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2:28 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

PUSD board suspends sick leave bank, transfer policies

Lisa Irish/The Daily Courier<br>Lincoln School Principal Teresa Bruso at Tuesday’s board meeting at Prescott High School signs the time capsule PUSD students filled. The public is invited to attend the ceremony where the time capsule will be buried in front of the high school at 4 p.m. this Tuesday.

Lisa Irish/The Daily Courier<br>Lincoln School Principal Teresa Bruso at Tuesday’s board meeting at Prescott High School signs the time capsule PUSD students filled. The public is invited to attend the ceremony where the time capsule will be buried in front of the high school at 4 p.m. this Tuesday.

The Prescott Unified School District Governing Board voted Tuesday to suspend the district's current sick leave bank and sick leave transfer policies, increase a salary step by 30 cents to comply with minimum wage laws, discussed a possible bond or override election, and school visitors policy during its meeting at Prescott High School.

Superintendent Dave Smucker said a committee of about 15 people from the community would be created "to look at the situation we're in financially and develop a plan" that might involve a bond or override election.

Assistant Superintendent Joe Howard told the board this was the fourth year the sick leave bank and transfer policies had been suspended during hard budget times, saving the district $30,000 for the cost of the bank program and $50,000 for the cost of the transfer program, both of which were last funded in 2008-2009, Howard noted.

Four food service workers were affected by the change in a step of the classified salary schedule to comply with minimum wage law, Howard said.

Kurt Cunningham, a community member, talked to the board about how he and others use the track at Prescott High School during school hours to train, and said he hoped they would be able to create a plan where people who volunteer could continue to do so.

"We've asked the principal to close off the use of campus facilities during school hours but allow those facilities to be used by the community after school hours," Smucker said. "We want to welcome visitors on our campuses, but our concern is supervision of them to make sure kids are safe during school hours."

Board President Dee Navarro asked Smucker to come back to the board at a later meeting with a recommendation on the district's policy regarding school visitors.

After discussing a leapfrogging effect on the certified salary schedule for teachers and whether to reclassify certain classified staff which was approved five years ago for when funds became available, but was never done, Navarro asked Smucker to take both items back to the Interest Based Team and bring back a recommendation.

"This is a hot item here. It is a fairness issue with our staff," Smucker said.