GREENVILLE, Ky. — The Muhlenberg County School Board voted to keep high school drivers education classes during its regular meeting Monday, June 8 Felix Martin Hall Jr. Hall at the Muhlenberg County High School West Campus.

During the public participation segment of the meeting, Mark Coats, a driver's education teacher for the district, shared information on how much an average student saves on car insurance after taking drivers education.

The school board had been pondering the savings of cutting the rather expensive class.

Advanced Placement classes are another concern.

Sharon Davis, a former teacher, expressed her concerns that advanced placement science and physics classes would not be offered in the 2015-2016 school year due to staffing cuts. She is concerned that without the classes, her child and others would be at risk of losing scholarship opportunities without the rigorous schedule demanded by many universities.

The attendance report was also on the agenda. The district enrollment stood at 4,937 down from last year's 5,004.

According to the treasurer's report, the district had a balance of $9,410,899 at the end of the reporting period. According to finance officer Eric Bletzinger, the district should have an end of the year balance of about $3,600,000.

Superintendent of Schools Randy McCarty announced that the Kentucky Association of School Administrators and the Center for Education Leadership is conducting work with the school district.

McCarty said the organizations would be conducting site visits and a team of experts would be looking at district financing, performance management, communications strategy, public relations, strategic planning, education law and policy and leadership coaching.

According to Dr. Rhonda Caldwell, Executive Director of the Center for Education Leadership, the teams will work in two phases with the first scheduled to be completed by September and the second to begin soon after. Phase one seeks input from the community.

In other business, the board approved a motion to accept $32,000 in financial assistance from the School Facilities and Construction Commission and the lowest bidder for the required Department of Transportation physicals. The lowest bid was given by One Health Network; voted 3-2 to continue on-site dental care for the districts children.

The board examined the various insurance policies required by the district and voted to renew all insurance contracts.

Dr. Tarter recalled Bletzinger's report last school board meeting in which insurance may be bought at a lower price by using a different type of purchasing system which allows for more flexible strategies when dealing with insurance companies. Tarter wants to look at the new system for the 2016-2017 school year to determine if it will save the district money.

The board voted to approve the Aims Webb software package. This software is primarily used for students experiencing difficulties within the academic program; approved a $10,500 request from the high school to assist students participating in various international competitions. The request covers several group and high school matches funds with school raised funds.

The board approved an amended salary schedule. The new salary schedule amended the head basketball coach's stipend to $12,000 up from $9,500. The reason for the amendment was that the position is now filled by a retired teacher.

Normally, the position has a $9,500 stipend with 10 days added to the teachers contract making the position worth about $12,000 per year. However, with a retired teacher as coach, there is no way of offering 10 contract days, reducing the stipends value to $9,500. Dr. Tarter stood behind offering the extra money rather than extra days. However, board chairman Darrell Bowers and member Margaret Williams disagreed with Tarter's position and said the extra cash constituted a raise and opposed the amended stipend. The board voted 3-2 to keep the stipend at $9,500.

The board then approved a $9,000 matching grant from KU-LGE energy management program.

The board also voted to approve the addition of two additional special education teachers for the district; amending the job description for the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction to include additional job duties; a memorandum of agreement with the Central City Police to provide a K-9 unit for use at the schools; a memorandum of agreement with the Muhlenberg County Fiscal Court to fund a school resource officer position.

The board then voted to hold a special meeting at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 11, to allow community members to voice their concerns in regards to the school district.

The board voted to approve the consent agenda and moved to a closed session to discuss personnel issue.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will honor county retirees in July at Martin Hall.

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