BELOIT - The School District of Beloit Board of Education will discuss a policy to create a Community Service Fund 80 at its 5 p.m. Tuesday special meeting to be held at the Kolak Education Center, 1633 Keeler Ave.
Although Fund 80 would allow the district to tax above current revenue limits and fund programming in the 2019-2020 school year and beyond, district officials said they can't say definitively what it will be used for until further discussion this summer. However, the idea of using it to fund daycare is a possibility and has been discussed informally.
At the special meeting this evening, Board of Education President Pam Charles said the board will be presented policy 662.2 for first reading. The policy, if passed, would allow the board of education to establish a Community Service Fund 80, "creating an opportunity for the district to provide additional educational opportunities for students and community," Charles said.
Although in earlier interviews former interim superintendent Tony Bosco said the district proposed raising $400,000 through Fund 80 to pay for after-school programming, on Monday Charles said no definite dollar amount has been approved for the Fund 80 and there are no plans approved for what programs will be provided.
"There are no concrete amounts yet. The exact proposals, including program plans and costs, would have to come to the board for approval prior to the adoption of the annual budget in October. I expect additional presentations and discussions throughout the summer. The first step is adopting this policy that would allow us to move forward," Charles said.
When asked what the funds would be used for, Charles said it would be determined after the board and administration discuss community needs.
"The board has not received any presentation on that at this time and we don't expect any presentation on dollar amounts until after the policy is presented, and it's unknown what specifically it will be used for," Charles said.
Superintendent Stanley Munro said the plans for the use of the Fund 80 may include but are not limited to the following: daycare facilities, educational programs to support senior citizens and the Beloit community.
Executive Director of Business, Human Resources and Operations JoAnn Armstrong said the Community Programs and Services Fund can be used for a multitude of purposes, some of which are: before and after school programming, community outreach programs, daycare, adult learning programs and recreational programs.
"Initial conversations regarding Fund 80 were focused on before and after school programming and had an estimated cost associated with it, however, until the district accepts the establishment of Fund 80 programming, we cannot comment on what programming will be offered and the funding amounts needed for such programming," Armstrong said.
Board member Megan Miller said use of Fund 80 has positive potential. If the district ensures it's making a net positive in the community and is fiscally sound, which she said she's confident it will, there will be good outcomes. She said it's a great mechanism to help the community with unmet needs and would help the district become a more active part of the community.
"This is a step in the right direction in increasing community partnerships," Miller said.
Miller said she had discussed the possibility of daycare facilities with Charles.
Despite board members being mum on what Fund 80 might be used for, Treasurer Kyle Larsen also said he had discussed the possibility of a daycare with Charles and Armstrong. Having a district daycare could help the community and strengthen early literacy efforts, he said, and could also be a perk for employees of the district, another way to compensate staff members.
A draft policy is being presented for first reading at the special board meeting tonight. Depending on the decisions made at that meeting, the policy could return for a second reading in August.