By Christopher Johnson

At a recent meeting of the Winnebago School Board, operating in the capacity of the Committee of the Whole, a presentation was given on where school funding comes from and how it is spent.

A Financial Assistant empowered with sharing knowledge relating to the successful application of strict adherence to guidelines relating to functional planning and spending, spoke to the body of Committee Members and citizen taxpayers in attendance.

Bryn Gibson presented his findings along with a PowerPoint presentation to facilitate a better understanding on Fiscal Budget understanding.

It was explained that a Fiscal Year Budget requires certain steps are strictly adhered to. It starts in the previous Fiscal Cycle and faces a strict deadline for approval.

Once the Budget is set those empowered to steward the dollars through the next school year began to make sure everything is in line to assure jobs are done and bills are paid in a timely manner.

Issues such as where the money actually comes from, of which a majority is realized through citizen involvement and the submission of tax contributions, were discussed.

Board Member accountability was also a primary focus. How they spend the money and how well they work within the framework of the Fiscal Year plan was shared.

Citizens who wish to find out more about how dollars are collected, directed and monitored can go online to the Winnebago School District 323 website,

Under the District 323 tab, minutes and agendas for upcoming meetings are shared. It includes starting times and topics of discussion.

The February meeting of the COW got underway just as the clock ticked to six with representatives called to action.

Committee Members in attendance included Heather Dunaway, Duane Lovett, Nichole Smith and Jon Strutzenberg. Member Jamie Gray attended remotely with co task-managers Dennis Daly and Melissa Thomas unable to attend.

As each meeting of the Committee of the Whole as well as in open session of the Winnebago Board of Education, citizens are encouraged to address the body of elected officials.

Generally, with the Winnebago School District Community of the Whole, public comment is the primary focus area, upon calling the regular gathering to order.

At each meeting, speakers are given up to five minutes to state their concerns or areas of interest. Committee Members are asked to listen to the concerns, potentially take notes and possibly address concerns at a later date.

One community member utilized the allowable time to present congratulations to the District 323 representatives, regarding their efforts to keep the community informed and protected.

District parent Brad Bull expressed very personal thanks for the steps taken by    elected representatives.

“When masking became optional, my sons were more talkative on the way to school. They were happy to see each other’s faces.”

Bull said after going through what he had experienced with his children for “a couple depressing years,” life had come back to his boys.

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