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PURCHASE LINE: School board to vote on final budget

by JEREMY HARTLEY on June 18, 2013 10:50 AM

PURCHASE LINE — The Purchase Line school board met Monday in a work session to discuss agenda items that will be voted on during the board’s regular meeting on Monday.

The board will vote on adopting the final proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year.

The proposed budget currently includes revenues of $17,519,860 and expenditures of $18,083,675. It plans to borrow $563,815 from the fund balance. The budget does not include a tax increase, according to business manager Janice Pearce.

Michele Buterbaugh, a resident of Cherry Tree, expressed her continuing concern over music scheduling for elementary students. Her worries concerned fourth- through sixth-grade students, that one-half hour of teaching divided among different music programs wasn’t going to be enough.

“I just don’t see how you’re going to get band, chorus and lessons in a half-hour a week with only one teacher (at the elementary school),” she said during the public comments portion of the meeting. “I don’t see how that’s going to be efficient to teach these kids what they need to know about wanting to play an instrument.”

Buterbaugh’s concern was that some students would be excluded if there wasn’t enough time to devote to the extracurricular music program of their choice.

In the past, there has been more than one music teacher at the elementary school, allowing for more students to be taught at a single time.

In athletic business, the board will vote to approve a 2 percent increase for athletic and activities extracurricular wages for the 2013-14 school year.

The board will vote on the approval of using ACE American Insurance Co. for their student sports insurance at $8,337. This is up from the previous year’s cost of $8,137, an increase of 2.5 percent, due to the number of claims made.

Recommendations will be made for the positions of head boys’ basketball coach, assistant football coach and assistant volleyball coach.

The board will vote on the approval of the renewal of athletic contracts for Isaac Solak, athletic director; Chad Small, assistant football coach; and Steve Woodrow, assistant football coach.

The board heard a request from Solak to hold the first week of football summer camp at Mahaffey Campground. The campground has hosted several collegiate-level soccer teams in the past, according to Solak, and would be the right choice for Purchase Line’s football team, he said.

The week of football camp would require an additional trainer to travel with the team. Solak said he has contacted Indiana Total Therapy for one of their trainers to accompany them. He will have total costs worked out by Monday’s meeting.

Solak also raised the possibility of the creation of a junior high track program for the 2015-16 school year. Junior high volleyball will be moved from the spring of 2016 to the fall of 2015, according to Solak. This leaves the junior high students with no athletic activities during the spring.

“Now would be the perfect time to implement a junior high track program,” Solak said. This gives the board a full year to consider and find the budget necessary to support a new track program.

The board will also vote on accepting the resignation of Raymond Keith, assistant girls’ basketball coach.

In personnel matters, the board mentioned the hiring of an instructional aide for a seven-hour position at $12.85 an hour, a marching band director and a musical co-director. No decisions will be made on these positions until August “until schedules are ready and people are aligned,” according to board President Mary Pittman.

The board also recommended hiring Carl Beard of Andrews and Beard Law Offices as solicitor for the 2013-14 year. Solicitor work would be paid at the rate of $125 an hour with special services at $155 an hour. These costs are the same as the current year.

The board heard a request from high school Principal James Price to fill the position of a second assistant band director. The position has been available for the past two years, but never filled, according to Price.

“We have a good number with the band,” Price said, “and right now we only have two … paid positions that go with the band, and we’re asking for that third position.”

The addition of a third person would mean there would be a paid individual on every bus when the band travels. The board will also vote on accepting of resignation of Rebecca Bracken, musical drama director and assistant band director.

In other financial business, the board will vote on the approval of Highmark Casualty Insurance Company as worker’s compensation provider at a cost of $40,007 and on a contract with Citizens’ Ambulance Service for the 2013-14 school year at a cost of $1,975.

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