Payson School Board Approves New Textbooks, Teachers

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The purchase of textbooks, "Theatre: Art in Action" by the National Textbook Company and "Biology" by Benjamin Cummings/Peason Publishing were approved by the Payson Unified School District board at a special meeting March 27.

The board also approved a 3 to 7 percent salary adjustment for custodial personnel, to raise pay to match the current market wages.

The board approved extracurricular contracts for Jill Boston and Joe Sanchez as assistant track coaches. In the same motion they approved Mary Hatcher, Marti Shipley, Carm Locke, Patti Harold and Michael Armstrong for the Frontier Elementary School's Intervention Program.

Two teachers, Cindy Chovich and Lisa Dunman, were approved for transfer at the beginning of the 2007-08 school year. Chovich will leave Frontier Elementary to teach eighth-grade Language Arts and Dunman will leave Julia Randall to teach math at Rim Country Middle School.

The board accepted resignations from RCMS counselor Jan Bartoli, Diana Rushlow and Katie Wilcox.

Michael Horton was selected as the delegate to the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) June 23 meeting. Vicki Holmes will be the alternate.

Board Member Charles Brown suggested that the ASBA join several states that have already petitioned the federal government to reduce or eliminate penalties for noncompliance with No Child Left Behind Act.

Brown also suggested ASBA support restoration of the "excess utilities law."

The excess utilities law that allows school districts to levy for rapidly increasing utility costs ends in 2009.

Bobette Sylvester, district associate superintendent for business services, gave a budget update.

The state gives Teacher Experience Index (TEI) money, calculated by creating a ratio of the years of experience of a school district's teachers, compared to experience of all teachers in the state. Funding of a school district is increased by the amount of the ratio.

"Our TEI came in at .9," Sylvester said. "Therefore, because it is less than 1, it automatically goes to 1."

The PUSD's budget was planned with that figure in mind.

"Many years ago, we had veteran (teachers) that had been around for a very long time, so we received additional funding because our staff had been here for so long," Sylvester said.

The "better news," according to Sylvester, is that PUSD has been notified by the School Facilities Board that their April 4 agenda includes a recommendation by facilities board staff for $1.275 million in matching funds, based on the growth at Rim Country Middle School.

"What that (money) can do for us is help pay for remodeling costs at the middle school as part of the bond project, that then allows for more money at the middle school or for bond proceeds to be shifted to another area," Sylvester said.

PUSD's next meeting is at 5:30 p.m. April 9. The District's boardroom is located at 514 W. Wade Lane in Payson.

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