An audience of four listened to a legislative update from District 44 State Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch, and board members discuss the decision to give staff raises, the evening of June 26 at the Centralia School Board’s monthly meeting.
“… I just want you know if the bill passes, people will be flooding to this district,” Reisch told board members regarding Missouri House Bill 253 which she said some called a “School Choice, bill, but to me it is a school transfer bill. Every school board in Missouri has local control.”
She said if the bill returns next year and becomes law: “You all have the option to A- allow any students to come to your school… You steer the decision. There is also a percentage that could leave Centralia and the costs that would stay with your district for a while, kind of a phase-in, phase-out thing… I will be honest with you. Hallsville and Centralia are always at the top of the APR scores, not just as whole districts, but by their individual buildings… Columbia is down at the bottom of the barrel… People are flocking out of Columbia.”
She said if the bill passes, “The people that work here at Hubbell would want their kids to come to Centralia, because they are here five days a week anyway, so that would be an option. But again, you all make that decision. The bill may or may not happen, but it looks likes it could be in the future, if you all want to allow more kids into your schools that do not live in your district.”
She also said the state has fully funded the School Foundation Formula, as well as the school transportation fund, “a huge help for a rural district like Centralia.”
She presented the board with three pairs of flags, a state flag and the flag of the United States of America.
“It hurt day care situations, it hurt attendance, and the school is open Monday anyway,” she said responding to a question from Board Member Harvey Million regarding state funding and its relation to the four-day school week adopted by the Hallsville and Sturgeon school districts. “I think it hurts the kids’ education, they need to be in school five days a week.”
The board accepted three resignations; Alexis Willingham – high school art, Elizabeth Cupp and Christy Curtis – para professionals.
Additionally, they approved these new hires; Logan Ross – middle school exploratory, Robynn Caples – third grade; Mary Bradley – first grade and Janet Nuefeld – history.
He said they would hire several paraprofessionals in August.
The also declared several items as surplus property including one carport, a storage shed, a van and a truck bed.
Marshall Gingrich, executive director of operations, updated the board on construction issues.
The second piece of the Chance Elementary School playground equipment will arrive in August, he said, and a new part for the CIS chiller has been installed.
There will be excavation for new drainage on the south side of CBMS, he said
Additionally, Gingrich said the new Centralia High School intercom system is half complete. They will also, he said, install computer and software upgrades in the football field scoreboard.
Board member Rusty Dutton had questions about the bus barn conditions, communications with parents regarding students being dropped off and picked up at the bus barn for extracurricular activities. “Sometimes it gets forgotten about,” Dutton said regarding the bus barn.
Under new business they addressed and unanimously approved, minus board member Jared Auck, who was absent, school meal prices for the upcoming school year.
All student breakfasts will cost $2.15 from $2. CES, CIS and CBMS lunches – $2.45 lunch from $2.35. CHS lunch – $2.60, up from 2.50.
Adult meal prices will be $2.70 for breakfast and $3.72 for lunch.
Chancellor said this was the last year of their current food service contract with OPAA!. He said the prices were likely to go up and said he did not expect more than two bids on the new contract.
Responding to a question from board member Rusty Dutton, Chancellor said he expected the number of students participating in the free and reduced lunch program to increase.
They voted to offer extended day contracts to the following staff. John Brinkmann, Tonya Dimmitt, Emily Erisman, Lori Lewis, Stacey Million, Trisa Redington, Scott Stone, Charla Tawney-Dickerson and Rylee Williamson.
For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.