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October 20, 2017

9/22/2017 2:22:00 PM
Unit 3 considers tentative budget, school repairs
By TOM COMPTON
Daily News

The Palestine Unit 3 school board heard reports on the first few weeks of school, approved a tentative budget, and briefly discussed reorganization and facilities planning.

Palestine High School principal Tangi Waldrop and grade school principal Robbie Kline went down a list of school programs and activities students have been involved in since the start of the school year, and some of the on going activities.

Interem Superintendent Chris Long reported changes in Title I costs have been great reduced, meaning more money for the district. He also said there appears to be no interest from the other schools in a countywide school board meeting.

Palestine finished strong financially last year with a total fund balance of $217,233. Looking towards next year the board approved a tentative budget reflecting $3.55 million in revenues and more than $3.4 million in expenditures for an excess of $152,757. All numbers still depend on state funding.

The balance maybe short-lived, though, if the district starts making repairs to PHS. The board again reviewed some of the repairs needed to the high school and briefly discussed other options, such as adding on to the grade school and a future grade school roof.

Board Chairman Corie Biggs said he did not want to speak for everyone, but believes it may be time to spend some of the money they been saving by not doing repairs in recent years before committing to a tax increase or bonds.

Long pointed out how the timelines regarding the consolidation vote in March could effect proposed work, bid letting and work schedules. He was directed to get more information on replacing the roof of the high school gym.

During the August Hutsonville-Palestine Committee of Ten meeting Biggs was asked to pose the question of why specifically the Palestine Board of Education members voted no to the consolidation petition. It was decided not to put the question on the agenda, but Committee of Ten member Kristie Elder was allowed to read an impassioned statement asking the question.

While each of the board members gave a response to Elder's questions, the primary answers is the board did not believe it was in the best interest of the students, staff and community of Palestine to consolidate at this time.

The Committee of Ten has gathered the necessary signatures to send the petition for consolidation to the Regional Office of Education for further consideration and placement on the March primary ballot.

In other business, the board approved Don Wagoner as IASB delegate and authorized the History Club to travel to Hawaii this year.

Courtney Adams was hired as volunteer fifth and sixth grade basketball coach. The board accepted the resignation of Wanda Shields and authorized the posting of a full-time bus driver position.

The next scheduled meeting is Oct. 16.





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