Budget Review Committee to present North Butler’s Corrective Action Plan. At the end of our opportunity to present, the SBRC decided to table our plan until their April 8 meeting. Our plan was not denied.

During discussion with the SBRC, it was brought to note by the liaison from the Department of Education that there were some discrepancies between our numbers and those that the DE had. These were not sizeable discrepancies, but they were different nonetheless. Several times, the liaison also stated that the documents that we sent showed that we would have a negative balance for the next four years. This was debated at length, as we believe that the documents show that we will be positive at the end of FY 16. As this is the case, I have been seeking clarification on what they are seeing that leads them to believe that this is the case.

At this time I am very confident that our CAP will be accepted at the April meeting. Regardless of what happens at the SBRC, the board-approved reductions that are in the CAP have to occur in order to get our district back to sound financial footing. The only question that is really in play at this time is whether the SBRC will give us the Modified Supplemental Growth that will assist in bringing us out of the negative.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Public Input on School Funding

Go here to have your voice heard on school funding.

Schools need 6% Supplemental State Aid, we have been underfunded for too long!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Timely and Adequate School Funding-Letter to our legislators

This morning I sent the following letter to our local legislators. I would encourage you to follow up with our state representatives and state senators, and ask them to provide a timely and adequate funding for our schools.

I believe that it is time that we adequately and properly fund Iowa schools. Governor Branstad and the House Republicans have suggested Supplemental State Aid (SSA) of 1.25% for FY 16, and 2.45% for FY 17. 1.25% for FY 16 would give North Butler Community Schools a total of  $96,459, and the 2.45% for FY 17 would be $127,389. I do not believe that those totals would be adequate.

As with any other entity, schools are dealing with increased costs of doing business. The amount of SSA that is suggested in these initial proposals will not cover the increased costs of doing business, and will most likely lead to teaching positions being reduced, and programs for our students being reduced, as well as an increase in property taxes.

The governor and the legislature have been preaching “World Class Schools” for the last several years. How are we to develop “World Class Schools” in Iowa when we continue to underfund K-12 education. The state is asking us to provide “Cadillac” education while funding us at “Yugo” prices. I have seen data where political rhetoric says that education funding has increased 18% over the past 4 years or so. Where is that funding? Most of it is tied to programs, and can only be used for categorical items, such as the Teacher Leadership and Compensation package.

In our district, just to give teachers step and lane on the salary schedule would cost us over $55,000. That is not even a cost of living raise for these people. I believe that our teachers deserve to be compensated fairly for the job that they do. They work hard, put in many extra hours, and spend their own money to ensure that the needs of their students are met.

At a time when we should be adding STEM programs, Project Based Learning, and other programs to meet the needs of our students and a changing world, we should be funding our schools adequately. We believe that a 6% increase in SSA for each of the next 2 years would be appropriate. We also believe that school funding and SSA should be set on time as required by law. The SSA for FY 16 should have been set a year ago, and SSA for FY 17 should be set in the next 22 days.

Thank you for your service to our state,


Joel Foster, Superintendent

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rural School Advocates of Iowa-Call to Action

Follow the included link to the RSAIA call to action in regards to timely and adequate school funding in Iowa. RSAIA-Call to Action

Funding levels will continue to effect our staffing levels and our programs that we are able to offer; this includes transportation and activities as well as our regular curricular programming.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Board Notes 1/12/15

Last evening the North Butler Board of Education took the following actions:
1. Approved the FY 14 Audit Report
2. Appointed Jon Moellers to the Floyd County Assessors board and Scott Bruns to the Butler County Assessors board
3. Approved changes to calendar-March 26th will now be a student day due to make up from weather. That PD day will not be made up at this point due to the arbitrator’s decision on the calendar/contract.
4. Repealed/will not offer early retirement plan for classified staff.
5. Approved Amanda Kampman as HR/business office asst., with position to be shared with Clarksville.
6. Approved Nikkole Hewitt as substitute teacher
7. Approved 28E agreement with Clarksville for HR position (See number 5)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Board Agenda for Monday 1/12/15

North Butler Community Schools
Monthly Board Meeting January 12, 2015
North Butler Middle School - Media Center, Allison 6:30 PM
Tentative Agenda
1.     Call to Order
2.     Review and Approve Agenda
3.     Review and approve minutes from 12/8/2014 meeting.
4.     Financial Reports
5.     Public Items of Discussion
6.     Board Items of Discussion
A.    Calendar issues
B.    Track Bid Date
C.    SBRC meeting 1-21-15
D.    Summer Projects
7.     Presentation of/Approve Audit report for FY 14
8.     Accept NBEA first proposal in regards to negotiations for 15-16
9.     Appoint member to assessors board
10.  Approve calendar changes due to weather/arbitration
11.  Discuss/Approve early retirement policy for Classified staff
12.  Human Resources
a)     Personnel recommendations
13.  28-E agreement with Clarksville for HR/business office secretary.
14.  Administrative reports
15.  Adjournment

Monday, January 5, 2015

Late Start Tuesday January 6

North Butler Schools will have a 2 hour late start on Tuesday January 6th due to inclement weather.

Today's Weather-1/5/15

Due to the forecasted inclement weather North Butler is canceling all evening activities for today, including MS and HS practices.