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Board of Education discusses raising tax during August meeting

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Barlow- School Board discusses raising tax rate during the recent Board of Education meeting Monday evening.

The Board discussed the tax rate at length.  District Superintendent Casey Allen said the Board needed to decide if they were going to do anything other than using the compensating rate, which has been assessed at 49.9.  The current tax rate is 50.9.  He explained that the compensating rate shows what tax rate the district would have to take to raise the same amount of revenue as received the previous year.    The Board is considering raising the tax rate to 51.8. That would mean a 4% increase in revenue.

According to Allen, all revenue would go toward instruction. Allen also talked about cuts the district has had to take and said that raising the rate would add to the revenue stream every year.  Chairman Haskell Sheeks expressed the need to consider raising the rate.  “We don’t want to put a burden on people, but we can’t keep taking cut after cut.”  The Board scheduled a public hearing to discuss increasing the tax rate from 50.9 to 51.8. The hearing will take place just prior to the next Board meeting on September 9th at 5:30 p.m. 

Other business requiring Board action pertained to a request by the Ballard County Library for a donation. This is a yearly request that covers the Book Mobile that comes to the campus.  Board member Tammy Dennis said, “It’s a good thing.  We want to make sure we keep it here.” Superintendent Casey Allen recommended the Board give a donation of $1,200, and the Board approved the amount of the contribution.

The Board also discussed its continuing revision of the newly required listing of district-wide school fees as required by a new Redbook change that took effect July 1. Redbook, formally called Accounting Procedures for Kentucky School Activity Funds, is the manual that carries the force of a state regulation. The new version of the manual guides districts and schools in uniformly reporting money received and spent in school activity funds. Updates to the list that included items that had been added since last month’s meeting were discussed.

Transportation/Facilities Director Kerry Fulcher updated the board on the new Greenhouse. He said it was the same structure as the one at Lone Oak, which will be moved to the newly consolidated McCracken County High School.  “It was a very comfortable process,” said Fulcher.  “It was very cost competitive.”

Fulcher said he is ready to install the electrical component of the structure and is waiting to see what the Ag. Department decides they want to do.  He is also considering putting up a fence around the perimeter of the greenhouse.

The Board also discussed the personnel report, which included two new certified teachers; these teachers are Sue Ellen Morris (BCMS science) and Leslie Downs (BCES Special Education).  New Classified employees, substitutes, and volunteers were also approved.

Director of Pupil Personnel Bob Wilson reported on the turnout for Bomber Bash.  One change from previous years was having high school instructors on campus during the Bomber Bash.  “It’s beneficial to have them here,” he said.  Wilson also talked about 2013/2014 enrollment.  There are currently 1312 students attending Ballard County Schools in grades k-12.

Ballard Memorial High School Principal David Meinschein discussed ACT scores. He said English was the only area that went down from 17.8 to 17.2.  Although he said the scores fell short of his projected goal of 19, there is a steady increase each year in most areas.  In an effort to improve scores, Meinschein said he is pushing curriculum, instruction and assessment with a focus on intervention and remediation.  

Towards the end of August, all 11th grade students will be taking a retired ACT test as a way to see how well students will perform on the actual test.  He also said the high school’s move to a seven period day will benefit the students.

Also discussed at the meeting was the destruction of records that include files of Special Education students who attended Ballard County Schools prior to 2010.  The purging of these files will take place in October. Additionally, the board approved two students for a partial day schedule based on recommendation by the Admissions and Release Committee (ARC).

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