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September 15, 2019

8/15/2019 2:19:00 PM
North Branch School Board hears should be extra safety money out of state budget

The North Branch School Board, with Tim MacMillan absent, heard some good news on the financial front last week.  The state legislature dedicated an amount from budget surplus late this summer,  to go to schools.  The plan is for the supplemental school safety aid to go into a district account to be used as if it were a safe schools levy.

Based on North Branch District enrollment, Superintendent Dr. Deb Henton said the district expects $98,000.  This is based on the allotment of $34 per pupil unit. The district gets the funds after October 2019.

In other business:  the Board heard from Community Education Director Brett Carlson on  what was learned in the on-line Thought Exchange where 200 citizen comments were collected last spring.  One item mentioned was for a more timely release of the fall catalogue about Community Ed programs and classes. It needs to allow more lead time for people to look into options and arrange schedules.  Carlson said staff took that to heart and the fall booklet is being released very soon.

~ The Principal/Executive Director of Phoenix Academy James Gagner made a request for busing.  The academy would pay the 4.0 bus transportation company directly, avoiding administrative involvement by the district, he said.  The academy will provide improved, “strong communication” going forward and the students will benefit through safe and efficient transportation.  

The item was not on the agenda, and school board members did not comment and did not take action.  This is the third time charter school officials have made a busing request.  The first was only in writing and the ex director of the academy missed a state deadline making it eligible for public bus services.  The second mention of their desire for busing was at last month’s school board meeting.

~ Negotiations are on-going for the current teacher contracts.  There’s a meeting August 27 with the union.  Talks with custodians continue too. The next meeting is Sept. 18.

~ The Board adopted a healthcare plan provider PEIP or the Public Employee Insurance Plan, as the best option.

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