Ticket prices up and down
The Blue Earth Area School Board did some tinkering with numbers at their meeting last Monday night.
They made changes to the prices of both the admission to school events and to the cost of school lunches.
But, instead of an across the board increase or decrease, the board tinkered with the numbers, raising some prices and lowering others.
In fact, they did away with one ticket price altogether. That is the one for Blue Earth Area students to attend home games.
“We want our students to come to the games, so we are recommended they be able to get in free,” BEA superintendent Evan Gough told the board. “We feel it is the right thing to do.”
K-7 students will get in free with a paying adult, Gough explained He also recommended that tickets for students (not accompanied by an adult or not from BEA) and adult tickets be raised by $1 each to $5 and $7 respectively.
“It is possible our revenue may stay the same, despite having the free admission,” Gough said. “We think it could increase our attendance of both students and adults at games.”
The presentation on the changes to the school lunch and breakfast program was a bit more complex.
Gough explained that the district is required to be in line with a certain price as set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) because of the federal free and reduced lunch and breakfast program.
“They want us to have a weighted average price of $2.70 per meal,” Gough explained. “We don’t here at BEA. Our weighted average price for lunch is $2.30. So we have to raise our prices.”
However, the superintendent said the USDA does not require the district to raise it all the way to $2.70, but to at least raise it by 10 cents on average.
“We decided to make that 10 cent increase by setting some of our lunch prices higher, some lower, and still get the overall 10 cent hike,” Gough said. “We wanted to get our lunch prices for different grades more in line.”
In order to do that, the district will be raising the lunch price for K-5 grades by 15 cents, decreasing the cost for grades 6-7 by 5 cents and increasing the price for grades 8-12 by 10 cents.
“This all balances out to an average increase of 10 cents so we meet USDA requirements,” Gough said. “We are also going to slightly lower the price for breakfasts for grades 6-7 and leave the price for grades 8-12 the same.”
The board also tinkered with several other numbers during the meeting.
They voted to raise the pay for substitute teachers to $125. They also raised the out-of-state tuition rate from $5,831 per year to $5,948 for non-Minnesota students.
The board also voted to renew their membership with the Minnesota School Board Association at a cost of $5,200.
One number the board did not tinker with was their own reimbursement for being on the School Board.
School Board members receive $50 per meeting, and $70 for a full day meeting. In addition, the board chair, clerk and treasurer each receive $300 per year.
The board discussed raising the amounts, but in the end tabled any decision until next month.
“It hasn’t ever been raised as long as I’ve been on the board, and that’s been 10 years,” said Frankie Bly. No one was quite sure when the board pay had last been increased.
In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the School Board:
Passed a motion to hire Craig Van?Kley, a retired staff member, as a consultant to administer various tests throughout the school year. The contract calls for no more than 40 days during the school year.
Welcomed back former School Board member Jesse Haugh who had previously served nine years on the board.
Haugh was appointed to fill out part of board member Lori Frisk-Thompson’s term, until the next election.
Frisk-Thompson had resigned due to change in her work schedule.