School Board in Brief
The Baldwin school board is considering raising the pay of teachers employed by the special education cooperative. However, Supt. James White recommended that the board wait until spring to take any action.
White said the state is expected to change its school finance formula this legislative session, and that may make a difference in how the board approaches the raise.
The special education cooperative serves the Baldwin, Wellsville and Eudora school districts. The salary scale at the cooperative is less than any of the three districts. Teachers, although not part of a union, are requesting their salaries be raised to an average of the three districts. For example, a teacher who is paid $28,400 through the cooperative would make $29,301 in the Baldwin school district.
"Across the board they are making less working for the co-op," said co-op director Caren Lowe.
White said other concerns include losing special education teachers to other school districts that offer higher pay and even hiring bonuses.
White recommended implementing a three-year plan for the pay increase. Because of the number of Baldwin students the cooperative serves, the Baldwin school district would be responsible for 42 percent of the expense, or about $100,000.
Lowe said a two-year plan would be more appealing to cooperative employees.
"I don't think we can make any type of commitment until we know the issues that will be resolved in the legislature in the next two months," White said. "April will be a key time for us to make a decision. I don't know how we can do it any other way."
However, the issue remains important, he said.
"We think it's important to get the salary up," White said. "To do that in one year would be difficult."
School bus, special ed
The school board on Monday night approved the purchase of a 65 passenger school bus from Allied Bus in Belton, Mo. The price was a little over $49,000. The bus will be delivered in August and paid for out of next year's budget.
The board also gave approval for the purchase of two vehicles to transport special education students. The district plans to lease a suburban or van and a sedan for two years. The state would cover 80 percent of the lease.
Other agenda items
considered by board
In other business, the school board:
Voted to support a state sales tax increase that would be used strictly for education.
Heard about board president Ed Schulte's trip to Washington D.C. for the National School Board Association. He was positive about what he heard in regards to President Bush's proposal "No Child Left Behind." He also said that education seemed to be a priority for both parties.
Watched science project and wall climbing demonstrations by Marion Springs Elementary School students. The meeting was held at MSES.
Accepted resignations from: Cynthia Buckley, fifth grade teacher at Vinland Elementary School; Janna BeBusk, aide at Baldwin Elementary School; Kim Brown and Dawn Grammer, bus drivers.
District officials were to meet with city officials Tuesday night to discuss the school district's rate for electricity.