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509-J School District in the black

Officials surprised to find $40,000 balance after miscalculation
SCHOOL BOARD
   The 509-J School District will be getting another school police officer, thanks to a grant received by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
   At Monday night's school board meeting, Supt. Riley announced, "Chris Elliott, has already been hired as the officer by the Tribes at no cost to the 509-J District." The officer will work part-time at Jefferson County Middle School and part-time at Warm Springs Elementary, Riley added.
   More good news was reported as Riley apprised board members of the current budget situation. This year, due to past miscalculations about enrollment, the 509-J District experienced budget troubles and had to have schools cut back on hiring and spending.
   "We're estimating an ending cash balance of over $40,000 for this year. It's not large, but we hope it's consistent," Riley said, noting it was good to have the budget in the black again.
   However, he also told the board there could be a potential revenue loss from the state, which is also experiencing budget problems and currently deciding where to cut back.
   Riley said a notice was received of a possible average loss to school districts of $464 per student, which would translate to around $1.7 million for the 509-J School District.
   Riley urged board members to contact their legislators and ask them not to cut funds from the Oregon Department of Education.
   "If we take that cut ($1.7 million), and with our payment next year to Warm Springs, it would be devastating," Riley said, referring to a lease payment owed to the Tribes for the building of the new school in Warm Springs. The exact amount isn't known yet, but will be between $250,000 and $400,000, Riley said.
   The district will be joining in Operation Recognition, a statewide effort to recognize World War II veterans who had to leave for war without receiving their high school diplomas.
   Riley said some kind of ceremony would be held to present diplomas to area vets from that era.
   The resignations of longtime MHS teacher Steve Hills and Warm Springs teacher Karen Adams were approved. Both will officially retire in December, but finish out the year under temporary contracts.
   Following an hour-long work session and report by district auditor Steve Greer of Bend, the board approved the 2000-2001 audit unanimously. A copy of the audit will be sent to the state.
   In regards to the Impact Aid Hearing held at the last board meeting, Riley noted the points made by the Tribal Education Committee had been discussed at a 509-J Administrative Council meeting and the group will be working with Julie Quaid to implement many of the suggestions.
   An Oregon Community Foundation grant of $5,000 was accepted by the board. The funds will be used to extend the amount of time School Resource Officer Dave Allison has to work with students on career and prevention classes.