SAD 17 director looks at teacher raises, younger school start

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SAD 17 Board of Director Barry Patrie asks fellow directors for input into resolution he will vote on as a delegate to the Maine School Boards Association  convention.

PARIS — SAD 17 Board of Directors gave the go-ahead to Director Barry Patrie Monday night to act on the proposed Maine School Boards Association constitution changes and resolutions including a proposed resolution to extend the school year and raise the minimum teachers salary.

Patrie was elected by the Board at its October 1 meeting to act as the board’s delegate to the MSBA fall convention. Director Curtis Cole will serve as alternate and also attend the convention in Augusta on October 25. Board of Directors Chairman Diane Olsen is also expected to attend.

The Maine School Boards Association represents and supports local school board members who are charged with providing all students in Maine with a comprehensive education.

This year the MSBA will consider proposed resolutions that include increasing the number of instructional days from 175 to 180; lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 6, increasing state funding to raise the starting salary for a teacher to $40,000 and supporting the eventual move of programs for 3- to 5-year-old children into public schools as long as they are “well planned” and appropriately funded by the state.

Directors were conflicted about the proposed raise in teacher salary to a minimum of $40,000.

Director Bob Jewell said his concern included the ramifications on retirement liability for the district. He urged Patrie to propose an amendment that would require teachers become state employees so the financial burden could be transposed.

Some expressed concern about the resolution to lengthen the school year.

Student representative Catrina Wilson said it is tough enough to make up snow days that can be frequent in Maine in addition to extending the school year. Others agreed saying summer is short enough in Maine.

In other business, the board approved:

  • Superintendent Rick Colpitts’ nomination of Robert Sellers as a 38 week night custodian at the Oxford Elementary School;
  • the second and final reading of the Child Find policy that uses multiple factors to determine a child’s academic and functional performance and other skills. If indicated an Individual Education Program team will then evaluate the student for special education and supportive services.
  • the Finance Committee’s recommendation for a lease purchase agreement for two, handicapped-accessible-school buses for a total of $127,414 or $43,165 annual payment for three years at 3.71 percent interest.
  • the recommendation of the Finance Committee for a $143,213 , 10-year agreement to pay $17,252 annual at a fixed rate of 4.17 percent for a propane boiler to be installed at the Harrison Elementary School. The offer includes a three-year maintenance plan and the removal of the existing underground tanks.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net