Among actions taken, Unified School District 410 Board of Education established school fees for 2010-11 at its regular monthly meeting July 12.
While most fees remain at the past year?s rate, the drivers? ed fee will increase to $150 with those on reduced and free lunch plans paying $75.
The board?s decision came after an extended discussion. Superintendent Steve Noble made the initial recommendation to set the fee at $150 for all students. Last year, the amount was $120 with $60 for those with reduced lunches and $25 for those with free lunches.
Noble said he had surveyed school districts regarding their charges to students, and responses indicated a broad range?from no charge to hundreds of dollars. With the proposed change, however, USD 410 would be fairly close in costs to other districts in the area. Even with the increase, he said, the district will subsidize costs ranging between $150-$255 per student.
Board member Rod Koons raised concerns about charging all students $150 because of the marked increase in costs to students who have reduced and free meal plans.
?You can tell I?m struggling with the drivers ed (increase),? Koons told board members, adding that students benefit from the instruction, and for some the higher cost would prevent them from taking the course.
Noble said the district can make payment arrangements for parents who request such.
Following the discussion, the board voted to raise the fee to $150 but charge half that amount to students on reduced and free lunches for the upcoming year.
Vince Jantz of Jantz Construction in Tampa presented drawings for remodeling the Midway Motors building on West D Street that will house the several departments, including district offices, maintenance and transportation. USD 410 will pay Jantz Construction for the drawings and specs. Once the board makes a final decision, bids will be sent out for the project, Noble said.
?It?s a fairly straightforward project,? Jantz said, adding that projected completion date for the remodeling, estimated at 60 days, is dependent on how soon Midway moves out. Work on the new Midway building has had delays, he said, which affects when remodeling can begin.
Jantz said he will send digital copies of the drawing to board members and requested their feedback in preparation for submitting a completed version at the August meeting. Noble said he will collect the board?s feedback and relay it to Jantz.
Board members agreed to postpone the decision about paying $1,864 in annual dues to Schools in Fair Funding until next month because three members?Dale Klassen, Mark Rooker and Joe Sechrist?were absent from Monday?s meeting.
Prior to the board?s decision, Noble was asked to explain why he supported the district?s participation in the organization. In response, he said while he believes that many in the legislature are trying to protect public education, that support is precarious. According to Noble, Fair Funding has three goals: stop cuts to education, restore funding to the statutory level and insure that suitable funding is in place for the long term.
?This district has taxpayers doing their fair share in supporting education,? he said. ?It?s the state?s obligation to provide an education for students, no matter where they live.?
In rural areas, Noble said, without financial help and resources from the state, education is in deep trouble.
?We?re very vulnerable,? he said.
In other business, the board:
? re-elected Eddie Weber as board president and Rod Koons as vice-president for 2010-11.
? approved the following appointments for 2010-11?Debbie Geis as Marion County Special Education Cooperative representative, Gary Andrews as MCSEC alternative, Mark Rooker as Technology Excellence in Education Network representative, Joe Sechrist as TEEN alternate, Rod Koons as chief negotiator, Dale Klassen as assistant negotiator, Gary Andrews as Professional Development Council representative, Eddie Weber as KASB Governmental Relations representative and Gary Andrews as USD 410 Technology Committee representative.
? recognized Ralph Janzen with a plaque for 21 years of dedicated service to the district.
?Ralph has been my right hand for 21 years and he?ll be greatly missed,? said Keith Goossen, director of maintenance and transportation. As part of the district?s budgetary cutbacks for 2010-11, Janzen?s position will not be filled.
? approved maintaining meal prices and student fees, except for drivers? ed, at the current level. Hillsboro Middle School will not use school notebooks. Instead, information will be available digitally.
? approved maintaining textbook fees, except for charging $5 to students with free lunches in grades one through 12. Previously there was no charge at that level.
? approved 1-1 laptop computer fees for high school and middle school, with the change being three levels of ?per incident fees,? which will cover repairs/replacement if students damage their computers through neglect or intent.
? approved annual Kansas Association of School Boards dues of $7,082 and legal assistance fund at $1,400.
? approved non-contracted pay rates, which will remain the same as this past year.
? approved maintaining substitute teacher pay at $87.50 per day and $43.75 per half day.
?We are still one of the highest in the area on subs,? Noble said.
? established stipend for GAP adviser at 10.5 percent of supplementary salary schedule. Filling that position, Noble said, is always subject to suitable donation and not funded by district money.
? heard a report from Keith Goossen about vehicle mileage and proposed purchase of two Suburbans during the next fiscal year.
? approved a 48-month lease with KKK Office Solutions for use and service of district copy machines.
?I?ll make a prediction our copies will go down next year ? we?re going to do everything digital,? said Noble, adding that digital is becoming the default mode of communication.
? approved adjusted audit contract with Janzen, Hawk, & Loyd of $9,750 for the regular portion of the audit with the addition of $5,000 minimum for a single audit for the year ended June 30, 2010.
The single audit referenced in the agreement, Noble said, is required when an entity receives more than $500,000 in total federal funding.
?With the receipt of the ARRA funds this year, we will exceed $500,000 in federal funds and be required to have a single audit performed. Additionally, this new agreement would extend our contract with them by one year through the 2011-12 school year,? he said.
? approved supplement contracts for Michele Melton as HMS yearbook sponsor, Marcia Findeiss as HES/HMS ESOL aid, Darren Enns as HMS-HHS instrumental music aid and Jill Hein as GAP sponsor.
? listened to a summary by Noble of the presentation given at the KASB Legislative Community Meeting. He also announced the Aug. 17 USD 410/Chamber of Commerce noon luncheon in the HHS Commons. Guest speaker Cindy Couchman, who teaches at Buhler High School, will give a presentation at 12:45 p.m.