ES school board refutes criticisms, inaccuracies

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

EUREKA SPRINGS -- At the May 19 regular school board meeting, Superintendent Wayne Carr, board Chairman Rusty Windle and school district treasurer Wanda Stanford took on criticisms and what they said was inaccurate information at the May 11 hearings of teacher Scottye Allen and Lucy Emrie and in the public perception after the fact.

Both hearings were requested by the teachers, who were protesting cuts in stipends and contract days for extra work on academic programs or state-required reporting.

Speaking at the end of public comments, Windle said school administrators have done what they were directed to do by the board.

"If you don't like it, take it up with us," he said.

He said some questions about staff the board can answer, and some they cannot because of personnel confidentiality laws.

With regard to the school district's millage dispute with the state, Windle said, "It was insinuated we knew the state would take our money, and we didn't do anything about it. This is incorrect."

He, Stanford and Carr recapped the history of the district's dealings with the state over tax collections, budgeting and the district's finances.

"We don't agree with their interpretation, and six attorneys agree with us, but we will abide by the law, whatever it is," he said, referring to a lawsuit the district has just filed against the state, which will probably go to the state Supreme Court, he added.

(Ed. note: A more detailed story on their remarks and on this issue will be forthcoming in the near future.)

He also said stipend cuts were "not strictly an administrative decision. The personnel committee had input."

He said Carr did not get a raise this year, "so in effect he did take a pay cut."

Carr's annual salary is $93,300.

As to the board's responses at the hearings, Windle said, "We responded as we were allowed to respond. We did what we were advised to do legally."

He said the public has recourse if they don't like the job the school board is doing.

"Vote us out at the next election. We're trying to do the best job we can. We're human and not perfect. We want input -- I want input -- even if I don't like the input."

Danny Wooldridge, Vice-president of Estimating at Kinco Constructors, the district's construction manager for the new high school, said his team had reviewed bids and has put together a project that is within budget.

He said they had received numerous bids, but not many qualified bidders from within Eureka Springs. There are four from the local area, he said, including one from Berryville.

There are no major cuts to the project at this time, he added.

The school board will likely schedule a special meeting soon for approval of bids and final revisions of the project, Windle said.

In other business, the board:

* Approved a request from Scottye Allen to have her contract reduced to the standard 190 days for next year. In a letter to the board, she said she will no longer spend nights and weekends working on any of the extra duties she had performed for the school district in the past, even though her total cuts amounted to a loss of $11,000 in income. She will continue as a seventh grade teacher.

* Approved new meal prices for school lunches of $1.55 for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, $1.80 for high school and $3 for adults.

* Approved a field trip for the building trades national competition.

* Approved the revised board policy manual.

* Approved accepting the higher of two bids to sell a 1992 school bus at $1,100.

* Approved rehiring the classified personnel and summer school staff as listed.

* Approved accepting resignations from George Remenar and Aaron Hall.

* Tabled a discussion of common core standards as staff members who were going to explain it could not attend the meeting.

* Tabled a vote on the Eureka Springs Youth Sports Association replacing fencing at Van Pelt Stadium. The matter will be considered in a future meeting.

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  • So Mr. Carr d/n get a raise and that means 'so in effect he did take a pay cut'! Gosh, that means ALL Seniors on S.S. will be taking a cut for a total of three (3) years. Boo Hoo for Mr. Carr..........!

    -- Posted by CommonSense22 on Tue, May 24, 2011, at 7:37 PM
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