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Tue, March 19

PUSD board to vote on budget, study other issues

PRESCOTT – The Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) Governing Board tonight will vote – in the agenda's only voting item – on whether to approve the 2004-05 school year budget, which includes financial support for elementary physical education next year.

Otherwise, tonight's agenda consists of a study session, and no other voting will occur.

During the Governing Board's April meetings, its members approved using the district's approximately $425,000 in sudden growth money to pay for three physical education teachers, the early retirement buy-out program and to contribute to new band uniforms for the Prescott High School band.

Kevin Kapp, PUSD superintendent, said that the district planned all along to pay for physical education, but elementary schools were going to use tax credit money. But because of student population growth (by more than 100), the state paid PUSD enough to cover the cost of three physical education teachers' salaries (along with the retirement buy-out and the band uniforms).

Although Kapp acknowledged that the physical education positions are not in the permanent budget, he said district administrators are trying to find a place for them eventually. For example, those salaries are on what Kapp termed the "overflow list," which means they're a priority in the event of extra or leftover money.

If the Governing Board approves the 2004-05 budget, it will go to the Arizona Department of Education for review and possible approval.

At tonight's meeting, the Governing Board will consider whether to review and approve the extension of Kapp's contract. Currently, it ends June 30, 2005, but the board next week will decide whether to leave it as is, extend it one additional year or two additional years.

The Governing Board also will discuss whether to approve:

• A new administrative salary schedule effective for the 2004-05 school year. The board's informational packet says "the proposed certified administrative salary schedule would establish a reasonable and appropriate salary schedule for certified administrators in PUSD," because their salaries are well below those of people with similar positions at similar-sized districts in Arizona.

• The audit firm of Heinfeld, Meech & Co., P.C., for the years ending June 30, 2004 through June 30, 2008.

• Uses for the Proposition 301 "Lower Fund" Classroom Site Fund money.

• The 2004-05 Maintenance and Operations budget for supplies and services.

• A 60-day preview of the "Choosing the Best" curriculum and materials for Sex Education.

• A nurse evaluation instrument.

• Pizza and beverage bids for the 2004-05 school year (two separate items).

• Membership in the National School Boards Association (NSBA). The NSBA membership usually costs $3,250 per year, but the NSBA is offering membership to PUSD for $1,625 for the first year.

The Governing Board will meet at 6 p.m. tonight at the PUSD office, 146 S. Granite St. in Prescott. Also, the Board will host a reception for Arizona Teacher of the Year Jane Robertson at 5:15 p.m.

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