Some good news was shared with attendees of the Dearborn School Board meeting Monday night in the form of potential new funding.
Superintendent Brian Whiston said the district has met–and applied for–best practices funding from the state of Michigan. The funding is based on five identified factors districts are encouraged to meet by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The additional $2 million in per-pupil funding could be in district coffers by November, which the district hopes to use to hire teachers and partially restore wages to employees who accepted pay cuts this year, Whiston said.
“We will hire teachers,” he said.
Currently, less than five teachers remain on layoff, said Glen Maleyko, the district’s human resources director. Whiston also said that some employees–barring teachers–who took a pay cut will see 1 percent of their wages restored once the district collects the funding.
To receive the additional monies, the district must meet four of five requirements. Those specifications include consolidating services with other districts or governments, seeking bids for the outsourcing of services, meeting academic standards, charging teachers 20 percent of the total cost of their health care benefits, and being a policy holder on health insurance policies.
Bond Refinance, New Administrators
The board also approved a measure to refinance building and site plan bond issue for that was approved by voters in 2001.
By taking advantage of lowered interest rates, the district will return about $150,000 to taxpayers during the next five years, said Bob Cipriano, the district’s business services director.
“We don’t have much left on this, but we’re going to continue to try to save money for the taxpayers,” he said. Cipriano said the bonds were scheduled to mature in 2016.
To achieve those ends, the board was asked to reissue what remains of the bonds at a lower interest rate. These reissued bonds will be sold with a 2 percent interest rate.
The promotion of several administrators and the retirement of others also opened up assistant principal positions. The board approved the promotion of five individuals to those posts Monday night.
Joseph Martin was appointed to the position of assistant principal of ; Khalid Abdulla was appointed to the same position at ; and Kelly Dear was appointed assistant principal of . These positions were filled after other school administrators were promoted to principal posts last month.
Also, Robert Attee was appointed to assistant principal at . The position opened up after the retirement of Deborah Albrecht.
The position of assistant principal at was created due to increased enrollment. David Higgins was appointed to the position Monday.
Contracts and Purchases
Several contracts and purchases were approved Monday night, the most significant of which is a supplementary special education bus service contract.
The district will pay $360,000 to Trinity Transportation Group to provide supplementary, out-of-district, special needs bus runs.
The contract needed to be put into place because the number of drivers employed directly by the district was insufficient for the number of runs required to transport the students, said Cipriano.
The Trinity drivers will not replace drivers already working for the district.
Trinity was among eight firms invited to bid on the work, but was the only firm that expressed interest in serving the district.
A co-operative adult education services agreement between Dearborn Schools and the Garden City School District was approved with little discussion Monday evening.
The agreement paves the way for Dearborn Schools to provide adult education services to Garden City residents. The school district in that city ended its adult education programs recently. The adult education program is comprised of high school completion courses, adult basic education, GED preparation, and English as a second language courses.
The benefit for Dearborn schools is that the schools will pick up funding and students without increasing staff or expenditures, said Whiston.
“We will gain 65 students,” he said. “It will help us and them.”