The Fredericktown R-I School Board began its Aug. 15 meeting with the annual tax rate hearing for 2023.
Superintendent Chadd Starkey made the recommendation to set the tax rate at $3.1837 (per $100 assessed valuation) for the incidental fund and $0.7 into the capital fund, for a total of $3.8837.
There were no questions or concerns during the public hearing. The board passed the recommendation made by Starkey.
Moving into regular business, the board approved changes to the special education local compliance plan. The state of Missouri published a new state plan for special education. When that happens local school districts are required to adopt a new local compliance plan.
Shawnette Williams said, the board has three options, adopt the one from the state, create its own, or do a mixture. Her recommendation was to adopt the state plan. The board followed her recommendation.
Next, the board approved its reopening plan. This is something which is required every six months for the district to continue receiving funding available due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan has not changed from last year.
The board approved transportation contracts for school personnel who transport students in a personal vehicle. Starkey said, this is needed every year in case a principal or school resource officer needs to go home, but has no transportation. The contract covers things such as working seatbelts and other safety concerns. It was also noted when transportation is needed, the district tries to have two adults present.
Two pay orders both in the amount of $71,445 were approved for the high school gutter project. The remaining balance is currently $23,850.
“We should be finished,” starkey said. “They have to come back and correct a couple of things that we found in the last week or two. They are supposed to come back, but they may have already done it to tell you the truth.”
Starkey said it was dripping in some areas, not badly or causing any problems, but fixes were needed. He said, hopefully that stops it from dripping over the doorways, which the building has experienced for the last few years.
Before approving the substitute list, Starkey reported a training had occurred that morning for prospective substitute teachers. He said 20 showed up for the in-person training and they asked a lot of good questions and came up with some ideas which were passed on to the principals about ways to make things better for them.
The list was approved by the board.
Starkey then presented the 2023-2024 budget, which was approved by the board. He said, it is a living document which will change throughout the year. A copy of the budget is available upon request from the Fredericktown R-I District Office.
Next, the board had to set a tuition rate despite the district not accepting tuition-paying students. Starkey said, there are certain situations in which a tuition rate would be needed.
“If they are within two counties and go to a K-8, they can send kids to us if they want to go there,” Starkey said. “Now they have to figure out a way to get here, but they can do that. So we set the rate.”
Starkey said, with the inflated federal money included, the cost or expense per pupil from last year was $10,157. He recommended setting this rate as this year’s tuition rate.
The board approved the rate.
Starkey said the rate will probably decrease in the next few years.
Next, summer school attendance was reported to be around 762 students.
Starkey said it is a good number which keeps going up.
“We’re doing some things, like the alternative school and preschool goes longer, and we’re able to count those hours into those summer school hours,” Starkey said, “That is a really big benefit to the district.”
The next meeting of the Fredericktown R-I School Board will be at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 19 at the district office.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at email@example.com