I would like to inform the parents who may have a 4-year-old child at home of a free preschool program. The Utah Legislature funded program provides preschool students with the opportunity to have a fun start to reading, math and science. The program is free to the parents; the only requirement is the completion of a simple form that can be found in each elementary school in the District. If you would like more information, you can visit www.utahupstart.org
On a different note, in May of 2011, Garfield School District was in a difficult situation financially. In order to adopt a balanced budget, the employees agreed to a 4% cut in their total compensation. This reduction allowed the District to move forward with a balanced budget. With the changes made in staff reductions and reassignment during FY 12, the District was able to produce a budget that was not dependent on Secure Rural Schools (SRS) money from the Federal Government. Thanks to our local County Commissioners and our State Representatives in Washington DC, the District was awarded SRS funding for this current school year FY 13. With this additional revenue, the School Board approved a one time 4% payment to any employee who experienced the 4% cut back in 2011. Employees who were hired after May of 2011 would not be eligible for the 4% because they were hired on pay scale that already included a 4% cut and agreed to work for the District on this salary schedule. Teachers, secretaries, custodians, foodservice, para educators, and bus drives received the onetime payment. I would personally like to thank those individuals who willingly gave up 4% to help balance the budget back in 2011. It was nice to be able to pay these employees back. You may or may not agree with the decision to pass the additional SRS funding onto the employees but the truth is the District could not have achieved financial stability without the help of the employees.
–Superintendent Ben Dalton