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School Board to vote on budget, bargaining unit

Friday, June 8, 2012 | 6:34 p.m. CDT; updated 10:53 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 11, 2012

*In the proposed budget, the School Board's total revenue would be $169 million and its total expenditures would be $167 million. An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified this information.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway, because of construction at the District Administration Building. 

Beforehand, a public hearing on the proposed 2012-13 budget will be held at 6 p.m. in the same location. Attendees will receive an overview of the budget and can ask questions, spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said.

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During the 6:30 p.m. meeting, the board will decide whether to adopt the budget. It will also determine which types of employees can vote in a collective bargaining election scheduled for the fall.

The 2012-13 budget

The budget has been in a state of development for the last several months. According to documents prepared for Monday's meeting, the school district's administration has recommended that the board approve the budget.

Highlights include:

  • The total revenue would be $169 million and total expenditures would be $167 million.* This leaves $1.2 million left over, able to be used in the next budget, District Chief Financial Officer Linda Quinley said.
  • A $7.8 million increase in local revenue was generated by a 40-cent operating tax levy passed in April, Quinley said.
  • $5.8 million of that sum would be used to hire about 33 new teachers in addition to other staff, such as counselors and support staff.
  • $2 million would be used for technology for teachers and in classrooms.
  • $1 million would be allocated to Battle High School to prepare it for its 2013 opening. 

Collective bargaining election

The district is considering a new collective bargaining policy for teachers and school employees. In the fall, eligible employees will decide on how they'll be represented in the district. 

One option would give the Columbia Missouri National Education Association exclusive rights to represent staff in matters of salary, benefits and other employment concerns. The other is to maintain the current, less formal "meet and confer system."

But first, the board must determine which kind of employee can vote.

On Monday evening, the board will vote on a proposal that would allow full-time instructional employees who are required by law and/or district policy to hold a teaching certificate to vote in the fall election. Employees who are not required to hold a teaching certificate would be ineligible.

Other agenda items to watch for:

  • The board will hear presentations on programs for new teachers and a report from the Columbia Public Schools Special Services Department, which works with students with disabilities. 
  • The board will consider incorporating the superintendent's transportation allowance of $7,500 into the position's annual salary rather than listing it as a separate item.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey: brixeye@missouri.edu; 882-2632. 


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