School board talks about tax structure

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 9/30/97.

The Paynesville Area School Board certified a district levy which is 8.72 percent less than last year at their meeting Tuesday night.

ďThe tax structure has changed and the number of adjustments made by the state changed the percentages,Ē Howard Caldwell, school superintendent, told the board. ďIt is difficult to understand, but in the last five years tax changes have occurred more rapidly than in the last 10 years combined. Factors include equalization and property values.Ē

Caldwell explained the school districts have no voice in the changes. The state mandates what changes will or wonít be made in many areas. ďThe state is contributing a sizable amount more than last year,Ē he added.

The district Truth in Taxation hearing is set for Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. The formal adoption of this proposed levy will take place at the Dec. 16 meeting.

In other business...
ēThe school board reviewed the staff development issue for attending out of state conventions. At an earlier meeting this year, the board had stated they would prefer the staff attend conventions closer to home.

The staff development committee felt the restriction was a slap on the wrist and that the board was not treating them like professionals. They feel by attending out-of-state conventions they are receiving effective, quality learning ideas to bring back to their coworkers.

Deb Glenz, board member, sided with the staff development committee as they had been approving and rejecting convention proposals a long time before the board stepped in. ďThe site-base committee feels national conventions are many times the best choice,Ē she said.

Board member Pat Flanders stressed the need for more efficient use of dollars. He did not approve of the district paying $650 toward airfare to attend conventions.

Staff development representatives asked for a clarification as to what conventions should or shouldnít be attended. They did not feel all conventions should be covered as a whole but taken on their individual merit.

A sub-committee was formed to address the issues and bring back a recommendation to the board.

ēThe board approved a resolution stating their dissatisfaction with adding three additional instructional days to the school calendar for next year.

ēBryan Mara and Ken Vork presented a marching band pay schedule proposal to the board. Negotiations asked that the board review the options so the band directors could be covered for work above and beyond their regular classroom duties. The music department feels a head director position is equivalent to the position of head coach for a sport.

In June at the Town and Country Day parade, there were 15 bands participating. Mara said he would like to return the favor and have the Paynesville band perform and compete in other town parades next June.

In order to put a quality marching band in parades, they requested extra help: head director (Mara), assistant director, drumline instructor and colorguard instructor.

Last summer, Mara was the St. Cloud All-Area Marching Band director. Paynesville had 12 students paying $450 each for the chance to march with the St. Cloud band.

Students eligible to march would be those graduating from the eighth grade through 12th grade graduates.
The board took their proposal under advisement.

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