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School board puts hold on tough financial decisions

Plan pulled to withdraw from cooperative

Staff writer

The Peabody-Burns Board of Education postponed a decision to make district cuts and late payments of some 2009-10 expenses at the April 12 meeting.

Superintendent Rex Watson reviewed for the board an administrative team proposal of cuts and late payments. The board also heard from Watson that more information would be forthcoming on state aid — or the lack of it — after the state’s finance estimating group met. That meeting was scheduled for April 16.

In the meantime, the Peabody-Burns board declined to take action until updated information on school finance is available.

As previously reported, an issue facing the board and affecting any decision on 2010-11 school finance was the district’s request to be released from membership to the Marion County Special Education Cooperative. Watson reviewed the April 8 special ed board meeting. He reminded the board that the petition to withdraw would be on the state board of education agenda April 13, the day after the Peabody-Burns board meeting.

After two executive sessions to discuss personnel, the board returned to open session and a motion was made to withdraw the petition from the state agenda. The motion carried 4 to 3 with Barry Peter, William Spangler, and Gary Jones opposed.

In a related matter, Marion County Special Education Cooperative staff representative Teresa Moritz addressed the board about the cooperative’s history and the services it provides. An informational brochure was provided to board members. All school boards in the special ed district were given the same information.

In other business:

  • Curriculums for kindergarten through 12th grades were approved for physical education and art. Family and consumer sciences annual improvement plan and the purchase of the district fine arts curriculum as funds become available were also approved. The district curriculum committee recommendation that all students residing in the district who will be 14 on or before May 1, be eligible for the driver’s education program also was approved.
  • A change to the calendar was brought to the board’s attention. The grade school vocal concert and the junior high-high school vocal concert will switch performance dates. The grade school students will perform May 6. Junior high and high school vocal students will have their concert Tuesday.
  • Watson informed the board that the deadline for a commitment from Stanley Manahan to purchase a parcel of land owned by the school had passed. After discussion, the board instructed Watson to check the deed to the property, investigate the agreement with the current land tenant and an auctioneer, and report the results at the next meeting.
  • Watson had applied for a Kansas Learning Network grant to assist with financing a plan to use cell phone technology for annual teacher observations made by administrators. The board will make a decision after the grants are awarded.
  • Members Bruce Burke and Tony Zappone were appointed to present diplomas to the 2010 senior class. Zappone also will present the graduation awards. Barry Peter will present the eighth grade diplomas and certificates.
  • Peabody-Burns High School cheerleaders were given permission to attend a cheer camp June 7 through 10 in Lindsborg. The district will provide transportation.
  • The resignation of Jack Brunzell, part-time custodian at PBES, was accepted.
  • After a discussion of maintenance issues and projects the board agreed to move forward with planned summer projects and continue replacing carpet at PBES.
  • The board went into executive session to discuss personnel. The board took no action upon returning to open session.

Last modified April 28, 2010

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