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Paynesville Press - March 17, 2004

School board approves contract settlement

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, March 9.

*The board approved a contract settlement with its non-union support personnel for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 school years. Their salary schedule was increased by two percent for the 2003-04 school year and by 2.5 percent for the 2004-05 school year. Insurance contributions for full-time employees were increased to $4,500 for the 2003-04 school year and to $4,700 for the 2004-05 school year, yielding a total two-year increase of 7.17 percent. The teacher's union settled last fall for 7.25 percent over two years.

*The board approved continuing to provide the wrestling cheerleader program and adding a football cheerleading program for the 2004-05 school year, contingent upon the programs raising enough outside money to support themselves.

*The board heard an appeal from Mayor James Rothstein, regarding school district borders in St. Martin. According to Rothstein, a new housing development, with up to 30 new homes, is being planned for the city. Currently, St. Martin is divided between two school districts, Albany and Paynesville. Children from the new housing development would be divided between the two districts.

Rothstein would like the school boards of both schools to help determine how the district lines were drawn, and possibly adjust the lines to make more sense and to ensure that students are in the school district their parents' taxes are going.

Rothstein also asked the board to consider helping St. Martin in its effort to build a public library.

*The board approved hiring Murphy Management Consultants to help the district update its pay equity program.

*The board approved a maternity leave request for elementary teacher Rachel Nelson, effective starting in May.

*The board approved hiring an additional instructional assistant for special education, as needed by a student in the elementary school.

*The board approved letting bids for the removal of a 12,000-gallon fuel storage tank at the elementary school and replacing it with a 6,000-gallon, double-walled fiberglass tank.

*The board approved membership in the SW/WC Service Cooperative, with annual dues of $586.

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