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NLS board OKs bond sale, hears report on enrollment

NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer school board on Monday authorized the sale of $2.2 million in general obligation bonds to finance the district's other post-employment benefit obligations.

The authorization will allow the board to approve the bond sale at the next meeting Sept. 28. The bond funding will be placed in an irrevocable trust, managed by a financial management firm, according to Superintendent Paul Carlson. Districts are allowed to either levy or bond to fund their OPEB obligations to retired employees, and the NLS finance committee has recommended bonding to the school board, he said.

"We feel the best option to address this issue in the future is selling the bonds," he said. "To truly address the liability, we need to sell the bonds."

The board also received a student enrollment count from Carlson. As of Sept. 10, the first day that all grades were in session, the district counted 1,478 students in grades kindergarten through 12. The district had budgeted for 1,450 students.

The student number includes 532 students at Prairie Woods Elementary, 426 in the middle school and 520 students in high school.

The Sept. 10 count is unofficial, Carlson stressed, adding that the district will begin logging the student enrollment by month on Oct. 1. In addition, he stressed that the student numbers are also higher in the fall, due to the mobility of students into and out of the district. Last year the district began with 1,504 students on Oct. 1, 2008 and ended with 1,488 students on June 1. The 2007-08 year began with 1,559 students and ended with 1,527 students.

In other action, the board:

- Heard a report from Carlson that district employees will not receive pay stubs anymore, but rather will use a secure Web site to gather their own payroll information.

- Approved fundraiser requests for the elementary, middle and high schools, which are all similar to previous year's efforts.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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