Purdy School Board approves budget

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Anticipating tight state funds for the coming year, the Purdy R-2 Board of Education passed a conservative budget for the 2011-12 school year at its June monthly meeting.

"If the revenue all comes in, we should be $51,843 to the good at the end of the year," said Superintendent Jerry Lingo. "This is a very, very tight budget. We may have to add to the transportation funds, if the state has more cuts, and to a couple of [federally funded] Title funds. Other than that, we've made all the changes, and I feel we'll be really close if we keep our expenditures down."

The budget anticipated total revenues of $5,803,460 and total spending of $5,751,617. Local property taxes are expected to generate $834,502, counting delinquent taxes.

Salary recommendations adopted by the board included the addition of a salary step to give all certified teachers credit for working for the district for an additional year, adding $25,896 to the budget. The superintendent and three principals each received a $1,000 salary increase. Central office staff each received a $500 pay increase. Aides, building secretaries, bus drivers, cooks and the nurse each received a $250 increase. Salary increases added a total of $42,366 to the budget.

Lingo said enrollment appears to have leveled off after several years of declines. A drop in students would further impact state funding.

Bus certification

Transportation Director Rod Tucker received a passing mark on all nine of the district's buses in the annual inspection with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The average passage rate for a district is nearly 88 percent.

The achievement was credited to diligent maintenance as the year progressed, making repairs in a more timely manner and to the drivers for working toward the goal.

Board members voted to hired AHERA to handle asbestos management for the district for the coming year. Cost will be $125 a month.

Authorization was granted to transfer 7 percent of the money in the district's incidental fund into the building fund. Lingo said the transfer, allowed only at the end of the school year, will probably not be needed this year.

Personnel action

At the recommendation of the district's auditor, the board voted to hire Stacey Williams as board secretary and payroll accounting clerk for the coming year and to hire Marsha Williams as the superintendent's secretary and district treasurer. Both had been formally hired earlier.

Christine Scott was hired as the new art teacher and Kimberly Holtz was hired as the new English language learner instructor for the middle school and high school. Michaela Brown was hired as a new cook to replace Martha Berry, who has taken a position elsewhere.

Administrative reports

Lingo reported summer school ended on June 27. A total of 234 students participated, compared to 240 who enrolled in 2010. Newton Learning, the private firm with whom the district contracts for summer school services, was again paying students $100 for perfect attendance, $75 for only missing one day and $50 for missing only two days.

Principals provided year-end attendance numbers. The middle school ended the year with attendance of over 95 percent for a final enrollment of 202 students. The high school ended the year with 224 students and almost 94 percent attendance, up 1.24 percent from the previous year.

High School Principal Robert Vice presented a schedule for the coming school year. New among the class offerings will be a music theory class. Social studies teacher Adam Wilhite would be reducing the western civilization course to one semester to add a semester-long course on history through film, where students will watch documentary movies.

A review of disciplinary action taken during the past year was provided. Elementary Principal Jeff Swadley reported four students received corporal punishment and two had out-of-school suspensions. At the middle school, 11 students received out-of-school suspensions, three of whom were suspended on two occasions.

High school students had a total of 174 after-school suspensions, about the same as the previous year. Thirteen students served 64 days of out-of-school suspensions.

Students facing suspensions have the option of doing class work for the days missed and earning 50 percent credit.

Lingo added that fewer districts allow corporal punishment, though the Purdy administrators agreed it seems to make a difference.

The next Purdy R-2 Board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 18 in the superintendent's office.

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