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Board OKs putting funds toward teaching jobs

Staff Writer
Lincoln County received the green light for 24 teaching positions for the upcoming and 2013-2014 school year, as the Board of Education unanimously voted to use the Local Education Agency (LEA) Adjustment Reduction to save the jobs Wednesday night.
Twenty-one of the openings are vacant due to retiring faculty, whose never-filled positions will provide the funding to fill those slots and an additional three openings. However, the funding is only able to cover one-year of employment, so the reduction will be used for keeping those jobs the following year, the board hopes.
The reduction will also emphasize other elements in hopes of improving the education system in the county, such as a heavier focus on K-3 literacy and publicly announcing how schools are ranked on their websites.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Steve Zickefoose presented the approved state budget to the board, which the group seemed to be happy with, and discussed an amendment.
“This (approved) budget is exactly what we discussed at the committee meeting,” Zickefoose said. “This will be a great thing; we’re saving positions and staying ahead of the curve.”
The adjustment to the interim budget was then discussed with the board — the stand-in until the primary budget becomes effective, outlining how much money can be spent and where.
The amendment reflects a $3.9 million decrease from the budget resolution, due to funds carrying over that weren’t used. Money set aside for schools will add about $247,000 in untapped dollars to the budget. The reduction amount is also factored into the decrease, and a $531,000 allotment from the state legislature was accounted for to help cover salary increases of employees.
With the exception of George Dellinger, all were present, and voted unanimously on this and other motions.
Other items discussed at the meeting:

  • The Building and Site and Curriculum committees are set to meet Monday.
  • Executive Director of Facilities Darrell Gettys has several school construction projects taking place over the summer, some wrapping up over the next few weeks. East Lincoln Middle’s well that will be used to irrigate the football field will be finished soon, though no tentative date has been set, yet. East Lincoln High’s football concession stand and ticket booth are both expected to be completed by the end of the month, as well as the new Iron Station Elementary classroom addition.
  • Two local programs were recognized and representatives shared presentations with the board. Science Lead Teacher of county schools Linda Yoder shared a presentation on the Science and Technology Camp that was held late last month for first through fifth graders. The Monday through Thursday camp focused on various sciences while incorporating technological practices into the projects, such as using Smart Boards and iPads.
  • A national program that brings local dentists, their assistants and hygienists to elementary schools in the county to perform dental work, they hope, will promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities. Give Kids a Smile gave $33,000 worth of free dental care to area children earlier this year, said Prissy Helms of the County Health Department.
  • The board went into closed session to discuss Superintendent Sherry Hoyle’s plans for the upcoming school year.
  • The board briefly discussed the School Board Association Awards that is now accepting nominations.

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