The School Board was elated to allocate $7,000 out of our leased funds revenues to get the Middle School Speech and Debate team on some solid footing for this year (note, Nan Holmes and I recused ourselves from voting since we both have children on this team). But the crazy thing about being on the School Board, even a decision as easy as this is still not black and white. The Speech and Debate team needed the money for transportation. Well, one needs to understand that transportation costs are greatly underfunded by the State Public Education Department (PED) – but that’s another blog for another day. Because of the drastic underfunding, we’ve had to reduce the number of bus drivers. Reduced bus drivers equals fewer drivers available for transportation of sports teams and extracurricular clubs. That means much of our out of District transport will need to be done on charter buses. This is nearly double the cost. To anticipate this increased cost, Asst. Superintendent Gerry Washburn suggested the School Board also place an additional $10,000 into the Sports/Activities transportation budget. The School Board voted unanimously to allocate these funds.
The Board has also requested the District Office to look into helping the Board to create a stipend for extracurricular clubs. These stipends would need to be applied for and the Board would set certain requirements and weighted consideration as to how to disperse the funds. This is still in the very formative stage, but we hope to be voting on this idea soon.