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South Tama addresses special ed staff positions

February 28, 2018
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Moving to reduce the district's special education budget shortfall, the South Tama School Board approved staff adjustments for the 2018-19 school year by making staff reductions. The decision was approved on a 5-0 board vote during their regular meeting on Monday night, Feb. 19 with members Jackie Dvorak, Ron Houghton, Mandy Lekin, Penny Tyynismaa and Alan Kline present.

The district had a deficit totaling $579,446 in the special education budget at the end of the 2016-17 school year and in 2015-16 the deficit totaled $453,166 according to Business Manager Mary Boege. The outcome of the current special education budget will not be completed until September Boege told the Chronicle.

Superintendent Jeff Berger presented the recommendations noting a savings of an estimated $250,000 -$280,000 would be realized.

Teaching positions at the high school and elementary level are reduced by one for each building and three para-professionals posts left vacant by retirements are not being filled.

For the teachers, two on probationary hiring status, Joe Illingworth, high school, and Pauline Ross, elementary, will not have their contracts extended.

Full time Para professional Thea Lester, high school and retiree Rosalie Ridout at the middle school will not be replaced.

Also, early retirees Karen Mixdorf's teaching position at the middle school and Janene Klenk, full time para-professional at the elementary school, will not be filled for 2018-19.

A shift of staff "to ensure proper coverage and licensure" was approved as part of the adjustments being made.

They include Ellen Moran to high school from elementary / middle school and Lori Dvorak from elementary to high school.

To Fill Early Retirement Positions

All other early retiree positions were approved to be filled. They include Susan Kopsa- 3rd grade, Michelle Morgan, high school level 1 special education, Lori Rushford, kindergarten, Deloris Ryan, TLC facilitator, Rhonda Shaw, middle school social studies and Jim Shope, bus driver.

An estimated total of $100,000 in less salary due to years of experience and insurance is projected.

Adding teacher positions for gifted and talented teacher and a high school English Language Learner were also approved.

In other business Monday the board:

approved transfer of a remaining total of $96,891 from the high school addition project to the district SAVE account as all bills for the project have been paid. Also approved were completion of necessary infrastructure projects which were explained as safety-related or replacement of equipment which as "aged out." The projects had been on hold pending the reconciliation of addition account.

discussed book fee charges for 2018-19 for students taking concurrent courses with Marshalltown Community College and STC High School.

approved hiring Daniel Kass as assistant baseball coach.



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