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With no budget from state, school board plans for new school year

By Maggie Blackwell
mblackwell@salisburypost.com
Chief Financial Officer Tara Trexler presented several items to the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Monday night to close out the old financial year and anticipate the new one, which begins Wednesday.
Because a new budget has not been passed by the N.C. General Assembly, the board approved spending at rates comparable to last year. Trexler said in normal years, spending is approved at 100 percent of the prior year’s rates, but with massive cuts expected in the upcoming budget, she is limiting expenditures. Schools may spend up to half the prior amount for staff development; up to a quarter of last year’s amount for supplies.
“It will be really detrimental if the state does not have a budget passed by the time school starts,” Trexler said.
Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom shared an e-mail from Mayor Susan Kluttz outlining a summer reading program initiated by the city-county cooperative literacy committee. The program will take place in various libraries in the county on five Wednesdays, from 5 to 7 p.m. Free books will be given out at the programs and one Wii gaming system will be awarded as a door prize. The committee will develop more literacy programs as the school year approaches.
In public comments, parent Tammie Gamez made a complaint that her son was overlooked in his school’s perfect attendance awards. Gamez claims the school’s principal did not return calls on the issue.
School board chairman Dr. Jim Emerson said he would write a letter of congratulations to the child.
Gamez also asked the school board to add a parent/student advocate position to the board. She feels the rules for exceptional children are difficult to understand and an advocate might be successful in assisting with communication.
In other business:
– Director for child nutrition Libby Post presented milk bids for the 2009-2010 school year. Low bidder was Paul D. Campbell Distributors Inc. for Pet Milk. The distributor is in Concord. Milk will come from Winston-Salem. The board unanimously approved awarding the contract.
– Grissom announced preliminary results from EOG testing will be released within a week or two.
– The school board will not meet in July. The next meeting will be a work session Aug. 10 at the Long Street office.
Prior to the regular meeting, the school board held an annual retreat to review forms to be used in evaluating the superintendent’s performance. Board members ultimately selected the form required by the N.C. Department of Instruction. The board agreed goals must be “achievable, realistic, and measurable.”

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