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State fundinig possibilities top North Platte discussion

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

North Platte Superintendent Dr. Francis Moran reported to the school board last week on the options the Missouri legislature is pondering regarding the funding of the education formula.

According to Moran, there are a number of considerations still under discussion at the legislative level. The first is that the state is considering dropping certain MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) testing as a way to save funds. He explained that the state will still require the math and reading MAP tests. Moran stated that a cut in special education is also being looked at by members of the legislature.

House Bill 1877 currently looks at increasing the gambling proceeds from 20 percent to 22 percent and increasing the amount charged to enter gambling boats from $2 to $3. The current $500 loss limit at the gambling boats is also in consideration for some changes by state officials. Moran stated that officials are currently looking at eliminating the $500 loss limit.

House Bill 1711 considers a guaranteed tax base for the formula, where the use of an averaging factor would decrease the amount of state funding needed to fully fund the formula.

Moran noted that all of these are currently still being pursued by the legislature and that no final decision has been made.

Due to the unknown amount the district will be receiving from the state for funding, the board voted to wait for the final decision from the legislature before establishing the salary schedule.

"We're going to wait and see the kind of appropriations the general assembly puts out and then once that is available we can set our salary schedule," stated Moran.

In executive session, the board held its evaluation of the teachers in the district and signed 64 certified staff back for the upcoming school year. The board also accepted Bree Clevenger, high school math teacher's resignation, and voted to hire Karl Matt as the new math teacher, boys basketball coach and track coach.

In other business, Moran reported to the board that 33 percent of the district's MAP scores were in the top ten in the State of Missouri.

"It's a significant accomplishment, four out of the 12 categories fell into the top ten," said Moran. The four categories were 8th grade math, 8th grade social studies, 10th grade math, and 10th grade science.

Moran reported that as a part of the summer maintenance, the district will look at finishing the multi-purpose building, as well as installing air conditioning if the proposed 10 cent tax levy passes at Tuesday's election.

Completion of the multi-purpose room will require finishing the junior high locker rooms and the high school shower area.

Depending on the levy outcome, the district may also replace windows at the junior high building. Moran stated that other work across the district will depend upon the receipt of grants.

Board members were also notified of changes in the football schedule for the upcoming school year.

"Every two years the enrollment of the school districts is checked by the Missouri State High School Activities Association and they will make changes based on those enrollment numbers," said Moran. "While our district has seen no changes, our change in alignment was determined by changes in enrollment from area school districts."

For the 2002 football season, North Platte will be traveling as far away as Tarkio and Cass-Midway, which Moran estimates are at least an 1½ hour drive for the team.

On Monday evening, the North Platte School District was recognized by the State Department of Education with Distinction in Performance for meeting 11 out of 12 performance standards.