Mid-Prairie OKs budget and new behavioral position
WELLMAN — The Mid-Prairie Board of Education set 8 p.m. Monday, April 8, for a public hearing on the proposed $24.2 million budget for fiscal 2014. The fact the Legislature has not yet set the allowable growth percentage, made it difficult to predict possible impact, and business manager Cindy Steege recommended setting the rate at 4 percent, that it could be altered later, depending on what the state allows. Current estimates are 2.5 to 4 percent.
The budget has a levy of $12.04 per $1,000 evaluation about the mid-point of similiar area school districts. Steege said the levy reflects a decrease of approximately $2 over the last two years.
Next week, the board learned, interviews with four finalists for the high school principal position will be held. Current Principal Gerry Beeler is retiring in June. Superintendent Mark Schneider said the the salary range is$95,000 to $105,000 and total package is $122,684 to $133,608, which includes health, dental and life insurance and FICA and IPERS.
Amy Shalla, principal at the Alternative Learning Center, asked the board to hire a full-time Special Education Behavioral Specialist for the district, explaining “when behaviors go, staff gets pulled away from other kids” who also need assistance. Currently, it takes more than six weeks just get a consult from Grant Wood and other resources have long waiting lists. Jim Cayton, Kalona Elementary principal, said he has five children who would benefit from this service. The board approved creating the position to be advertised for two weeks.
In other business, the board
•approved $17,783.09 in matching funds for projects from five district booster groups plus carryover for a sixth. Funds are distributed to each attendance center on the basis of enrollment, drawn from a total allocation of $25,000. Projects include a baseball warning track and field windscreen, kiln, digital piano, individual response system, portable partitions, technology , digital cameras and laptops; and
• approved Tuesday, April 2, as one of the four snow make-up days.