Manila School Board accepts good audit report

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Members of the Manila School Board accepted the 2015-2016 audit report at the April 20 meeting. Superintendent Pam Castor said she was pleased to report there was no findings.

Board President Tracey Reinhart, along with other members, commended Mrs. Castor and her staff for a great job.

“We try to keep every “i” dotted and “t” crossed,” Mrs. Castor said. “The staff does a good job.”

The board voted unanimously to renew classified contracts as presented by Superintendent Castor.

School Board members present included President Reinhart, Paul Hicks, Terry Carr, Johnny McCain, and Danny Robbins. Members Jeremy Jackson and Tommy Wagner were absent.

The board voted 5-0 to accept the resignation of Wendy Campbell, cafeteria worker, and Paula Poag, English teacher.

“I would like to say Mrs. Poag and retired teacher Ann Wells had a great influence on my life and I am sure they had a great influence on others as well,” Board member McCain said. “I like to read today because of Mrs. Poag. She will be missed.”

President Reinhart commented the district was fortunate to have Mrs. Poag return to the classroom for a few years after her retirement.

All of the board conveyed they well wishes to her for a happy retirement and their appreciation to her for her service to the district.

The board voted unanimously to hire Shannon Page as pre-K teacher for the 2017-2018 school year.

Mrs. Castor recommended, based on economics and enrollment numbers, to give bonuses, instead of raises. Her recommendation was $1,000 for certified; $600 for classified; and $300 for part-time. The total cost of the bonuses will be $113,134.50 for certified and $47,078 for classified. She went on to explain why she recommended the bonus and said if the board approved her recommendation, it will go to the PPC and come back to the board with their vote.

Castor said student enrollment had dropped by 2.6 at the end of the third nine weeks. Attendance had picked up since then, but the district will be funded on the lower number.

She was asked by the board how much of the budget is spent on salaries.

Mrs. Castor said 80 percent.

She went on to say the district is in good shape right now.

They discussed grants the school has applied for and received.

“Our teachers have applied and received many grants for technology,” she said. “We were granted the partnership money for the new school. Those grants do not pay salaries.”

McCain commented the district has a current enrollment of 1064 and will be paid for the 1054 enrollment at the end of the third quarter.

McCain then asked about the superintendent's contract commenting Manila's superintendent's salary is lower than others in the state.

“I would appreciate the board not entertaining any raise for the superintendent until we can give a raise to all of our staff,” Castor said.

“I ask myself two questions every day,”McCain said. “Are we doing right by our kids and are we doing right by our staff. I know she (Mrs. Castor) has taken it on the chin and at some point we will have to look at the situation.”

President Reinhart said he understood how she felt but said at some point the board will need to look at raising the salary.

In other business:

*The Board voted unanimously to accept the bid for the football scoreboards.

*Board member McCain asked about fuel cost compared to the same time last year. Castor said the cost was up $10,621.74 over last year at the same time. She said fuel cost per gallon was up slightly and students traveled more.

*The May 18 board meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. following kindergarten graduation.

*The June meeting has been moved to the fourth Thursday.

*Graduation will be held May 15.

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