P-S Board Earmarks Projects For Credit For Kids

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The Pine-Strawberry School Board set aside $47,800 for music, computer, performance corps and ballfield-expansion projects Tuesday from the school's Credit for Kids fund.

Credit for Kids is a state law that allows residents to divert up to $200 of their state tax liabilities from the Department of Revenue to local school districts for extracurricular activities. Credit for Kids donations also can be claimed as charitable contributions on itemized federal tax returns.

Local residents donated $53,347 to Pine-Strawberry School last year, earmarking nearly $5,300 for specific programs. That left $48,100 to be spent on extracurricular activities at the school board's discretion.

The board asked teachers to submit written requests for the funds and allocated most of the money Tuesday based on those requests.

The board committed $4,913 to a new kindergarten strings program to promote early childhood development, board member Patty Horton said. The money will be used to buy child-size violins, music and other supplies, and the program, which will begin next semester, will be open to all kindergarten students.

The board also agreed to spend $13,091 on instruments, music and other supplies for the school's band, choir, general music, strings club and drama programs.

The board earmarked $8,165 for four new computers for the school's Library Club, which provides students with Internet instruction and access before school starts, and it committed $2,640 for the school's performance corps. The money for the school's performance corps, which includes the flag squad and dance club, will be used to buy uniforms and supplies, and to send students to flag and dance camps.

And finally, the board set aside $19,000 to buy land adjacent to the school, if it becomes available, to expand and upgrade the school's ballfields.

"Right now we're just looking into it," Horton said. "We wanted to set aside the money so that if something comes up we'll have money for a land acquisition."

Budget will be $1.64 million
In other business, the board unanimously adopted a $1.64 million budget, allowing the district to hire another full-time teacher and another part-time teacher, bringing the school's total number of teachers, including the principal, to 17.5.

The board also adopted a school calendar for the 1999-2000 school year.

All new teachers will report to school Aug. 12, all other teachers will report to work Aug. 13 and the first day of class for students will be Aug. 18.

The last day of school will be Friday, May 26 and four snow days have been built into the schedule.

"If we don't use all our snow days, we'll let our students out early," Horton said.

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