USD 410 board reduces book fees

Unified School District 410 Board of Education voted 4-1 to reduce textbook fees for the 2008-09 school year at Monday?s regular meeting.

The new rates will be $10 less than current charges in all categories:

n Kindergarten ? $15 for full amount, $10 for reduced amount and no fee for those who qualify for free lunches.

n Grades 1-12 ? $25 for full amount, $15 for reduced amount and no fee for those who qualify for free lunches.

Prior to the vote, a motion failed 3-2 to do away with textbook fees.

?There are a lot of places that are doing away with (textbook) fees,? Superintendent Doug Huxman told the board members during its discussion. ?They become part of the budget.?

The board approved leaving meal fees at the current level.

Huxman said Hillsboro is in the state?s tier of districts that have higher meal prices.

District clerk Jerry Hinerman said he expects the district?s local contribution for meals to increase by $20,000 because of the overall increase in food costs. The district does receive federal and state subsidies for its meal program, he added.

The board also set student fees for 2008-09, with increases in several areas, including the mandatory recorder fee and optional yearbook fee.

Huxman and Keith Goossen, director of maintenance, updated the board on construction at the high school and elementary school.

Damages from rain, hail and vandalism were addressed.

Huxman said he?s been told there will be significant completion on the facilities improvements and additions by time school starts, ?but I question that more and more each week.?

With school beginning next month, likely some adjustments will need to be made.

?We may need to get creative about that, ? said Huxman in response to president Rod Koons? question about the possibility the kitchen at the elementary school may not be completed.

Goossen also reported on the mileage accrued by district vehicles, an increase of $30,000 more than the previous year.

He said he would like to get bids on two minivans for the 2008-09 school year.

Huxman told the board he thought it to be ?good business? to compare the cost of vans from the state bid list with those received from local vendors. The state lists new vehicles, often $1,000 lower than dealerships, he said.

Goossen said, ?I want to be honest with (local dealers) that we?ll be bidding with the state bid list.?

In other business, the board:

n reelected Rod Koons as president and Eddie Weber as vice president for 2008-09.

n appointed board representatives Debbie Geis to Marion County Special Education Cooperative, Mark Rooker to TEEN, Rod Koons as chief negotiator, Dale Klassen as assistant negotiator, Gary Andrews to Professional Development Council and Brent Barkman to Kansas Association of School Boards Governmental Relations.

n approved paying membership dues of $7,455 to KASB and a $1,000 fee for participating in the KASB Legal Assistance Fund.

n approved a request from the Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Association to provide drivers and buses for transportation at its annual fair scheduled for Sept. 20.

n approved contract information for classified personnel that included defined benefits of $310 per month through Sept. 30, increasing to $340 per month from Oct. 1 through the end of individual?s annual contract.

Also, bus drivers for activity trips will be paid $11 per hour or the pay rate contracted, whichever is greater.

n approved issuing contracts to Ronda Wiens and Norma Cabeen to serve as kitchen assistants.

n approved issuing a contract to Brandi Hendrix to serve as TEEN executive director. Huxman said USD 410 holds her contract, but funding to pay her salary comes from TEEN.

n approved pay rates for non-contracted classified employees at a increase for most of 3 percent. Two positions were eliminated?student bus monitor and late activity run bus driver.

n approved pay at $8.25 per hour for three aide positions.

n approved an increase for substitute teacher pay from $85 per day to $87.50.

n approved renewing its interlocal agreement with Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas.

n approved paying bills that totaled more than $1.28 million this month.

n met in executive sessions with Hinerman and transportation director Keith Goossen to discuss personnel matters and acquisition of property.

Board member Mark Rooker was absent from Monday?s meeting.

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