RCAPS board discusses administrative, central office contracts

REED CITY – The Reed City Area Public Schools Board of Education discussed administrative and central office contracts for the 2014-15 school year at their meeting on Monday, however, after some debate the discussion was tabled.

None of the five board members present had an issue with the salaries of administrative and central office staff, however, some expressed concern over the two-year length of the contracts.

“My only concern is that if we are in such a critical budget situation, it scares me to get into a two-year contract where you are locked and if we needed to make any changes to accommodate for budget we can’t,” said trustee Tricia Wirth.

Board vice president Edward Raby reminded the board that they have already made cuts to administration.

“I think we have gotten to a point in administration where I wonder how they do their job. I am going to be honest; I don’t think there is a single administrator who isn’t wearing two or three hats.”

Two-year contracts have been the standard for administration staff for quite some time, said  Superintendent Tim Webster.

“They are taking the responsibility of being a principal and there is very little job security out there,” Webster said. “A 2-year commitment on our part is what I recommend.”

In public comment, the board heard concern from a parent regarding the ratio of students to teachers for the 2014-15 school year in first grade.

There are five kindergarten teachers this year, and there are currently four first grade teachers at GT Norman Elementary.

“Usually later on in the year as we start to do our budgeting for next year the GT Norman principal puts together a report,” said board president Dan Boyer. “Elementary teachers frequently have to move grade levels to accommodate bubble groups, which it seems to be the case there.

“We have tried to do our best over the years to keep those numbers down at the elementary school. I know that has long been a goal of the board and will continue to be so.”

Deb Todd expressed concern regarding the fact that Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District board members are appointed, not elected.

Todd presented copies of state statute 380.616, which states that, in intermediate school districts where board members are elected at popular elections, “a candidate for the office of member of the intermediate school board shall be nominated, and members shall be elected.”

“An intermediate school board may submit to the school electors of the constituent districts comprising the intermediate school district the question of adoption” of electing intermediate school board members, the statue continues.

If the majority of school electors vote in favor of popular election, members of the MOISD board would be elected during the next regular school election.

In other business, the board approved the following:

  • Reed City Pride Week, which will take place May 5 through 9;
  • A 3-year agreement for waste removal services from Waste Management at $1,374 per month;
  • A motion to request monetary aid from the Michigan Association of School Boards legal trust fund.

The next RCAPS school board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on May 12 in the Porteous Academic Center at Reed City Middle School.