BOE discusses education issues with Don Dahl

The USD 410 Board of Education held a telephone conference with State Rep. Don Dahl in which they discussed education issues in the legislature.

?The big issue this year, as I?m sure everyone knows, is the budget,? Dahl said.

He informed the board the $50 base pay per student is expected to pass, as well as the 85 percent for special education. Even though it may be approved for 2001, Dahl said it is not likely to be approved for 2002 at this time.

Gordon Mohn, superintendent, told Dahl the school appreciated the work to get the base pay.

?We realize you have some real challenges over the next few weeks and next few years in finance,? he said.

Dahl said one of the big concerns when considering school finances is the decline in school enrollments.

Another topic they discussed was the merit pay system for teachers currently being looked at by the legislature.

The merit system would create two career tracts for teachers, procedural due process or give up process and have two to three year contracts and possibly be paid more.

?It?s probably a year away at least,? Mohn said.

Dahl also discussed the home rule authority which would change what schools have the authority to do.

Mohn said through the change, instead of statutes telling schools what they can do, it would tell them what they can?t do.

The school board also continued discussions on the crisis plan.

Mohn said there are three components in the plan, prevention, crisis management and follow up and evaluation of the plan after a crisis.

Four areas of crisis management were discussed.

The board discussed memorials and if gifts should only be given or encouraged to be given in monetary amounts when in memory of someone. The money would then be put in a general scholarship fund.

Dismissal for funerals also was discussed. The board felt school should not be dismissed and possibly encourage funerals students will want to attend to be held when school is not in session.

The plan also is proposed to state the school is not responsible for bringing students as a class to funerals.

A final aspect of the crisis management was school facilities being used for funerals. Mohn said the committee reviewing the policy recommended it not be used, but the board members agreed it would be difficult to say no to someone if the situation arose.

The board approved placing the proposed plan with options on the April agenda.

In other business the board:

n approved the job description for the clerk of the board/business manager.

n approved placing the revision of the vacation policy on April?s agenda.

n accepted a bid for a bus form Irv Schroeder County Motors for $36,010 with the trade.

n agreed to have a proposed calendar for the 2000-01 school year on the April agenda.

n will have Ted Russell represent the board on the teacher evaluation committee.

n agreed to further look into an administrative software package form Management Information Group. The cost would be $41,680.

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