Ray Marner resigns from M-P Board

By News Dept.
Posted 11/11/99

The resignation of Ray Marner of Kalona, accepted by the Mid-Prairie Board of Education Monday, gives back to Henry Lemke what he had for a day in September.

Lemke, a candidate for the board, was …

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Ray Marner resigns from M-P Board


The resignation of Ray Marner of Kalona, accepted by the Mid-Prairie Board of Education Monday, gives back to Henry Lemke what he had for a day in September.

Lemke, a candidate for the board, was a declared a winner in unofficial returns September 14. The next day he wasn’t when it was discovered that some votes assigned to him actually were for Perry Hess.

In accepting Marner’s resignation, effective immediately, the board considered that Lemke had been a candidate.

“He would be the logical choice,” noted Tracy Anderson.

The board expects to swear in Lemke at its November 22 meeting, exactly 64 days after the election he won and lost.

Although Marner gave no specific reason for his resignation, he has had health problems in the past.

A report about the 1999-2000 budget cuts and their implementation disclosed that saving $17,450 by eliminating support staff overtime came at a cost. Especially at the Mid-Prairie Middle School.

“We are short one person,” explained Principal Becky Furlong about the food service staff. And at the district pay level, “We cannot hire anyone at $6.49 hour. We need to pay $8.44.”

She then noted that the job has been done because “these women are going beyond what is expected. They are doing it as personal favors.”

She stressed that the head cook is responsible for everything it takes to feed 500 students each day, stressing the difficulty of the job.

“I would not do it for $28.44 per hour,” she said.

Her comments led the board to discuss changing some of the cuts with Anderson wondering if funds could not be shifted between areas.

There also were concerns voiced about not having substitutes for the library secretaries and teacher associates.

Superintendent Gordon Cook said that the 19 cuts enacted did allow for latitude. He also noted that the report, which showed the reaching of $145,333 in total cuts, is not a definitive one, but is just an assessment to date.

He explained that “we need to resolve some of the issues” and that “once they are sorted out, we will come back to the board with recommendations.”

In other business the board:

•received a report about the October 11 inservice that indicated attendance was good, especially at the stress management session.

•learned that each building has developed or is in the process of developing a building crisis plan to handle everything from weather emergencies to deaths.

•approved an SBRC allowable growth application to request funds for students who are open enrolled out of the district this year, but were not the district’s rolls last year.

•approved obtaining and using state and federal funding to hire two part-time staff to work mornings at Kalona Elementary and Washington Township elementary schools. The move is tied to reducing K-3 class size ratio goals, meeting federal and state legislation.

•approved federal and state standards for additional specifications for school buses.

•reviewed the three main board goals developed at the board retreat in October, approving two and asking that the second be written for greater clarity. The first and third goals are, respectively, that board members are strongly encouraged to spend at least ten hours each school year visiting classrooms, attending a variety of school activities to learn more abou t the district’s academic and extra-curricular programs and the board will stay within its budget. The second goal is essentially one to promote greater public awareness of the district’s programs.

•tabled action upon a line item budget until the December 13 meeting. The action followed more discussion about budget cuts, especially how they impact hiring practices or activities such as field trips. Business Manager Doug Slaubaugh noted that he can make a report each month about the regular district programs so the board will have a definite idea of exactly what is being spent and where.

•learned from Cook that following the two special audits conducted in the last six months for the district that “several things need to be done,” regarding money handling to guarantee the safety of funds. He said there would be a meeting Tuesday with the committee to address the matter and develop procedures leading to administrative regulations dealing with the money, generally those funds raised by groups such as the parent ones.


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