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USD 398 wants out of special ed co-op

Staff writer

School board members heard Superintendent Rex Watson offer a review of the Marion County Special Education Cooperative at the Dec. 14 board of education meeting.

Watson reviewed the financial status of the cooperative, its budget, and expenses.

Watson and board members discussed the Kansas Learning Network program recommendations for state assessment progress, district financial status, district services provided, and possible program options.

After lengthy discussion, the board unanimously approved a motion to withdraw from the cooperative. Board members instructed Watson to issue a letter to cooperative director Chris Cezar, indicating the district’s intent.

In other business:

  • Watson updated the board on state financial issues regarding education funding, the Schools for Fair Funding lawsuit, and the progress being made in cooperation with the Kansas Learning Network to correct the “adequate yearly progress” issue with state testing.
  • County Commissioner Randy Dallke addressed the board about road conditions on 40th and 60th roads. The safety of students traveling from Burns to Peabody by bus and private vehicle was discussed, along with county finances, alternate routes, future road improvements, and lobbying efforts. No decision was reached and no action was taken.
  • Board members will meet at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 23, in the central office for a special board meeting to evaluate the superintendent.
  • Rachel Winter will be offered the position of assistant junior high girls basketball coach.
  • Watson reported no new information was available about the cheerleaders’ trip to Florida, the trip to the national BPA convention, or the concert band clinic at Kansas State University. FCCLA students will make a presentation to the board about their trip to Kentucky at the January meeting.
  • Julia Ensminger, Barry Peter, and Tony Zappone were appointed to serve as the negotiations team for the 2010-11 school year. Gary Jones was appointed as alternate.
  • Rhonda Loucks, president of the Peabody-Burns booster club, addressed the board about the clubs’ membership numbers, mission, finances, parent involvement, meetings, and future plans.
  • Vocational education instructor Glenn Bechtel presented completed program improvements and future program plans for the vocational education department. The board approved the plans as presented.
  • A 1954 Chevrolet truck, valued at $3,000, was accepted as a gift to the vocational hot rod program. Included in the action was a provision to offer the donor the first opportunity to buy the truck back if the district decides, in the future, to sell the vehicle.
  • Board members went into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open meeting.

Last modified Dec. 24, 2009

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