Mitchell Board of Education to hold public hearing Monday on 2022-23 K-12, MTC budgets

The agenda does not include a set time limit for the duration of the public hearing, nor does it specify for how long a member of the public can voice their concerns.

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MITCHELL — The Mitchell Board of Education is set to open up for a public hearing on Monday to review and field public questions surrounding the budgets for both the K-12 district, as well as Mitchell Technical College.

The public hearing will take place at the board’s next regular meeting at 5 p.m. Monday in Room 10 at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy (MCTEA), and is set to be considered and voted upon immediately following the hearing.

The board previously reviewed the budget during their regular meeting on May 9, also at the MCTEA, but has since included some minor changes.

The district’s general fund now comes in at $22,130,286, a 9.98% increase from the 2021-22 budget, which was finalized at $20,121,972.

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In the capital outlay fund, the 2022-23 proposed budget indicates a total of $4,849,467. That is also an increase from the 2021-22 budget, which came in at $4,572,770, or an increase of 6.05%.


In May, Steve Culhane, business manager for the Mitchell School District, said although the budget is set to increase, taxpayers shouldn’t expect an increase in their pay-ins. Weeks later, in mid-June, Culhane told the Mitchell Republic that while tax levies are generally trending downward, assessed valuation is creeping upward, and that many might see a slight tax increase.

Increases in employee pay and district expenditures on insurance are mostly or entirely covered by state dollars which won’t result in an increase for taxpayers.

Ahead of opening for public hearing, Joe Graves, superintendent of the Mitchell School District; Jared Hofer, chief financial officer of Mitchell Technical College; and Culhane will speak on “necessary” budget supplements.

“On occasion, an additional significant expenditure becomes necessary and the Board can approve those, in advance, through a budget amendment. When an additional significant expenditure is necessary that becomes evident at or near the conclusion of the budget, then a budget supplement is necessary,” Graves wrote in his meeting notes. “Budget supplements occur in a district our size every year. The ‘pandemic years,’ in particular, proved to be ones with an unusual number of such.”

Proposed supplements seeking approval on Monday include learning loss programs for K-12 students, over-expenditures on legal services due to “various issues” regarding an employee, increasing operational costs, student textbooks and software, additional salary as well as professional costs relating to the new high school.

In his meeting notes, Graves recommended the supplements — which are budgeted to be paid for through the use of local, state and federal funds, as well as cash-on-hand — be approved before the board opens for a public hearing on the budget.

The agenda does not include a set time limit for the duration of the public hearing, nor does it specify for how long a member of the public can voice their concerns.

Ahead of the hearing, Graves recommended the board approve the budget, on the basis that no other considerations are to be made.


“If there are no considerations brought forward during the budget hearing, we recommend approval of the budgets as presented,” Graves wrote in his meeting notes. “Any future changes in expenditures would be offset with an increase in a revenue source.”

If approved, the budget would take effect on July 1 for both the K-12 school district and MTC.


The board is expected to consider the following personnel moves:

  • The new certified hires of Kindra Clark, assistant softball coach, at a rate of $2,400 for the 2022-23 school year; Dave Brooks, head girls basketball coach, at a rate of $6,101 for the 2022-23 school year and Kent Van Overschelde, head softball coach, at a rate of $4,340 for the 2022-23 school year.
  • The new classified hire of Kayla Petersen, paraeducator at Longfellow Elementary School, at a rate of $13.75 per hour, effective Aug. 18, 2021.
  • The resignations of Erin Yost, South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management Instructor (MTC), effective June 30, 2022, and Gary Trisco, Power Line Construction & Maintenance Instructor (MTC), effective June 30, 2022.

Other business

Also at the meeting, the board is expected to:

  • Approve a bid for a forklift/telehandler for the MCTEA Construction Trades program
  • Approve Successful Bids for MTC House Materials 
  • Hear board member reports
  • Hear the superintendent report
  • Hear public commentary
Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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