USD 410 board OKs loan for student business project

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ALEEN RATZLAFF
The Board of Education for Unified School District 410 approved the request for a $6,500 interest-free loan from entrepreneurial students Andrew Bina and Kurtis Shaw at its regular meeting Monday night.

That loan, along with funds from the Hillsboro High School’s technology budget, will assist in the purchase of a laser engraver used for a student-run business.

Total cost for the engraver is about $16,000.

The business will involve making and selling engraved products, Bina and Shaw told the board during the presentation of their business plan, which would require the Technology Student Association to pay back 10 percent of the loan each year.

According to Shaw and Bina, revenue from the sale of plaques, signs, medals and trophies will be used to repay the interest-free loan to the district as well as raise funds for TSA.

The board voted its approval after the students and their instructor, Creigh Bell, answered questions fielded from board members Rod Koons, Mark Rooker and others about the feasibility of the business and the implications of repaying the loan over 10 years.

An agreement between the TSA president and its sponsor and the USD board president and superintendent will detail the conditions for repayment.

Regarding another request for funding, choral music instructor Lynn Just presented a proposal for the HHS Concert Choir to travel to Dallas, Texas, in order to perform at Majestic Theater in early May. She asked the board to grant permission for the trip and to provide $2,000 along with several vans or suburbans for transportation.

She estimated the budget for the trip at $10,413.

After some discussion, the board asked Just to bring an alternate proposal.

“We need something more for our investment,” Koons said about the proposed trip.

Just agreed to bring a different proposal at next month’s meeting.

“I will keep working,” she said.

The board did approve an addendum to the master contract for 2005-06 that involves an increase of $500 in the base teacher salary to $27,700, a 4.29 percent overall compensation for returning teachers.

“We want to begin earlier next year to gather information on salaries,” Superintendent Gordon Mohn told the board.

Even though final data on enrollment has been reported to the Kansas State Department of Education, Mohn said official enrollment numbers were not yet available at Monday evening’s meeting.

HHS principal Dale Honeck and counselor Diana Holub addressed concerns raised by some outside the district about the lack of HHS teachers providing instruction in the TEEN schedule.

While HHS has had fewer teachers teaching those classes and the highest number of students using those classes, Honeck said, “Each year we have offered to teach TEEN classes.”

Often, though, students have not enrolled in those classes, Honeck said.

Mohn said, “I think organizations get in trouble when you keep score.”

But, Mohn told the board, perception is reality, so his goal is to have two teachers who will be available to teach two courses for TEEN when the next schedule is decided.

In other business, the board:

– listened to Mohn discuss a proposed agreement with the city for maintenance of the Sports Complex tennis courts and the Memorial Park baseball field, but no action was taken at the meeting.

— heard from Mohn an initial draft of 16 long-term facility needs for the district, including more classroom space for Hillsboro Elementary School and repair for the track at Reimer Field. Mohn estimated the total cost could be between $5 million and $7.7 million. Mohn said extending the bond could be a source for funding.

The board plans to discuss these capital issues and other matters at a work session to be held sometime in November.

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