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Joyce Endee

Eliminated positions to appear as Warrant articles

Barnstead School Board will present articles to support enrichment, music positions

January 26, 2011
BARNSTEAD — The Barnstead School Board met on Thursday, Jan. 20, and was presented with a pair of petition warrant articles that are asking voters to help keep a part-time music teacher and the enrichment program at Barnstead Elementary School. The positions were cut in the budget recently submitted to the budget committee.

After much discussion by the board, Chairman Keith Couch discussed drafting a pair of special warrant articles from the school board.

Having articles come directly from the school board will be more effective than the petition articles, it was suggested. Some of petitioners who attended the meeting agreed.

Drafts of these articles were planned to be presented by Business Administrator Amy Ransom to the board on Tuesday, Jan. 25, after press time. Couch and members of the public encouraged Ransom to concentrate on drafting these articles rather than concentrating on the petition warrant articles.

Teacher Linda Nelson addressed the board, showing her support for the math and reading enrichment programs at Barnstead Elementary. She detailed the work that students put in both programs and thinks that both programs are essential.

Shawn White has seen what the music program means to his children and is concerned what will happen if it is eliminated.

Deb Shea voiced her worries on how much stress eliminating the enrichment program would put on the classroom teachers.

"Even the most skilled teachers, when the gaps become so big, teachers have a tough time teaching them," Shea said.

The board was also presented with results from a student survey, showing support for the enrichment programs.

Board member Kathy Preston was impressed with the petition warrant articles but urged people in the community to show up at the polls.

"We need you all to come out and vote," Preston said.

The board approved a pair of nominations, one at Prospect Mountain High School to fill a paraprofessional spot, and one to fill a temporary position at Barnstead Elementary School.

Couch also addressed the upcoming retirement of Superintendent Dr. William Compton, which will happen on June 30.

Couch said that the board will start to look at hiring a replacement and will need to address how they move forward in the process in the near future.

The superintendent's pay and days were also discussed. The board approved trimming the days for the superintendent from 130 to 105, reducing the salary, which doesn't included benefits, from $77,000 to $62,225.

Compton agreed with the change but feels that it is a short term fix.

The board also agreed to keep the salaries of the business administrator and business assistant/bookkeeper the same.

The board showed support for several of the special warrant articles:

Warrant article 2 deals with the teacher's salaries and there is no change from last year's numbers.

Warrant article 3 establishes $171,680 for the lunch program.

Warrant article 4 is for $15,000 for underground tank replacement and is the third year of a four-year plan.

Warrant article 5 plans to raise $28,000 through raising and appropriating for the removal of asbestos.

Warrant article 6 is for $50,000 for building and maintenance to come from the fund balance.

Warrant article 9 is for $33,000 for the replacement of furniture.

Warrant article 10 is for $27,500 for equipment for the technology lab.

Warrant article 11 is for $40,000 through raising and appropriating to pay for unanticipated utility expenses. The funds are returned to the taxpayers if unused.

Warrant article 12 is for redesigning the parking lot around Barnstead Elementary School. The total cost of the project is estimated as $381,000, where $291,000 would come from the Barnstead Elementary School expansion fund. The remaining $90,000 would come from the fund balance. The issue was tabled, with Ransom looking in to see if the $291,000 can be used from the BES expansion fund.

Warrant article 13 is for $15,000 for professional development at PMHS.

Warrant article 14 is for $35,283 for unanticipated utility expenses at PMHS.

Warrant article 15 is for $20,000 for general maintenance fund at PMHS.

Warrant article 16 is for the wind power study at PMHS and is pending the approval of budget committee.

Warrant articles 18 and 19 are the petition warrant articles that were submitted by members of the community.

The deadline to withdrawal the petition warrant articles is on Feb. 7, which is planned pending the drafting of the special warrant articles by the board that will address the music and enrichment programs.

The Barnstead School Board met after press time on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the media center at Barnstead Elementary School at 6 p.m.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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