Board to host tax rate hearing prior to tonight’s meeting

By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]

The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education will host two meetings tonight.

Prior to the regularly scheduled meeting, the board will meet for its annual tax rate hearing. The administration will recommend the board to approve a slight decrease in the tax rate for the district.

“We are recommending that the tax rate be set at $3.9582 per $100 of assessed evaluation,” Superintendent Brad Pollitt said. “That is a .0019 decrease from last year’s adjusted levy of $3.9601 during the 2015-16 school year.”

The board will also consider financial matters during the regular meeting, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.

In the ASBR (Annual Secretary of the Board Report), which is submitted to the state annually, the administration will be recommending a 5.3 percent spend down in district reserves for the board to consider.

“We are proposing the spend down this year, which we expected to do because of the construction costs at the high school,” Pollitt said. “We are on target with the construction and are slightly under budget on the cost of the project, which is always good.

“The buildings are coming along nicely and we expect to be in the gym in mid-September and the addition behind the freshman wing at the end of September,” he added.

The board will also consider an increase to the amount a paraprofessional substitute receives. The administration is asking for the increase in an effort to attract more paraprofessional substitutes to the district, according to information provided in the board packet.

“We are continuing to attract more substitutes in that area, which includes not only paras but interpreters, instructional assistants, custodians and administrative assistants,” Pollitt said. “As a larger district we have more challenges at times in trying to fill our positions for substitutes.”

The district pays these positions $8.65 an hour in substitute pay and is recommending an increase to $10.25.

The board is also expected to hear a report from Dr. Nancy Scott, assistant superintendent for human resources and federal programs, concerning the migrant children and at-risk programs in the district.

“We have a very small population of students in the district who are classified as migrant,” Scott said. “Those students are determined by the state classifications.

“Our at-risk students are determined by the district,” Scott added. “We have a number of risk factors that we look at to determine those students who qualify and the list is different for elementary students and those in the upper grades.”

Scott added that the number of at-risk students was increasing and the district continued to provide what she described as an “overwhelming list of support for students who are classified.”

“All our staff and especially our social workers and counselors are very involved with seeing that the needs of these children are met,” Scott said.

The board will be given information on the Grow Your Own Program, which is designed to develop students who have a desire to teach to complete their degree and then return to the district to work.

Carla Wheeler, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, will present information on the ACT Test scores from last spring and will inform the board of the timeline for the release of the district’s Annual Performance Report.

The Tax Rate Hearing will begin at 6:15 p.m. and the Board of Education meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Smith-Cotton Junior High School in the Library Media Center, 312 E. Broadway Blvd. For more information, call the central office at 829-6450.

By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.

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