School board receives good news

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/3/96.

The Paynesville School Board received good news Tuesday night at their meeting. The board was presented an adjusted budget of the 1996-97 school year which shows an increase in revenues.

ãI went back and recalculated the budget after receiving up-to-date funding information from the state,ä Howard Caldwell, superintendent, told the board. Caldwell explained he hadnât recognized revenue in the past from special ed students from last year who were open enrolled into the district. This year, under state guidelines, they will be figured into the budget which means an additional $75,000 in revenue combining last year and this yearâs revenue. Other additional revenue includes $86,000 from adjusted pupil units; $75,000, increase in special education funds, and $9,000 in state aid, to name a few of the adjustments.

He said the noticeable difference in the debt redemption is a result of the school board borrowing a $150,000 general obligation capital note and paying it off with debt redemption funds. The $150,000 is earmarked for technology purchases for the district, Caldwell added.

In other business: Mary Minnehan, field representative for Minnesota Education Association (MEA), met with the board to explain the various laws which play into the grievance submitted by the local teachers union on behalf of the Early Childhood Special Education (ECFE) teachers.

Prior to 1980, ECFE teachers could not be part of a bargaining unit. After the Stewartville decision in 1986, there are two qualifiers to be part of the bargaining unit: 1) be a licensed position and 2) employed by a school district. One exception to the rule applies to those who teach community education or at a community college. If the courses are noncredit classes, then the teachers are not part of the bargaining unit.

Bargaining unit members Dean Hanson and Larry Fleck said the information she provided conflicted with the school board association guidelines they had received. Minnehan agreed the laws were confusing on the issue and suggested the board check with the Bureau of Mediation for some clarification.

Several board members felt if the ECFE teachers were to become part of the bargaining unit, they would lose some of their programming flexibility. The board tabled any decisions on the grievance until the next meeting enabling further study on the subject.

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