Manila Board approves policies and salary increase

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marshall Hughes with First Security Beardsley Public Finance addressed Manila School Board members Thursday, April 17.

Hughes discussed changes in the IRS language for issuing bonds and in the time frame the money must be used. Hughes said there were only two changes in the 40 page document from the IRS.

Board members voted unanimously to approve the changes from IRS. They then voted to renew the agreement with Beardsley Public Finances to serve as the district's financial adviser for three more years.

"Hopefully, we will have a successful election in the future," Hughes said.

Board members present included Anita Cole, Jeremy Jackson, Brandon Veach and Dan Robbins.

Superintendent Pam Castor presented several policies for the 2014-2015 school year for review. She said some of the changes are a result of mandated laws. The policies discussed include insurance; cell phone use by bus drivers; reduction in force; superintendent evaluations; sick leave; outside employment for teachers on medical leave, etc.

The board voted to accept the policies as presented.

Castor said she would have more policies to review at the next meeting.

The board approved teacher salary increase proposal for the 2013-2014 school year. The option approved had the majority of the votes from the personnel policy committee. It included the equivalent of $1,000 increase with $500 going on the base salary.

The board approved the purchase of 20 laptops for the elementary school for a total amount of $13,618. This funding is coming from award money to the district for the students' exemplary performance on the Benchmark assessment last year.

Following an executive session, the board accepted the resignation of Linda Cole, part-time cafeteria worker, and Rosemary Smith, custodian.

They also read a letter of resignation from Alice Massey who plans to retire at the end of the school year. Mrs. Massey has taught at Manila for 26 years.

"She is a great teacher and we hate to lose her but we wish her well," Robbins said.

The board voted to hire Mary Rountree as custodian for the remainder of the school year.

Castor and the board recognized high school basketball coach Lee Wimberley for being chosen East All Star coaching staff.

Castor distributed estimates of future enrollment from a study done through the University of Arkansas.

"Their estimated growth is more than we had estimated," Castor said.

Robbins gave a brief report on his recent trip to the National School Board Conference reporting on some of the challenges districts could be facing in the future.

The Manila School Board meets the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

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