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 CAB Addresses Policy Issues

October 1, 2008 - The Charles A. Beard School Board addressed several new policies or amendments to existing policies at its Sept. 16 meeting.

Three of the new policies - those dealing with mileage reimbursement for employees, cell phones and purchasing procedures - were passed on first reading. The board is expected to consider them again on final second reading at its October meeting.

The mileage reimbursement policy continues to allow CAB employees to be reimbursed for authorized business travel in their personal vehicle at the rate set by the Internal Revenue Service. New language added to the policy, however, will, if passed again next month, require employees to seek reimbursement within 90 days, thereby avoiding situations where employees save up their mileage claims and only turn them in once or twice a year.

Under the cell phone policy that was approved on first reading, CAB will no longer provide cell phones, as it had done until recently for several employees. Instead, employees the superintendent determines are eligible -- which could include directors of transportation, technology and maintenance, as well as principals, assistant principals, the business manager, the athletic director, the school nurse and/or nurse’s assistant -- will receive a stipend of no more than $30 a month to cover use of their personal cell phones for business purposes.

Two board members, Mark Fort and Tim Wehr, voted against the new cell phone policy. Fort questioned whether all the employees in those positions listed in the policy need cell phones, noting that many of them are in a school building and can be reached by a land line. He also remarked that some of those who would receive a stipend are among CAB’s highest paid employees.

Wehr’s disagreement with the policy was based on his concern that employees would be taxed on the stipend, which he saw as an issue of double taxation. He said he favored having employees turn in their cell phone bills and only reimbursing them for their business calls, which he said would allow the employees to avoid being taxed on the reimbursement.

A third policy the board passed on first reading will, if approved again next month, amend procedures for purchasing. The added language will require all contracts for professional and/or technical services that extend beyond 90 days to be approved by the board.

The board passed on final second reading an open enrollment policy for CAB’s elementary students. Beginning in 2009, students’ parents or guardians will be able to request that students be allowed to attend a school outside their district of residence for the coming school year. Approval of requests, which must be made between May 31 and August 1, would be dependent on class size and parents and guardians would be responsible for students’ transportation to school, or to a bus stop serving the school if there is space on the bus.

With respect to student enrollment, numbers provided to the board by Superintendent Gary Storie showed that CAB had 1,314.5 students enrolled as of Sept. 16, the official count day designated by the state. This number is down 46.5 students, or 3.4 percent, from last year.

The board also dealt with a number of personnel matters at last week’s meeting. Following through on a matter they first addressed in August, the board voted to eliminate the KHS extracurricular treasurer position held by Theresa Hibbert in 45 days. The responsibilities of this position will now be covered by Andrea Sharp, CAB’s food services director.

The board also accepted resignations from Kennard first grade teacher Christianne Masters and seventh grade cheerleading coach Susie Bundy. Tisha Schultz was hired to replace Masters for the first semester, and the board voted to hire Vicki Kamps to teach French at KHS for the first semester.

Several extracurricular appointments were approved by the board: Carthage Elementary History Club (Mark Rozzell); Kennard Elementary History Club (Karla Willis); fifth and sixth grade Spell Bowl coach (Carissa Brammer); eighth grade class sponsor (Patty Keesling); ninth grade class sponsor (Derek Hornsby); KHS English academics coach (Karen Trent); KHS French Club (Vicki Kamps).


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