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Platte County R-3 Board of Education to Meet This Evening

Art Credit: KC Education Enterprise | Photo Credit: 123rf stock image

The Platte County R-3 School District’s Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening, December 15, in a closed executive session at 5:30 p.m. and a regular board meeting at 6:30. The regular board meeting is open to the public.

According to the open meeting agenda, the board is planning to consider three action items and a number of reports.

Action items include review of the district’s financial audit for the 2011 fiscal year, a change to the board’s policy regarding audits and a legislative platform for the coming state legislative session, which begins in January.

Other agenda items include review of two district issues that will be on the ballot for public vote next April as well as a report on the progress of building projects.

Regarding the audit policy, the board is expected to strike the requirement that the district hire its accounting firm through a competitive bidding process. According to Superintendent Mike Reik, he is satisfied with the quality and cost of services provided by the current accounting firm, Westbrook & Company. In addition, having the same firm do the audit each year would provide continuity and allow district staff to spend less time explaining their record-keeping system.

The superintendent will also be submitting a legislative platform for school board members to sign. Lobbyists would base their work for the district on this platform, which includes six state issues and a federal one. The six state issues include:

  • Bonding Capacity: The district would like to increase the amount of bond indebtedness it can take on.
  • Economic Development Incentives: The district would like to have more control over Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which reduces taxes for new businesses and places more of a tax burden in support of education on existing businesses and property owners.
  • Public Funds for Public Schools: The district does not want public funds to support education in private schools.
  • State Funding: The district would like the state to provide full funding as required by the Foundation Formula, which is Missouri’s primary mechanism for financially supporting public schools. The formula has not been fully funded since the start of the Great Recession.
  • Local Control: The district would like more flexibility in local decision making, instead of having decisions made for them on the state and federal levels.
  • Open Enrollment: Platte County R-3 opposes any mandate that would allow enrollment by students residing outside district boundaries.

On the federal level, the district would like to encourage significant changes to the No Child Left Behind Act.

One ballot issue the board will discuss this evening is a request for voters to increase the tax levy in order to fund construction of a new elementary school. The other item on the ballot next April will be a vote for school board candidates. Two positions will be open, because the terms of Jeana Houlihan and Karen Wagoner are coming to an end. Filing for any district resident who wishes to run for the board begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20, and ends at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Platte County’s school board meeting tonight will take place in the District Education Center, 998 Platte Falls Road, Platte City, MO 64079.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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