Program for September 10, 2012: Friendship Exchange with British Columbia
Invocation by: Judi Holdorf

Guests on August 27,2012: Jose Alvidrez, Ann Petersen, guest of Bill Parks, Emily Smith Penny Jones, and Tim Bower.
Your Rotary Board: President, Kelly Garvin, Keith Porter, Sarah Ingstad, Secretary, Brooke Mehaffey, Treasurer ,Mike Ruby, Tony Joseph, Scott Ingstad, Steve Jameson and Mary Odell.

We sang Happy Birthday, recognized the big anniversary dates of several Rotarians belonging in excess of 40 years to our club!!  And we played pictionary at our tables!!
Rotary Club News:  Rotary Picnic will be at Tim and Debbie Nelson's on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 6:00 P.M. Bring your family and come join the fun!!  Tom Ward is about done with the plans for the Friendship Exchange.  He needs a larger 8 person multipassenger van for Saturday and Sunday, September 8th and 9th!! And 1 additional host family would be superb!!

NO Rotary on September 3, 2012!!

Program August 27, 2012: Bill Decker continued the conversation about the Instructional Support Levy. The special election is being held on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. Voters can cast absentee ballots or go to the polls.

Bill did a little review from last week's program and reminded us that without the ISL the Muscatine School District will not be able to continue to keep doing all the activities and programs that make our school district so viable.  Our district is property poor when compared to many others in the state.  The implementation of the ISL will increase the district's spending authority while reducing other portions of the current tax levy.  It will enable the district to have enhanced spending authority.

A majority of the meeting time was used to answer questions regarding the district's budget and where funds come from.  Majority of funds come from State Aid, Local Property taxes, grants and miscellaneous revenue.  The funding formula is based on the number of students enrolled in the district. Dropouts and open enrolled students who waiver out of the district
impact the financial picture negatively because they decrease funding which is based on the number of enrolled students.

Bill does not believe that taxes will go up when the ISL is implemented. He believes that they will stay the same or go down.  He stated this for school year 2013-2014 and 2015-2016.   In the future at some time a school board may be forced into raising taxes but not immediately.  There is accountability because the School Board has the authority to raise the levy or lower it.  Current plans are to levy at the same level and just enable the increase in spending authority.

Bill commented on the question regarding building onto Jefferson Elementary or remodeling or building a new facility and indicated that this would be discussed more in the immediate future.  We are in the process of renovating MHS and then will move to answering needs at Jefferson.

A handout was provided on the ISL and there will be several community meetings to clarify the ISL over the next week prior to September 11, 2012's Special Election.   The Muscatine Community School District website has information on the ISL and Bill asked that person's with questions call him!!

Remember to cast your ballot on September 11, 2012 or vote sooner by absentee ballot!!