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Dear Parents, Students, and Community,

State Speech Success

AC/GC Large Group Speech students traveled to Valley High School to compete in the IHSSA State Large Group Speech Contest on Saturday, February 5. All eight groups had advanced from District competition and they continued to shine at State. Four groups received straight I’s from their three judges including Radio News - KROM, Group Improv - Team Carlson, Musical Theatre - Come From Away, and One Act - Howard Carter Just Didn’t Really Matter Anymore, You Know?. Group Mime - May The Fores Be With You - earned an overall Division I rating. Ensemble Acting - Slow Songs Make Me Puke and Choral Reading - The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire earned an overall Division II rating and Group Improv - Team McClain - earned straight Division II’s. 

Wrestlers Move On

Three wrestlers are moving on from Sectional Competition to Districts. Teagan Slaybaugh (113) and Gavin Sloss (120) won their respective weight classes. Dawson Muller (160) finished runner up and will also advance to districts on Saturday, February 12, at Underwood. 

Legislative Advocacy

The legislature has been in session for close to a month. A number of bills have made it out of committee that will impact public education, if passed. First and foremost, are bills associated with State Supplemental Aid (SSA). The Governor proposed a 2.5% increase in SSA that does not include formula equity or additional transportation funding. The Senate bill, SSB 3090, sets the SSA increase at 2.25% including property tax relief payment, adds another $10 per pupil toward formula equity and specifies that the appropriation to the transportation equity fund is the amount needed for full funding at the state average. The House bill provides for a 2.5% increase to include property tax relief payment, specifies that the appropriation to the transportation equity fund is the amount needed for full funding at the state average, and adds $5 per pupil toward formula equity. 

Adequate funding for our schools is imperative for us to continue to provide exceptional education for our students. Schools must be able to offer competitive wages to retain and recruit staff. While our operational costs such as salaries, utilities, fuel, and supplies continue to increase at inflationary rates (current Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate is 7%), schools continue to receive less than 3% increases. In fact, SSA has only been greater than 2.5% once in the past twelve years. 

Because the SSA increase is per pupil, districts do not always receive more funding when the legislature increases SSA. For example, in the current fiscal year 2022, the legislature appropriated an increase in SSA of 2.4%, or $179 per pupil, for a total allocation of $7,227 per pupil. For districts with declining enrollment, they gain $179 per student attending but lose $7,227 for each student who left the district (via graduation, open enrollment, or moving out of the district). At Adair-Casey, our budget enrollment from FY21 to FY22 dropped from 297.4 to 295.2, resulting in negative new money of $13,769. In three of the past five years, A-C has actually received less money than the previous year. At Guthrie Center, the Budget Guarantee, a one-year fail-safe, has allowed us to only have one year in the last five of negative new money. For FY23, A-C will see an increase because of increased enrollment, however, GC has seen a reduction in budget enrollment (due to a large graduating class and smaller kindergarten class and families choosing to homeschool) and will receive negative new money. 

Consistently low SSA has resulted in districts falling behind. Additional talking points regarding SSA can be found on the Rural School Advocates of Iowa (RSAI and Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB websites.  Please contact your legislators and encourage them to adequately fund our schools.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences are coming up the week of February 14th. Parents are asked to sign up for conference times with your teachers. We will not have school on Friday, February 18, or Monday, February 21st. 

Snow Make-up

Due to the Snow Day on January 14, we will move back the last day of the third quarter to March 18 and the last day of school to May 25. 

Charge up!

Dennis McClain, Superintendent

AC/GC Schools

Be great today!