February 7, 2002

School Board Pursuing $100,000 Renovation Grants

The Scotland County R-I School Board met January 31 and discussed pending legislative issues in education while also making plans for the district's upcoming calendar year and summer schools.

Board president Paul Campbell issued a report on the board's district winter workshop. Campbell stressed that the district could take no actions during the work sessions but only used the time for discussion and preparation.

Campbell stated the board discussed the following items during the workshop:

Review of the six-month budget comparison for 2001-2002;

Review of strategies other schools in the Tri-State area are using to cope with economic shortfalls;

Review of the three-year foundation formula comparisons;

Discussion of committee leadership and the upcoming April election;

Review of area schools' enrollment numbers and tax levies;

Discussion of possible adjustments to the 2002-2003 budget.

Legislative Report

Following Campbell's work-shop report, the board heard a report from the Missouri School Board Association legislative forum. The report focused on legal action pending in the state legislature this year.

The discouraging news was there is limited optimism that the state education formula will be fully funded in 2002-2003. To compound that problem are reports that the governor is continuing to recommend no funding increases and possibly funding cuts in categorical school programs such as transportation, special education, remedial reading, vocational education and technology.

"The message from the total educational community working on behalf of public schools at the state levels is that 2002-2003 is going to be a very lean year for education in Missouri," stated Superintendent LeRoy Huff. "It does not appear there is going to be enough monies to guarantee the continuance of many programs that schools deem essential to prepare their youth for the work they will enter upon graduation."

Huff added that the outcome leaves local districts only two options: either reduce the programs offered at the local level or increase the amount of local funding to help cover the state shortfall.

Renovation Grants

With more than $12 million being made available to Missouri schools from the state and federal government for school facility renovations, the SCR-I district has begun the grant application process.

Schools fall into two separate categories for the competitive grant process, either rural or urban. To qualify as a rural school the population must be below 600. The SCR-I district does not qualify as rural with a current enrollment of approximately 640.

The district may apply for grants of up to $100,000 for each of the district's two school buildings. The funds are match free, meaning the district would not have to contribute any funds to the projects in order to receive the grants.

2002-03 Calendar

Since the creation of the NEMO-Net consortium of fiber-optics class offerings in 1995, the member schools have annually created a joint calendar of the upcoming school year.

The superintendent's council for these schools met earlier this year and generated the school calendar for the 2002-2003 school year. Huff presented the calendar to the board of education and it was approved by a 5-0 vote.

Summer Schools

The SCR-I high school and elementary school principals were on hand at the meeting to present proposals for the 2002 summer school sessions.

The secondary school summer classes for grades 7-12 will begin May 20 and conclude June 10. Math, science, social studies and language arts will be offered for remedial credits. Successful completion of a remedial course provides the student with credit for a course they have failed. Driver's education will be offered for regular credit.

The elementary school program will run from May 20 through June 7. For the second year no transportation will be provided by the district for either summer school program.

The board voted 5-0 to approve both proposals.

MSBA Services

The board approved the annual payment for the MSBA maintenance services provided for the district's policy manual. The state organization reviews the manual annually and offers updates and suggestions for improving the governing papers for the school. The service costs $860 this year.

Overall the district will pay the state school board association $3,878 this year in dues and service fees.

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