Robin Klenk

Treasurer Robin Klenk reviews the five-year forecast during a Madison school board meeting.

MADISON TOWNSHIP -- Madison's Board of Education passed a resolution Wednesday night that allows for the hiring of substitute teachers with a minimum of a high school diploma, provided they pass a background check, obtain a substitute teaching license and have good moral character.

The resolution came after Senate Bill 1 temporarily waived the statewide requirement that substitute teachers have a bachelor’s degree.

Superintendent Rob Peterson said the provision will help alleviate the shortage of substitute personnel.

"We've had about 10 or 11 prospective substitute teachers who have come in and interviewed with us and we have another four interviews scheduled," he said. "Getting substitutes approved and getting their temporary license is a little bit of a process, so that takes a little while.

"But we are trying to get those things turned around as quickly as possible."

Treasurer Robin Klenk reviewed the district’s five-year forecast. Klenk said if the 6.9-mill levy that is up for renewal next year is passed, the district should be able to maintain a positive fund balance through fiscal year 2024.

"We're going to be OK for the next couple of years," Peterson said. "Hopefully, we can pass a renewal levy next year. We'll have that on the ballot next spring."

According to Klenk’s estimates, wages and benefits will make up approximately 84.8 percent of the district’s general fund expenditures for fiscal year 2022.

Benefits remain the district’s fastest-growing projected expense, particularly health-insurance costs.

Peterson and Klenk both said the district will likely have to put a new operating levy on the ballot, possibly around 2024.

"We have made cuts to the point where we can't cut anymore," Peterson said. "We need to increase revenue."

According to Peterson, the last time voters passed a new levy in the district was 1997.

"Obviously expenses have increased over that time," he said. "We've made cuts and tried to be good stewards with the community's money, but we need additional revenue."

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie@richlandsource.com