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School board joins Schools for Fair Funding

Staff writer

Board of education members adopted a resolution Nov. 9 to join Schools for Fair Funding in litigation against the state of Kansas.

“As of this date, no litigation has been filed,” Superintendent Rex Watson said. “But the board wanted to add its voice to the other districts pursuing the action.”

The school districts are suing the state for not providing adequate funding to schools as mandated by the Kansas Constitution and orders of the Kansas Supreme Court.

The board also approved a special meeting to be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 11, at Peabody-Burns Elementary School multi-purpose room to recognize students who did well on the 2009 state assessment tests.

“We had talked about doing it in December as we did last year,” Watson said. “But the calendar was so full that finding a free evening was nearly impossible.

“This is an important recognition for our students so we didn’t want to have it competing with all the activities of December.”

The community will be reminded of the program after the first of the year.

“I’d like to encourage the public to attend,” Watson said. “This is a chance for all of us to congratulate those students who made an exemplary score on the state assessment tests.”

The regular board meeting for January will begin at 8 p.m. that evening following the recognition assembly.

In other business:

  • A change in monthly protocol was approved and they agreed to dismiss the requirement that building administrators attend every school board meeting. In the future, unless they are requested by the board president to make an appearance, they are excused from the meetings. An attempt to change the wording of the motion to a “request by a board member” rather than a “request by the board president” died for lack of a second. The original motion passed 5-2, with Tony Zappone and Bruce Burke opposed.
  • Plans for several overnight trips for student groups were presented. Board members received the itinerary for the cheerleading squad’s trip to the Capitol Bowl in Orlando, Fla., and the FCCLA cluster meeting in Louisville, Ky. Business Professionals of America state officers Embry Hodges and Michaela Methvin presented a request for an overnight trip to the National BPA Convention in Anaheim, Calif. The request was approved. An overnight trip to Manhattan for band students attending the KSU concert band clinic in January was approved.
  • The board voted not to transfer any funds into the Peabody Community Foundation, but to keep funds in the district. Gary Jones and Barry Peter voted against the motion.
  • Watson presented enrollment numbers to the board. An increase in the district will help offset some of the state spending cuts.
  • After a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel, the board approved the resignation of Brian Lightner as assistant boy’s high school basketball coach for the 2009-10 school year. After a second executive session to discuss personnel, the board agreed to offer the position to Caleb Good. A third executive session was called to discuss personnel and upon return to open meeting, the board approved hiring an assistant coach for the high school girls basketball team. Julia Ensminger voted against the motion.
  • A substitute certificate for Rebecca Lynn Spinden was approved.
  • Brandi Hendrix reviewed the TEEN network with the board.
  • Ensminger expressed her concerns as a parent that this year’s junior class is not being required to take physical science. No action was taken by the board.
  • Lynn Berns, Jonathan Richstatter, Jon Gard, Kent Henry, Heide Beal, Louise Whiteman, Cathy Silvers, Ken Parry, and Tim Robertson were approved as site council members for this school year.
  • After discussion about the possible sale of the 1932 Ford renovated during the 2008-09 school year by the automotive class, the board approved the superintendent’s recommendation to accept $30,000 for the vehicle.
  • Board members discussed the feasibility of continuing to hold board meetings at Burns. No action was taken.
  • After discussion, the board approved a motion to invite former board member Rhonda Loucks to attend the December board meeting to discuss the booster club.
  • Student safety and the condition of 40th and 60th roads between Burns and Peabody were discussed at length. The board will invite Marion County Commissioner Randy Dallke to attend the December meeting and discuss options for improvement of those roads.
  • The board will meet at 6 p.m. Dec. 16, for a special meeting on board goals.
  • The meeting ended after a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open meeting.

Last modified Nov. 25, 2009

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