COLUMBIA — As the Columbia School Board prepares to ask its residents to consider approving a $50 million bond issue with a 52-cent tax rate increase, it will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the District Administration Building to discuss any last issues before the proposal is finalized.
The board has said that if no new money comes into the district, it will begin deficit spending by the 2012-13 school year.
“We need to figure out how we get ahead in this game," school board member Jonathan Sessions said at the board’s special session Tuesday night. “We really need to assess what it's going to take to build a ladder out of the hole we’re in.”
The board will also be revisiting the issue of collective bargaining for district employees, including teachers.
Until a couple months ago, the board was considering two polices, HH and HA, created by the Missouri School Board Association. Policy HH was a plan that would require the district to recognize one or more bargaining groups that would negotiate exclusively with the district.
Policy HA was a less specific policy that provides legal ground rules for districts to negotiate with employee associations. It also outlines election rules for employee groups and recognizes which groups are allowed to collectively bargain,according to a previous Missourian report.
In October, when it appeared the board was going to make a decision about the polices, it instead voted 6-1 to send them back to committee. Following the meeting, the board decided to hire a consultant to work with the district's policy committee to help revise the polices in order to make them more specific to the district.
At Monday night's meeting, the policy committee will unveil the revised policies to the board and the public. The two new policies will be presented to the board for a first reading and will be presented again on Jan. 9 for approval.
The district currently employs a “meet and confer” policy that calls for employees of the district to negotiate their contracts on an individual basis.
The board will also consider a new name for the administrative building at Monday's meeting.