Mitchell school board gets look at $12.2 million MTI budget

The Mitchell Board of Education got its first look Monday at a draft of the fiscal year 2013 budget for Mitchell Technical Institute. The budget peek was part of the regular board meeting, which was held at the MTI north campus. The largely infor...

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The Mitchell Board of Education got its first look Monday at a draft of the fiscal year 2013 budget for Mitchell Technical Institute.

The budget peek was part of the regular board meeting, which was held at the MTI north campus.

The largely informational presentation by Chief Financial Officer Michael Hoffman showed the overall $12.20 million budget for 2013 will be about $468,000 less than 2012's $12.67 million budget.

"We will end up with more revenues than expenditures this year," said Hoffman. That extra will be carried forward and put to good use next year, President Greg Von Wald said.

But both expressed concern that grants which helped MTI programs in the past are beginning to dry up.


Revenues will be helped with a state-approved increase in tech school tuitions from $95 to $99 a credit hour next year.

Expenses will also be going up as additional instructors will be added to teach an expanding list of online programs, Von Wald said.


Superintendent Joe Graves told the board that, starting with the 2012-2013 school year, the district's students will be able to download e-books as part of a $6,000 agreement with OverDrive, an online distributor of e-books.

The contract amount will come from the district's library budget. The initial contract will make about 250 to 300 book titles available for download -- with a catch. Multiple downloads are not permitted; books must be checked out one at a time.

"If you want to read John Grisham's latest book and we have one copy and it's checked out, you'll have to wait," said Graves. The technology can provide the books, he explained, but there's still a business model involved to make sure the author still can collect royalties, and mass electronic distribution would eliminate those royalties.

On balance, the cost per download to the district-- about $10 to $12 a book -- is less than that of a hardbound volume, and returns are not a problem. Once the lending period is up, the book is disabled and made available to the next borrower, said Graves.

Other business


The board also:

  • Approved the final bidding package for windows for the MTI Trades Center building. Independent Viking Glass won with a base bid of $507,978. Other base bids were from Heartland Glass at $658,132 and G&D Viking Glass, at $576,000. The bid brings the overall building budget in just under the $18.5 million projected cost.
  • Recognized sponsor Jeff Hoffman and Mitchell High School FFA students Kaelyn Dammann, Katelin Theunissen and Bailey Magstadt, who will compete at the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., in October. The trio won the regional FFA marketing competition by developing a marketing plan for Shorty's Locker, of Mitchell. Also headed to nationals is Kelsey Repenning, who won in the job interview category.
  • Approved the Mitchell Area Technical Educators negotiated agreement for the 2012-2013 school year. The agreement gives instructors pay equal to their 2012 salary, plus $1,350, plus a specified amount for professional development. A theoretical instructor with a master's degree who earned $40,000 in 2012 would get $41,350 plus $700 for the degree, for a total of $42,050. Additional pay is also available for business or industry experience.
  • Approved the salaries of noninstructional personnel for the 2012-2013 school year, giving administrative staff at MTI a raise of 3 percent.
  • Approved an $825,000 supplement to the MTI budget, from an SDN stimulus grant. The grant money is for the purpose of upgrading the Telecom Technology program with up-todate technology and software.
  • Approved the shop-built home constructed by MTI students as surplus, so the home may be sold at auction at 6:30 p.m., June 4 in the MTI parking lot, 821 N. Capital St.
  • Voted for Jason Utterman of Aberdeen Central School District for Division I representative to the South Dakota High School Activities Association. The board also voted for an amendment to the SDHSAA Constitution that more closely defines eligibility requirements for student athletes who enroll at a school after the first day of high school. The amendment is an attempt to hinder the recruiting of student athletes from other schools to create winning teams.
  • Cast a ballot for incumbent Dave Merrill as representative to the South Dakota Retirement System Board of Trustees.
  • Held a closed executive session on personnel matters.
  • Following the closed executive session, the board denied a grievance lodged by an unidentified employee.
  • Were reminded by Superintendent Graves that Mitchell High School graduation ceremonies will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Corn Palace.
  • Noted the absence of board President Brenda Freidel due to illness. Vice president Theresa Kriese presided.
  • Noted that due to the Memorial Day holiday, the final board meeting of May will be held on Tuesday, May 29.
  • Approved various personnel items, including hires, transfers and resignations.
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