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Grinnell-Newburg October 29 Update For Board of Education, Staff, Families, and Friends:

Happy Friday! This Sunday many families will head out to trick or treat between the hours of 6-8 pm here in Grinnell. Be safe, and enjoy your weekend activities.   

We wish our Tiger Football team the best of luck as they head out of town to play in the first round of the Playoffs against West Delaware at 7:00 PM. Go Tigers!  

This past week the facilities Ad Hoc committee met to review the facilities audit and to reflect on future plans for our school facilities. The presentation by CMBA and Boyd Jones can also be found on the facilities page of the district website.   

Election Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Here is a FAQ on the revenue purpose statement that will be on the ballot for Tuesday’s election. Please be sure to turn the ballot over to vote. We hope that this will assist in explaining the complex language that is seen on the ballot.  

What is a Revenue Purpose Statement?

A Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) is a ballot measure that describes how school districts can spend SAVE funds that the State of Iowa has dedicated to public schools.

Will this raise taxes?

No, this will not raise taxes. Approving the Revenue Purpose Statement will allow the district to access future SAVE funds, but it will not change the sales tax rate.  The one-cent sales tax that funds SAVE will be collected across the state regardless of whether or not this measure is approved. The vote is in regards to how the district utilizes these funds.

What is the measure called on the ballot?

The Revenue Purpose Statement is called “Public Measure SF” on the back of the ballot

Summary of the proposed Revenue Purpose Statement:

  • To provide technology infrastructure
  • Build or furnish new buildings
  • Purchase or Lease buildings, equipment, technology, transportation
  • Other purchases as allowed
  • The District’s Facilities Committee provides ongoing input to the board about various projects as they come up. 

Full RFP Language

What will it take to pass?

A simple majority of voters (50% +1) is required to extend an existing RPS or approve a new one. 

What is the SAVE fund?

SAVE stands for Secure an Advanced Vision for Education.  This is often referred to as the penny tax or 1 cent sales tax fund.  School districts utilize SAVE funds to specifically support infrastructure, transportation, and technology needs.  If voters approve the RPS in November, Grinnell-Newburg will continue to be able to spend SAVE funds as Iowa law allows for the duration of the fund.  You can visit this site to learn more about SAVE.

Why is it important now?

  • The longer borrowing window allows for projects to be completed earlier, benefitting today’s and tomorrow’s students. 
  • Interest rates are at historic lows, making the state penny revenues go further toward meeting facility, technology and bus equipment needs. 
  • Investments in school facilities also help school districts to attract and retain quality staff, otherwise in short supply in many rural districts. 
  • Obligating the future funds now effectively protects them for schools to prevent a future legislature from “scooping” the future funds for another purpose.

How has the Grinnell-Newburg CSD used SAVE in the past?

  • Technology Leases (1:1 devices for students and staff), Streaming services, WiFi upgrades
  • Bus Leases and other transportation vehicles
  • HS Parking Lot, Roof, Masonry, Electrical & Mechanical Upgrades, Siding, Bleachers, Track resurfacing, Tennis Courts
  • MS Heat Pumps, Boiler Updates, Electrical & Mechanical Upgrades, Bleachers, Carpet
  • Bailey Park Roof, Masonry
  • Davis Roof, Tuckpointing, Electrical & Mechanical Upgrades
  • Fairview Masonry, Electrical & Mechanical Upgrades
  • District-wide security camera upgrades, furniture

Background:

In 1998, the legislature created the school infrastructure local option (SILO) sales tax. By 2007, voters in all 99 counties had approved a SILO.  In 2008, the legislature replaced the SILO with a state penny for school infrastructure and property tax relief through December 31, 2029.  This changed from a county wide to a school district wide election, allowing districts to have one set of ballot language governing expenditures. The state penny continued the SILO requirement of voter approval of a Revenue Purpose Statement to authorize expenditures of the sales tax.

In 2019, HF 546 extended the state penny until January 1, 2051, allowing districts to have a longer borrowing window for infrastructure projects.  The new law sunset all existing RPS on July 1, 2031, or the existing RPS expiration date authorized by voters, whichever happens first.  Districts may not borrow against the proceeds generated between the years 2032 and 2051 (the sunset of the State Penny) without first having voters approve an RPS covering that period.

The only time to approve a Revenue Purpose Statement is in a school board election or a special election.  Therefore, the school board has decided to put a new Revenue Purpose Statement question on the ballot in the November 2, 2021 election.  By law, a new RPS will stay in effect through December 31, 2050.

COVID Update:  

We will be running two vaccine clinics in the coming weeks. The staff booster clinic is on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, from 3:30-5:15 and will be in the Cafeteria at the high school.  Time for your booster window will be emailed to you later this afternoon. Please be sure to attend during your window of time. Please let me know if you have any questions. Sign up must be completed by 3:00 today if you have not yet signed up for the booster and would like to receive it at this clinic.  

A clinic will be held the week of November 8 for students ages 5 and up. Here is the form to register, if you have not already done so. This booster clinic sign up will close on November 5, 2021 at 4:00 PM.   COVID-19 Children vaccine clinic

Once our students have the opportunity to receive the vaccine and we meet the window of time recommended by the CDC, we will recommend to the board to lift the mask mandate in our district. It is my hope that the lifting of the masks pending the vaccine clinic completion will be sometime in mid December unless otherwise notified by the State. 

Heather Moore’s Literacy students actively engaged in identifying text evidence!   

Instead of a final test, the kids conducted a character autopsy and supported their claims with text evidence. It was a great way to wrap up the unit.  

High School Students Annual MVP Summit:

26 Grinnell High School Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) attended and participated in the 6th Annual MVP Student Leadership Summit in Waterloo on Wednesday, October 27th. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from local and state experts on a variety of topics and issues such as healthy dating relationships, empathy, facilitation and leadership skills, mental health, team building activities and more.

Play information Show Dates November 4, 5, 6 starting at 7:30 PM

Tickets for the fall play Sense and Sensibility are on sale now:

https://www.vancoevents.com/VJL

If purchasing online tickets is not an option for you please contact Lindsey Peck, or you can purchase tickets at the ticket booth the night of the play.

Have you looked at what is on the virtual backpack? It can be found here! 
Activities Calendar: Please follow this link to see activities for next week. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Janet

— 
Dr. Janet M. Stutz
Superintendent
Grinnell-Newburg School District

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