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August School Board Reports — Week 4

Nine local school boards met last week.

Kansas

Bonner Springs/Edwardsville

Highlights:

  • Routine but necessary responsibilities of governance

Gardner-Edgerton

Highlights:

  • Held a public budget hearing and considered approving a budget for the 2012-13 school year

Lee’s Summit

Highlights:

  • Hearing an enrollment report from Superintendent David McGehee. Public school funding depends on enrollment, and the final enrollment count is not due to the state until later in September. Currently this year’s enrollment is about the same as last year’s.
  • Superintendent McGehee also told the board about the district staff’s efforts to meet the new state accreditation standards mandating smaller class sizes. Some classes are smaller this year. However, he said that — because the state has not fully funded the public schools — the district has not been able to hire enough teachers to fully comply. However, according McGehee’s report, “The legislature passed a bill a few years back that forgives districts for not complying with the class size standards and other resource standards in years that the formula is not fully funded.” About 10 percent of elementary classes and 75 percent of secondary classes in Lee’s Summit meet the new standards.
  • The board set the date for a tax rate hearing to take place the evening of Thursday, Sept. 20.
  • Dick Bartow of George K. Baum & Company — an investment banking firm — discussed the district’s bond rating with the board.
  • A committee charged with finding a site to build a fourth middle school reported to the board that they may have a site to recommend by the November meeting.
  • Board members revised two district policies relating to short-term leaves and absences. The revision clarified the definitions of “professional” and “support” staff.

Turner

Highlights:

  • Routine but necessary responsibilities of governance

Missouri

Kansas City Public Schools

  • Information currently not available

Liberty

Highlights:

Park Hill

Highlights:

  • Holding public tax-rate hearing
  • Voting to approve a tax rate increase that would provide the district with additional annual revenue of about $890,000. The vote was not unanimous, with new board member Chris Seufert casting a dissenting vote.
  • Revising the district policy relating to Board Member Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure as required by the Missouri Ethics Commission

Platte County

Highlights:

Raymore-Peculiar

Highlights:

  • Holding a public tax-rate hearing
  • Voting on a proposal to keep the property tax rate the same as last year
  • Unanimously approving an agreement with the City of Peculiar to place one full-time School Resource Officer on duty in the district at the rate of $228 a day
  • Voting unanimously to hire the Missouri School Boards’ Association to assist in their search for a new superintendent to replace Jeff Kyle, who plans to retire at the end of this school year
  • Hearing an enrollment report. State funding is based on district enrollment.

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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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