Budget approve, enrollment number released at board meeting


By Clara Osten,



Following  a budget hearing and special tax request hearing, the budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year for the Wayne Community Schools was approved.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan explained the budget hearing process and talked about specific parts of the budget, including the cash reserves, bond fund, building fund and general fund. He also told the board that the district's property valuation saw a nearly three percent increase.

Decreases in the bond fund are the result of the district refinancing bonds, which will result in a savings and the bonds being paid off early.

The budget does including adding to the district's cash reserves, as this fund has dropped below the recommended amount.

The total personal and real property tax requirement for the next fiscal year for the district is $10,496,697.00.

A resolution was read by District Attorney Eric Knutson prior to the approval of the tax request. This year's budget will result in a tax asking of $1.081691 per $100 of property valuation.

During Monday's meeting, Dr. Lenihan shared preliminary enrollment numbers for the district.

The total number of students served by Wayne Community Schools, including those in the birth to two years of age, is 994.

This includes:

Pre-K (three year olds) - 19 students;

Pre-K (four year olds) - 20 students for a total of 39 students at the Early Learning Center.

Kindergarten - 75 students;

First Grade - 69 students;

Second Grade - 55 students;

Third Grade - 87 students;

Fourth Grade - 57 students;

Fifth Grade - 80 students;

Sixth Grade - 74 students; for a total of 497 students at Wayne Elementary School.

Seventh Grade - 79 students;

Eighth Grade - 86 students;

Ninth Grade - 64 students;

Tenth Grade - 56 students;

Eleventh Grade - 78 students;

Twelfth Grade - 82 students; for a total of 445 students at Wayne Junior-Senior High School.

Board members approved on second reading the Wayne Community Schools Emergency Operation Plan (EOP).

Dr. Lenihan said the school had worked with the Wayne Police Chief, Wayne Fire Chief and Wayne County Emergency Manager to develop the plan. The Nebraska Department of Education is working to have a consistent plan for all districts across the state.

Dr. Lenihan also provided an update on the Nebraska Association of School Board (NASB) Strategic Plan. He said he is working on developing a strategic overview committee of 15-30 people and stressed the need for community involvement.

Board members said they felt there needed to be a number of community meetings at different times of the day, to allow for as much public input as possible.

The school has submitted the necessary paperwork for an ESSER III Grant.

The district is set to receive $820,884 to be used over the next four years. Among the items the district is planning to use the funds for are upgrades to the HVAC system at the elementary school, technology and staffing of the summer school and after school programs.

During board committee reports, Foundation Director Brandon Foote reported that the recent Murray Fishing Tournament had raised $13,000 for the Foundation and the  staff giving for the Foundation was $15,000.

The Wayne Community Schools Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. in the junior-senior high school.