The River Falls Board of Education met on July 19 and was joined by Representative Shannon Zimmerman of district 30.
School board members were able to discuss with Zimmerman different budgetary decisions and opportunities from the state. One of the questions asked by the board was if it was reasonable to expect a “catch-up” amount of per pupil funding. Zimmerman responded by stating that excluding federal funding, River falls received 2.7% over the last budget cycle. Including federal funds, it was 16.5%.
Another question brought up by the board was about the state’s “rainy day” funds, or the state’s unallocated money. When including federal funds, schools have more money than they ever have before, explained Zimmerman. “Right now, in this moment, I see nothing so adverse as to warrant an action to go get additional money,” said Zimmerman. “There already are additional committed monies.”
There are a lot of different facets the government has to consider when distributing funds, including things like health care and infrastructure.
President of the board, Stacy Johnson Myers, said the board is appreciative of the federal government for allotting money for unanticipated costs, such as masks, but much of that money is already gone and used for those unanticipated essentials during the pandemic.
“It’s imperfect on its best day and it’s hard,” Zimmerman said about the formulas for distributing state funding.
After concluding the conversation with Representative Zimmerman, the school board approved changes to the Meyer Middle School, River Falls High School and Renaissance Academy handbooks as well as approved the completed River Falls eSchool handbook.