School board approves amended budget, bids for roofing projectsPublished 10:35am Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The Austin Public Schools Board approved two bids for roofing projects during Monday night’s meeting, along with an amended district budget to account for potential deficits.
The roofing project at Woodson Kindergarten will cost $509,800, and projects for Banfield Elementary and Ellis Middle School, bid together, will cost a total of $503,600. Mat Miller, facility services director, said work should be done this summer.
The amended budget for 2013-2014, which cautiously accounts for a $2.2 million deficit, is a standard measure taken each February, said district finance director Mark Stotts. The district puts safeguards for unexpected utilities increases, repairs and more.
“Most of the time what happens is we put in a contingency for expenditures, about $1 million,” Stotts said.
Stotts noted there are considerable funds in reserves to cover costs, “and we usually come out better than that when we get our actual results.”
Stotts added if history repeats itself, the deficit will be closer to about $500,000.
The board also approved new custodian contracts for this and next year’s school years. Stotts said the total package is about 8 percent.
The board did not, however, discuss the status of an I.J. Holton custodian placed on unpaid administrative leave last week after felony charges for first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The employee’s charges don’t, however, stem from actions at the school.
While administration has placed Gordon Thomas Gunter on unpaid leave, there aren’t yet plans to discuss his employment on an agenda.
“It has to be dealt with as a personnel issue,” said Superintendent David Krenz, and added because Gunter has not been proven guilty or even fired, it is too early to discuss the situation.
“It’s premature,” Krenz said. “It’s just charges at this point.”
In other news,
—Approved a request to submit an application to continue a year-round calendar at Sumner Elementary School.
—Approved revised policies for bullying, hazing and student records.
—Approved a new teacher evaluation model discussed at the board’s previous work session. A new component allows teachers to set their own classroom goals with administration review and approval, and is expected to start next fall.