USD 383 Board of Education, Aug. 17, 2016

Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer

The board held a public hearing to accept comments on the proposed budget, and no members of the public commented.

The regular meeting began with comments from the public on non-agenda items, and two members of the public addressed the board about the high school’s mascot.  As has occurred at several past board meetings, a parent encouraged the board to consider changing the high school mascot from the Indian.  Another parent addressed the board in favor of maintaining the Indian mascot, saying the majority is not offended by the mascot and it doesn’t need to be changed to appease a few people.  He went on to say that board members were elected to represent the majority.  Board member Dave Colburn said he took exception to the suggestion that the job of board members is to represent the majority, and he said that’s not how representative democracy works.  Mr. Colburn said it’s also incumbent on the board to consider what the minority thinks and to protect minority rights, privileges, and needs against the tyranny of the majority.

Eric Reid, Asst. Superintendent, provided the board with preliminary enrollment information.  Mr. Reid reported that high school enrollment is up slightly, middle school was down, and the elementary level was up just a hair.  He also said he had planned for more kindergarten students than what had actually shown up.

The board approved wages for classified employees, which included an increase to the starting rate, which hadn’t occurred since 2008, and a longevity increment for employees who have worked for the district at least five years.  These changes to classified employee wages were intended to help with recruiting and retaining employees.  The board also approved a 2.5% increase for administrator and manager salaries.

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