Program for January 25, 2016: Bobbie Hansen with BBB
Acting President Todd Poci: introduced guest Kim Warren. Mike Ruby announced the great news about the success of Polio eradication over the past 30 years with 1000 cases per day in 1985 and today 71 cases in all of 2015 with 52 in Pakistan and 19 in Afghanistan.  No one had any Happy News to share so Todd asked us to contribute in honor of Kelly Garvin's UGH'sKaren Diercks promoted the Trivia Night by showing the Fancy Table that will be raffled off for the Team desirous of sitting at that Fancy Table!! Trivia Night is January 31, 2016 at the Rendezvous from 4:30-7:00 pm!!
Program: Mary Wildermuth introduced Superintendent Jerry Riibe who discussed the ongoing Washington School Study. The Muscatine Community School District has more elementary schools than most district's our size and our school district enrollment is down 173 students this past year.  This equals 1.4 million in revenue to support the school district budget..  Over the last 7 years we have lost over 300 students from the district.  In the past a class was about 400 students, now the trend is 50 or so fewer. The County Birthrate is also dropping with 653 births in 2001 and 504 in 2014. About 65% of the births in Muscatine County end up in Kindergarten in Muscatine.  The good news is that of the students starting in Kindergarten we retain 95% of them through high school graduation.
The proposal currently is to move the students going to Washington into Franklin, McKinley and Jefferson. The final plan will be presented to the School Board in March.  It looks like 80% of the Washington Students would go to Jefferson and McKinley while the remaining 20% would attend Franklin.
Considerations in the study are: protecting the quality of the school district programs, helping families and children transition to the new school, providing transportation, improving our class size, and reducing the long term expenses to protect the educational programs.
Closing Washington it is estimated will save about $500,000.  Jerry noted that tough decisions are ahead as the district will need to find $1.4 million dollars in the budget.  He noted that we have already pretty much cut what we could without impacting the classroom.