2012-04-19 / Community

School board approves budget amendments

At their regular meeting Monday, the Manistique Area Schools Board of Education approved $106,962 in amendments to their 2011-2012 general fund budget.

According to Superintendent Kathy McDonough, the budget amendments are a standard operating procedure for this point in the school year.

When each year’s budget is passed – action that must take place no later than June 30 – it represents a “best guess,” as school districts many times do not have final funding figures from the state to work with.

The first amendments typically take place in November, with a second round of changes in April and the final amendments, if necessary, once the school year ends.

Monday night’s amendments accounted for additional revenue to the district of $63,559, against $170,521 in increased expenditures.

Though MAS is currently under a “spending freeze” through the end of the school year, the increases occurred because of paid wages and benefits due to retirement, special educational services, and the contracted speech therapy service, online high school tuition classes, technology equipment, and an unexpected water leak below the surface of the football field.

Also Monday, the board approved a non-binding memorandum of understanding to show interest in a revenue-generating product from Alternative Revenue Development LLC.

A Michigan-based company, ARD sets up Web sites for banner advertising that will generate revenue for the site owner.

Acceptance of a formal agreement with ARD was tabled by the board pending legal review.

In other action

• Approved teachers for tenure and non-tenured probation. Approved for tenure were Amy Nixon and Amanda Saunders. Approved non-tenure probationary faculty members included Doug Morrison (fourth year probation), Deanna Barton (fourth year probation) and Jessica Vitale (third year probation).

• Held a public hearing and first reading of a new anti-bullying policy. The board will hold the second reading at its regular meeting in May.

• Appointed two new members to the Sex Education Advisory Committee: Mary Lou Lund and Mary Jenerou.

• Approved a Spanish Club trip to Chicago in June.

• Set a special meeting for April 23, at 7:30 p.m., in the community room at the high school for the purpose of considering a cooperation football agreement with the Big Bay de Noc School District.

• During public comment, listened to concerns from former board member Daryl Lawrence regarding the future of the school’s cross-country program. The selffunded fall sport has been the subject of a union grievance over the non-paid coaching position. Lawrence argued that the board should continue to support the program saying “You are going to be asked to join a co-op because we cannot get participation in one sport and here you have one that is growing and thriving”.

• Adjourned to closed session for the purpose of negotiation.

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