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Special ed in the black to begin new year

Managing editor

Board members of Marion County Special Education Cooperative couldn’t help but smile Monday evening when new director David Sheppard announced the cooperative had ended the year not only in the black but more than a half-million ahead.

Earlier in the fiscal year members had been told the cooperative could end the year with less than $50,000 in the bank.

As of June 30, Sheppard said, the ending unencumbered cash balance was $512,950 — more than 10 times what was originally expected.

The budget was reviewed by USD 410 Business Manager Jerry Hinerman. The district wasn’t actually short funds but funds were posted incorrectly.

More good news followed. The state is going to pay more for each full-time equivalent teacher than last year — $24,250 compared to $23,000.

Facilities update

The roof of the special education building needs attention. Water continues to seep in after it rains. An estimate for $1,600 included re-sheeting the roof and installation of downspouts.

Another concern is a hole in a ceiling, caused not by a faulty roof but by a water pipe breaking.

The board agreed the building needed to be maintained so parts of it could be leased to others.

Chairman Deb Geis, representing Hillsboro school district, said she had talked with Marion County Commissioner Bob Hein about leasing space to the county Health Department. She was invited to attend a commission meeting to discuss options.

Other decisions

  • Para-educators will receive a pay increase of 15 cents per hour. Total cost of the raise to the district would be $13,200 for 2010-11, based on the current number of para-educators.
  • Hinerman will be paid $640 for his assistance in April with the special ed budget and $189 for meeting with Sheppard. The board agreed to continue using Hinerman’s expertise as needed.
  • Geis was re-elected board chairman, and Marion representative Lyle Leppke was re-elected vice chairman.
  • Kristi Lackey, Ken Fast, and Marla Pruitt-Sheppard were hired as certified staff.
  • Doug Vogel was recognized for 11 years of service with special education.

Last modified July 21, 2010

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