Fischer Takes Over As Superintendent

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 6:11 am

dennisfischerA new era began Monday for Pine City Schools.  Dennis Fischer participated in his first school board meeting as superintendent.  He took over for Darwin Bostic who retired at the end of 2009.

Fischer is the former district business manager and says one of biggest challenges facing Pine City schools is staying afloat financially even with the uncertainty of state funding.

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Depending on the actions of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, the Pine City School district could lose $1.7 million in state funding, but Fischer credits the board with taking steps to ensure the district’s future.

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Fischer says auditors are telling him that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s unallotment of $1.7-billion for state schools is an ‘IOU’ not a cut.

Pawlenty authorized $2.7-billion in unallotments last summer.  In late December, a court ruling found that the Governor abused his authority.

Pine City gets roughly $10 million in state aide each year.  Usually, the Pine City district gets 90-percent of the funding, or $9-million, in the current year and the state gives an ‘IOU’ for the final million.  The state shifted upfront funding from 90-percent to 73-percent, or $7.3 million, with the remaining 27-percent coming down the road.

The board also accepted nominations for board chair and vice chair.  The positions remain the same as last year with Dan Peterson serving as Chair and Tim Geisler as Vice-Chair.  Bonnie Menigo will serve as Clerk and Steve Odegard as Treasurer.

Fischer says his main goal is to continue to build on the positives already embedded in the district.

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