School district optimistic about state budget money

SALEM – Superintendent Tom Bratten said he’s optimistic about what the district could receive from the state budget in the next two years, but it’s a little early to say for sure what’s going to happen.

A recent release of information on Gov. Kasich’s education plan indicated the Salem district would receive more money while some other districts in the area would receive the same as in previous years.

According to Bratten, the plan didn’t include costs for transportation or the voucher program. He also said it didn’t include stipulations on how the money is to be spent, which is something he’s expecting to be added.

District Treasurer Jim Wilson said during this past week’s school board meeting that he’s constantly monitoring information on the state budget and the effects the budget could have on the Salem school district.

He said they may not know for sure what’s going to happen until the end of May, which will be too late for the five-year forecast they’re required to have prepared for release in May. The state budget is expected to be in place for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Both Wilson and Bratten said they’ll have to prepare the forecast with the numbers they know are definite at this point.

Board committees reported back, with board vice president Steve Bailey reporting another meeting was held on school safety. One of the expenses approved during the board meeting was for upgraded security cameras for the high school.

He noted that the district had already done a lot of work on security before some of the recent incidents in the past year, with buildings locked and visitors required to be identified and then buzzed into the buildings and report to the office.

“We are continually looking and improving on what we can do,” he said.

In other business, the board renewed its contract with ACCESS for Internet and email service, application services, voicemail and voice over IP service for phones, approved a new contract for wireless Internet through ACCESS and a contract with Blackboard Engage for web-hosting.

The board also approved open enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year in areas where enrollment permits. Applications must be returned to the superintendent’s office no later than May 1.

In personnel matters, the board approved: Edward Arsena and Karen Hippely as classified substitutes; Leonard Antal, Kerry Dean and Wayne Benner as substitute teachers; Sara Mainwaring and Tom Bratten as compliance officers; John Miller as assistant spring play supervisor; and June Sheila Lobdell as a two-hour cafeteria worker at Southeast Elementary.

Athletic supplemental resignations accepted were Robert Motz as boys junior high track coach, Ted Yuhaniak as boys assistant junior high track coach, Matthew Moffett as varsity assistant track coach and William Neopolitan as high school track volunteer.

Athletic supplemental positions approved were: Charles M. (Mike) Craven as assistant varsity baseball coach; Robert Motz and Shane Harding as varsity assistants boys track; Jeff Craig, Athena Spinell and Ashley Williams as junior high girls track; and Jarrod Niederhiser, Zachery Penick and William Neopolitan as junior high boys track.