he school budget is a scary issue right now, Newton school board president Barbara Bunting told the board at its meeting Tuesday night.
Bunting gave a report on her attendance at the Governmental Relations Seminar last week in Topeka.
In addition to discussions about the 2011 recission bill and 2012 funding reductions, legislators also are engaged in discussions about a constitutional amendment to define the definition of a suitable education.
A constitutional amendment potentially could affect state funding levels and the quality of education in Kansas for years to come, Bunting said.
“A lot of discussion has been misrepresenting that this is looking at education funding instead of what is best for students,” she said. ... “It may be a discussion of what we can do away with instead of what we can do to best meet students’ needs.”
She said some educators have concerns a constitutional amendment will result in forced consolidation of smaller school districts.
In other business:
• The board approved a low bid of $239,000 from Wray Roofing of North Newton for replacement of various roofs in the district.
• Approved a bid of $25,168 from Kansas City Audio Visual of Kansas City, Mo., for Smart Boards.
• Approved revised driver’s education fees. Because last year’s driver’s education program brought in more than expended, administration recommended reducing the fees this year. The fees were reduced from $275 to $250 with students who are eligible for reduced-price lunches paying $150 instead of $175 and students qualifying for free meals paying $100 instead of $125. Out-of-district students will continue to pay $275.
• Approved the sale of surplus equipment.
• Approved the extension of the notification date for early retirement to May 20 due to the uncertainty of the current budget situation.
The measure passed on a vote of 5-1 with Bunting voting against.
She said she did not think a policy should be changed for one year, and she said she would prefer the district to consult legal advice before making such a change.
• Approved a resolution in support of continued state funding for Kansas Affordable Airfares Program. The resolution passed on a vote of 5-0-1. Board member Renee Erickson said she did not know enough about the issue to cast a vote.
• Approved a gift request for Slate Creek Elementary School for $869 form the New York Road Runners Foundation for physical education equipment.