Clubs School funding topic of Democrats' meeting

Co-chair Allen Johnson opened the Jan. 12 noon meeting at the Valiant Vineyards Winery and noted that co-chair Berwyn Svoboda was vacationing in Fond du Lac, WI this week. Allen announced that Professor Elizabeth Smith, political science, USD, will be the main speaker at the Feb. 9 Democrat meeting, and that the next Central Democrat Committee meeting will be held in Pierre on Feb. 5.

Maxine Johnson welcomed Lisa Swanson, past Vermillion Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) president, and Judy Zwolak, chair of the Vermillion PTA opt-out committee, as the primary speakers for the Jan. 12 meeting. Swanson and Zwolak, with the help of the power point presentation and a handout, outlined the funding sources for the Vermillion Public School District budget.

They pointed out that the amount of money the state allows per student has not kept up with the increased costs of utilities, text books, salaries, health insurance, etc. and will result again in a budget cut ($350,000 for 2005-06). Since a district is permitted to increase funds over the property tax caps set in 1996 with an opt-out, a successful vote will not decrease the per student state allocation.

Suffice it to say, that the $350,000 in budget cuts will have a negative effect on the quality of education offered in the Vermillion School District. Therefore, the Vermillion School Board will put the opt-out vote on the ballot on March 15.

Dr. Mark Froke, school superintendent, was at the Feb. 12 meeting and participated in the lively discussion following the presentation by the two PTA speakers.

Meckling Livestock delivers meals

On Dec. 21, the Meckling Livestock 4-H Club met at the Clay County Extension building. Elizabeth Bye led us in the pledge of allegiance. Allison and Andrew Heine were hosts. Our roll call topic was: �What do you want for Christmas?�

Elizabeth Bye read the secretary�s report. Gerrit Heine gave the treasurer�s report.

We collected money for the giving tree. We talked about the letter that we had written to Virginia congratulating her on her retirement and thanking her for all she did for 4-H. It was announced that senior members could apply for the national 4-H event awards trip. Applications were due at the beginning of January.

We also announced that shooting sports would start on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. in the 4-H building. We set up a schedule for delivering Meals on Wheels Dec. 27-31 and discussed new business.

Demonstrations included Allison Heine � winter driving safety kit; and Andrew Heine � how to pack a healthy lunch.

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