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Platteville annual school meeting takes 22 minutes
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PLATTEVILLE — The School District of Platteville held a 22-minute-long annual meeting Monday night.

About 30 people, at least one-third of whom were either members of the School Board or school district administration, approved the school district’s 2012–13 budget and tax levy on a unanimous voice vote.

The budget as it currently exists features a spending increase of 1.16 percent, a tax levy decrease of 1.39 percent, and a mil rate decrease from $11.29 per $1,000 assessed valuation to $11.13 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

The owner of a house assessed at $125,000 would pay $1,391.25 in school taxes, down from $1.411.25 one year ago.

The school board will set the final tax levy Oct. 22 after three measures are set — third-Friday school district enrollment Sept. 21, equalized property values as determined by the state Department of Revenue, and 2012–13 equalization aid.

The longest part of the meeting was the introduction by former School Board president Lynn Schlager, who presided over the annual meeting.

Schlager mentioned how well his daughter felt prepared for study at a private college, and added, “We can’t have stories like that of my daughter if faculty and staff do not feel valued and appreciated commensurate with their education, skills and efforts. Teachers, administrators, aides [and] janitors have all taken a significant hit in the past couple of years, and from rhetoric in campaigns, letters to the editor and talk on the street, a lack of appreciation is evident in a significant portion of the population. …

“I am hopeful that the collegiality that existed among the board, the administration, the faculty and the staff throughout my tenure on the board can be continued. … I also hope that the board, as well as the public at large, can find creative ways to show all these folks that their efforts are in fact appreciated.”

Schlager also commented on “seemingly interminable high-stakes testing. … I think a test-taking mindset as a way to evaluate students, schools and teachers themselves hurts both the morale of teacher, who become vending machines of facts, and also hurts the morale of students, especially those with a spark of creativity and a passion for learning. On a more philosophical level, the paper chase to ever higher test scores on multiple-guess exams smacks more of training or indoctrination rather than education.”