Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2006

Board discusses funds, policy among topics

July 13, 2006

There were lengthy discussions about asphalt bids, capital outlay money, secretary proposal and board policy at the Baldwin Board of Education meeting Monday night.

After approving many procedural items and talking about the proposed track near Baldwin High School, the school board began discussing the other agenda items.

One of those topics was next year's budget and the current funds in capital outlay. Supt. Paul Dorathy said he is trying to figure last year's totals before he gives the school board a dollar amount.

"Right now, we are working on the cash balances from the last school year," Dorathy said. "We are trying to find out how much is left in the capital outlay. The board needs to know that, so they need to know if they have the money to spend on a purchase."

The budget talk began with the discussion of the asphalt bids. Dorathy presented the board with two bids for asphalt work at the bus barn and at the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center.

This surprised many of the board members, because they thought this was going to be done this summer. But, they aren't sure if there is enough capital outlay money left to fund the project this year.

"I have this as being done this school year, that is 2005-2006," Board Member Scott Lauridsen said. "These were on our list and we put money toward them with raising the mill levy. I hope you (Dorathy) come back and tell us we have the money for it."

Dorathy said that he will continue trying to figure out how much is in the capital outlay fund and, hopefully, bring back dollar amounts to the next school board meeting.

After that, the board began discussing the secretary proposal that was brought to the board in May. After a few minutes, the board was confused about what the secretaries were wanting.

"We didn't have all of the information we needed from them," Board President Alison Bauer said. "We had a proposal for them, but we haven't done enough investigative work to make a recommendation. We feel like this may be a matter better handled with the administration than with the board."

The two proposals brought to the board in the last two months are about salaries and job descriptions.

Lauridsen and Board Member Ande Parks agreed that the school board should not be the ones to try and settle this problem first.

"I think we should tell them that the board is not qualified to do this, so go to your administrators and solve this," Lauridsen said. "There is a new administration in the district now and they should figure it out with them. Then they can come back to us with an agreed proposal."

Parks said he doesn't want to begin negotiations with the secretaries, but instead have the administrators and secretaries settle it.

"I would like to see a proposal come to the board with some grounding from both sides," Parks said.

The other large discussion of the night stemmed from the school board policy and the adopted Kansas Association of School Board's policy.

There was confusion on whether the district adopted all of KASB's policies or just the 44 that were red-flagged as potential problems. The school board did agree that it adopted all of KASB's policies, but then changed their adoption.

Lauridsen then went up to the dry-erase board and drew a diagram that helped clear up the discussion. Then he gave a suggestion to the board.

"Let's re-adopt the 44 and add them to our policy," Lauridsen said. "Then the committee (Policy Review Committee) looks at the KASB manual and then combines the two policies to create our own policy for the district."

The board then voted 7-0 to resend all past policies and then adopted the USD 348 policy manual with the 44 KASB amended policies that will be transitioned into a new policy for the district.

In other business, the board voted 7-0 to accept the republished budgets from last meeting. Dorathy also informed the board that he will be having the auditor do a more thorough audit this year.

"As a new superintendent coming in, I think that it's important to do," Dorathy said. "It gives me a better idea of where we are spending the money. I want to make sure the district is doing fiscally sound practices."

At the end of the meeting, the board approved the personnel report unanimously. It included the hiring of Matthew McCune (Baldwin High School assistant soccer coach), Stephanie Ramirez (BESPC certified paraprofessional), Karie Johnston (BESPC second grade co-teacher), Lynn Ross (BHS part-time Spanish teacher) and James Carpenter (Baldwin Junior High School evening custodian).

The meeting was then recessed until 7 p.m. July 24 at the District Office.

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