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School board passes land swap agreement with Lennox

The Tea Area School District passed a memorandum of understanding between the district and the Lennox School District at its Sept. 9 meeting.

Superintendent Jennifer Lowery presented the proposal to the board. She noted board members Conrad Pick and Todd Irvine, along with business manager Chris Esping, operations manager Wayne Larsen and Lowery, sat on the land committee. The property that Tea Area would move into the Lennox district include four properties owned by Poppens LLC and one property each owned by Neeman and Herman.

The property that Lennox would move into the Tea Area district is the property owned by Stone Lake Prop LLC, Wallenstein and USA Game, Fish & Parks. Those properties are across the gravel road from the school and one is on the edge of the Burma Addition.

They held the second reading of the 2020 budget. Business manager Chris Esping noted a total deficit spending of $366,806 due to a shortfall in projected student enrollment. As of the meeting, the district had 1,960 students enrolled in the district, compared to the 2,006 that was projected. She noted they receive funding of $5,781 per student from the state. Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said their total student number could change by count day Sept. 29.

Esping’s suggested plan to reduce the deficit is to not hire a transportation manager, no wellness extra duty position, no senior excellence extra duty position, fund balance growth and one time funds of $70,000. With those measures, the deficit would be reduced to $199,059.

The board approved the adoption of the budget on a roll call vote.

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