September 8, 2005

School Board Considering Adding Baseball After Boosters Pledge $3,500

The Scotland County R-I Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, August 26th with all seven members present. The Board considered three items under old business and eight items under new business.

In old business, Superintendent Dave Shalley gave the board a progress report on the districtís curb and gutter project in the Mi-Lor subdivision, which was constructed by the building trades class.

Shalley reported the project is progressing as expected and will likely be completed in the next two weeks, weather permitting.

Roof Repair Bids

Three bids were received for repairs on the high school buildingís roof. In July, the board had voted to move forward with repairs as highlighted by the community long-term planning committee, which had pinpointed the roof issue as a top priority.

The contract was awarded to Saint Louis Metalworks with a bid of $63,200. Two other bids were considered. Lakeside Roofing Company submitted a proposal for $74,350 while Shay Roofing presented a bid of $70,934.

Baseball Update

Community support for the proposed addition of a baseball program to the high school activities offerings has compelled the board to pursue financial data from other districtís that have baseball programs.

Chris Harris had asked the board previously about starting a baseball program and questioned if money was donated to the program if the school would re-establish baseball.

Shalley informed the board that prior to the meeting, Harris had indicated he had $3,500 per year pledged for baseball for a five-year period.

The board instructed athletic director Andrea Dabney to contact area school districts that offer baseball to determine costs of a baseball program and to prepare a report for the board to consider in September.

Tax Rate Increase

Following the public tax rate hearing prior to the board meeting, the Board voted 7-0 to establish a tax rate of $3.65 per $100.00 of assessed valuation for the 2005-06 fiscal year.

The total levy includes the incidental, teachers, debt service, and capital projects funds.

In April 2002 the local voters passed a Prop C waiver allowing the local school board the authority to set the tax rate for the district up to $3.69 without a vote of the public.

The minimum tax rate a school must maintain is $2.75. Any rate higher than $2.75 up to the amount of $4.70 is rewarded with more state dollars.

ďYour tax rate not only generates local money but also generates money from the state,Ē Shalley said. ďIn other words, you are rewarded from the state for a higher local tax rate under the old formula. With the new formula set to begin its phase-in, this year provides some schools with a one time opportunity to gain many state dollars by setting the tax rate higher for this year, then next year dropping the tax rate back down.Ē

The tax rate set by the board for this year will be used to determine the state dollars for the phase-in period.

The board indicated that many schools across the state are taking this opportunity to gain dollars for their own district with the promise of next year lowering the tax rate back down to relieve the tax payers.

The decision was made to set the tax rate at $3.65 for this year with the promise to lower it back down next year, thus generating over a half million dollars of state aid for the Scotland County R-I School District over the next seven years.

Booster Club Proposal

Shalley presented to the board a proposal made by the SCR-I Booster Club allowing the group to sell season passes to school activities. The Board voted 7-0 to approve the proposal as presented.

Audit

The board received a letter from the recent audit indicating changes that need to be made for better internal controls.

The audit suggested the implementation of time cards. The audit noted that some employees such as the Parents as Teachers program personnel do not clock in and out or otherwise turn in a signed schedule of hours worked. The auditor stated that employees should not be paid without some accountability as to hours worked. Tracking accrued leave days requires time cards for accuracy. This is also important for record keeping purposes for DOL Wage and Labor division documentation.

The audit also indicated that route miles for transporting eligible special needs students should be determined and paid based on the number of miles to the studentís home as calculated by the transportation director.

Reimbursed mileage was also a concern of the auditor. Mileage logs (beginning odometer reading, ending odometer reading, date, purpose and destination) should be signed by the employee requesting payment, reviewed, and signed by the appropriate supervisor before payment is made. (This would also be a good form to include the signature of parents to document a student visit.) All supervisors and employees should be aware that commuting mileage should not be reimbursed. Employees are responsible for the mileage from home to work and then returning from work to home.

The audit pointed out that student activities account for a significant amount of cash where the District does not use the same internal controls that are used for district cash. The auditor stated that unless a related school activity has a Not-for-profit status as a 501(c) (3), all cash should be accounted for through student activities.

ďIf you have any activities which receive funds from students or related activities that are not being accounted for through the district books, these should be addressed,Ē the audit report stated. ďWe recommend that the office staff reconcile the quantity ordered for fund-raisers to the quantity sold. Numbered receipt books should be kept by sponsors of the various activities..Ē

The final suggestion called more timely reimbursements requests. The audit states requests should be turned in promptly for payment. All reimbursements related to the school year need to be turned in for payment prior to closing the year.

Executive Session

In executive session the Board voted 7-0 to offer employment to Heather Robinson as the Title I Aide, and John Dabney and Tammy Dale as special education aides for the 05-06 school year.

Finally, the Board voted 6-0-1 to approve the employment of the following instructional aides for the 2005-06 school year: Debbie Sears, Jane Gelbach, Lynette Dyer, Bobbie Anderson, Lois Bertram, Dawn Carney, and Schellie Cooley. David Kirkpatrick abstained from the vote.

The board voted 6-0-1 to employ the school lunch staff of Terry Arnold, Pat Arnold, Linda Clark, Arlene Dochterman, Vickie Mauck, Bonnie Young, and Tamera Knupp. Scott Brassfield abstained from the vote.

The Board voted 7-0 to employ Janie Parton, PAT; Patty Eggleston, health services; custodians, Eric Anders, Chris Montgomery, Linda Gray, and Shellie Jackson; clerical, Kathy Dickerson, Linda Hervey, Kate Walker, and Beverly Daggs; and Transportation, Dennis Robertson, Roger Armstrong, Stan Carter, Arlene Doctherman, Tom Fender, Elaine Forrester, Penny Holt, Jeri McDonald, Danny Norton, Lois Shelley, Bonnie Young, and Ronnie Young.

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