At a brief July meeting of the Lanesboro School Board on July 18, Superintendent Jeff Boggs updated the board on some more information affecting a possible operating referendum change.

Last month, Boggs explained he found additional funding the state was making available to schools. The program would offer schools a $212 per student match if the school increased their operating referendum to $300 per student.

Boggs said Lanesboro would have been able to pick up $45,000 a year in additional state aid. He shared further that would have allowed the school to lower their levy.

At the meeting that evening, Boggs said he had done further investigation into the program and discovered the program would only offer the $212 match to schools with enrollment greater than 2,000 students. According to Boggs, the program would be open for a five-year window.

"We could still jump in if the state would say they would provide it to smaller schools," Boggs stated.

He mentioned that if the school were to enter in the program anyway, they would only receive $2,900 additional dollars.

"That's a drop in the bucket compared to what we'd be asking our patrons for," Boggs said, stressing the importance of not raising the levy more than necessary.

Board chair Dave Ruen said the school had no proven need to approve a levy hike and suggested the board pass on the opportunity.

Boggs agreed saying there would be other opportunities for the board to capitalize on. "Large schools are getting a lot of money," Boggs said. He added that more students are going to school in metro areas than in greater Minnesota.

Personnel and food service

In personnel news, the board hired Riley Swier to teach physical education and health in both the elementary and secondary schools. Boggs said Swier would be able to coach as well.

The board also approved the hire of Chad Rich as the head cook. Boggs said Rich had a food management degree and a strong understanding of farm-to-school food programs and the relation of education and nutrition.

In related action, the board approved a 10-cent price increase on all school lunch prices except juice and milk. Boggs explained that the price increase was necessary to bring the school in line with the United States Department of Agriculture's requirements. He said the school would otherwise be going into the next year being below the minimum requirement. The increased prices would provide funding for those students who qualify for the free and reduced price lunches.

The board also approved the low milk bid from Ziebell's Hiawatha Food, Inc., from Winona, going with a company they were familiar with.

The board also approved the lone bread bid supplied through the Southeast Services Cooperative.