Palmyra School District looks to establish educational foundation

By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 22, 2019 4:30 pm

PALMYRA, Mo. -- The Palmyra R-1 School District is planning to establish an educational foundation to serve as a new conduit of funding for local schools.

The Palmyra School Board heard about the proposal at its May meeting. Superintendent Kirt Malone said the goal is to have a school foundation up and running within the next year so it can begin accepting charitable contributions from prospective donors.

According to Malone, educational foundations are "privately operated, nonprofit organizations established to assist public schools."

A public school foundation, he said, "is designed to augment, supplement, or complement programs and activities currently being provided by the district."

More than 6,500 school foundations currently operate in the U.S., Malone said. Each foundation operates independently with its own board of directors and staff.

In other action, the board discussed a preliminary district budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year. The tentative spending plan reflects an anticipated increase of about 2 percent in state funding and flat local funding.

According to Malone, the tentative budget includes a $450 increase in the base salary for teachers -- in addition to the "vertical" raises given to teachers annually based on their years of experience. He said the base salary for teachers next year will be $34,250.

The proposed budget also calls for paying 12-month classified employees for vacation.

The budget is expected to be adopted at the board's June meeting.

The board also heard an update on new construction taking place in the district thanks to the passage of a $3.5 million bond issue by voters on April 2.

Malone noted that work on the new track and field is continuing and is expected to be finished by the end of August. Work started on the middle school kitchen addition last week.

During the meeting, the board finalized the sale of $3.5 million in general obligation bonds through its municipal bond underwriter -- L.J. Hart & Company of St. Louis. Malone said 32.14 percent of the bonds were sold in the local area.

The board hired David Meyers as a bus mechanic; Dennis McCarty as a middle school special education teacher; Jennifer Sparks as an elementary teacher and Angi Mullhatten as the junior class sponsor.

The board accepted the resignations of Shelley Smith as an elementary teacher due to retirement; Julie Thrower as middle school track coach; Marena Hall as a middle school paraprofessional; and Jessie Sommers as a high school math teacher.