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Board OKs resolution to put three teachers on unrequested leave in New London, Minn.

NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board passed a resolution Monday putting three tenured teachers on unrequested leave, the next step in the district's $285,517 in budget cuts for the coming school year.

The district had previously put four teachers on the list, but language arts teacher Cassandra Kentzelman was removed as she has been offered a full-time position, according to Superintendent Paul Carlson.

The resolution included Kim Andresen, 0.5 full-time equivalent Spanish teacher; Trish Hanson, 0.4 FTE speech/language teacher; and Susan Sunde, 0.17 FTE middle school FACS teacher.

The board at the regular meeting Monday also approved a two-year agreement, for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years, to share a food service director with Willmar and Montevideo schools. NLS and Montevideo will purchase 40 days per year of Willmar's food service director's time and in return the district will have Annette Derouin oversee the food service, menu planning, implementation of federal lunch regulations and food ordering. The end of this school year marks the end of the first year of sharing food services between the three districts, an idea born out of meetings by regional school superintendents on ways to work together.

"Everyone is very satisfied with our arrangement," Carlson told the board, noting that the first-year agreement was for 20 days of time per year. The 40 days is a more realistic measure of the time Derouin and her staff provided to New London-Spicer.

The board also passed two resolutions allowing the district to establish a line of credit and enter a joint powers agreement with other Minnesota school districts to borrow money if needed to ensure the district has enough funding to meet expenses.

Todd Netzke, owner of School Management Services, the district's business management service, presented the resolutions and noted that the district would only access the line of credit if there was a cash flow issue, likely in June or July while the district waits for its aid anticipation certificates, which are essentially borrowed money against state funding that hasn't yet been received by the district.

Netzke termed the line of credit as a "safety net" that the district will not have to pay for unless it activates the line by borrowing funds. The district will not pay more than 2.95 percent interest, likely about 2 percent, on the short-term borrowing.

"It's a pretty common thing in the business world," board member Dan DeGeest said before the board voted 6-0 to pass the resolution.

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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