Lions learn of school budget woes, opt-out

Lions learn of school budget woes, opt-out President Barbara Campbell opened the Thursday, Nov. 18, meeting of the Vermillion Lions Club and welcomed Lisa Swanson, past Vermillion PTA president and Judy Zwolak, Vermillion legislative chair for PTA, as the main presenters for the evening meeting.

The Vermillion PTA is in support of an opt-out for the Vermillion Public School District, and with the help of a slide presentation and a handout, Swanson and Zwolak explained the reasons for the anticipated $350,000 budget shortfall for the 2005-2006 school year. They noted, for example, that the state provides a certain amount of dollars for each student but that this amount has not kept up with the rising costs of utilities, text books, salaries, health insurance, etc.

However, a district is allowed to increase funds over the tax caps set in 1996 with an opt-out and a successful opt out vote will not lower the state's per student allocation. School Superintendent Dr. Mark Froke was present at the meeting and also participated in the discussion following the presentation by Swanson and Zwolak.

Jack Doyle reported on the Lions Pancake Days held a the Vermillion Armory on Oct. 14-15. Even though there was a decrease in the number of people attending the days compared to last fall, an increase in receipts occurred because of the increase in ticket prices this fall. A special thanks was extended by Doyle to all of the Lions who helped to make this a most successful event.

Gloria Christopherson announced that the Lions Christmas party will be held on Dec. 16 and to let her know if you plan to attend.

The Beresford Lions Club 50th anniversary will be celebrated on Dec. 4, and a number of Vermillion Lions are planning to attend the celebration.

The Vision Committee's request for funds to repair an individual's glasses was approved, and the board at their November meeting approved three donations (South Dakota Lions Eye Bank, Special Olympics, and South Dakota Lions Video).

Richard McBride reminded all present that Lion Bill Farber was named an honorary member of the International City/County Management Association at their annual conference in San Diego, Oct. 17-18.

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