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At their regular meeting Monday, April 8, the Mount Ayr Community Schools board of directors approved the district budget and handled several personnel decisions for the 2019-2020 school year.
Monday’s meeting opened with a public hearing on the district’s proposed budget for 2019-2020.
During the hearing, superintendent Joe Drake provided a thorough review of the calculations used to arrive at the line item totals.
Following the hearing, the board approved the budget as presented.
Revenue is anticipated to total $11,596,343. Included in that amount is $4,207,012 in taxes levied on property, an increase of nearly $250,000 from the current year.
The tax rate for 2019-2020 will be 14.68153 cents per $1,000 valuation, up from 14.067 cents in the current 2018-2019 budget. The budget noted taxes levied on property had risen an average of 6.3 percent over the past three years due in part to the increased tax rate as well as increased property valuations in the district.
Expenditures in the budget are anticipated to total $11,931,206, with $5,920,000 going to instruction and another $3,130,000 devoted to support services such as administration, operation and maintenance, transportation and support staff.
Total expenditures have decreased an average of 26.1 percent over the past three years.
In personnel decisions, the board:
• conducted their annual evaluation of building principals Bill Huntington and Chris Elwood. Both were offered two-year contract with salary increases of $2,800 per year. The 3 percent salary increase is close to the percentage increase agreed to with the instructional staff.
• approved the hiring of Cierra Clark as a new elementary teacher for the 2019-2020 school year.
• approved the salary schedule for non-classified staff, which includes a 3.23 percent raise. The board also paying single health insurance coverage for district custodians and secretaries.
• approved the resignation of Courtney May as agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.
• approved the hiring of 7-12 principal Bill Huntington as middle school baseball coach for the upcoming season.
• approved the hiring of Maggie Jennett and Kylie Hensley as co-head drill team coaches.
• approved the resignations of Brandie and Bret Ruggles as co-head softball coaches following the conclusion of the upcoming season.
• approved the resignation of Tess Rinehart as middle school girls basketball coach.
• approved the resignations of Maeci Baumfalk as an associate and Anthony Rotert as custodian.
• approved adding two days to the contract with elementary teacher Dara Greenland.
In other business the board:
• learned parent-teacher conferences were well attended at both buildings, with 98 percent attendance at the elementary and 94 percent at the middle/high school.
• approved a list of district goals for the upcoming school year as presented by Tracy Barnes from the District Study Committee.
• approved the Hazard Mitigation Plan, which would make the district eligible for FEMA funding in the event of a disaster declaration.
• approved various policy updates as provided by the Iowa Association of School Boards to bring district policies in line with changes in legislation.
• approved additional instructional contracts with Southwestern Community College.