In last week's newspapers was an AP article saying the State Legislature had passed a bill authorizing that school districts could once again use up to five calamity days per school year. Most of us call them snow days. The piece of legislature was House Bill 36. It was considered an emergency measure meaning it takes effect as soon as the Governor signs it. That means it will apply to the current 2010-2011 School Year.
Schools use to have a total of five calamity days to use each year without having to make up any time at the end of the school year. However that changed to three days this year and next school year it was going to be zero calamity days. That meant that every snow day was going to have to be made up, either at the end of the school year or by shortening holiday breaks.
For curiosity sake we called Wellsville School District (WSD) Superintendent Rich Bereschik last Friday to see how HB36 would effect the city schools. Mr. B informs us that when Governor Kasich signs the bill Wellsville will only have two days to make up. So far Wellsville has used seven days this school year for snow or icy conditions. We understand the Governor hasn't signed the bill yet but we imagine it's only a matter of time. It was one of his campaign pledges.
In other WSD news we understand the district is going to experience a 2.31% budget cut next year. According to a Tom Giambroni newspaper article Wellsville currently receives $5.95 million in state funding. State funding accounts for 56% of the district's annual budget and will drop to $5.81 million next year. Mr. Bereschik advises the district will lose $236,000 in annual income over the next two year budget period. That amount includes the loss of the Federally funded stimulus money that ends this year.
Lastly, school officials have opted to have Level 1 environmental testing done on the old Sterling China property they have their eyes on. Guess it could be said to be the “better safe than sorry” logic. The Sterling China property was an industrial site. It was announced at the April 1 Special BOE meeting that the district had reached an agreement to purchase an approximately two acre lot located directly behind the High School that has a 30x60 metal building situated on it. At that time they were waiting for a survey and title search to be completed before closing the deal. An environmental test will eliminate any liability should something hazardous be found before taking ownership of the lot. The agreed upon price for that parcel of land is $20,000.
The next regularly scheduled BOE meeting is Monday, April 18, at 6:30 PM in the Superintendent's Office. That office is located at 929 Center St.