Alva Review-Courier -

Freedom School Board debates how to fund necessary repairs


At the Freedom School Board meeting Monday evening, the most hotly debated issue of the night centered around how to put together a significantly different bond package for funding essential school repairs that would be able to get voters' approval.

In consultation with experts in the field, Miller had documents prepared that the board could review and choose to sign (or not sign) that would allow the school to try again to get voter approval on a bond issuance to fund school repairs. This time, though, the more important components of the original bond proposition were broken down into three separate propositions that the public could vote on separately.

Each of the three propositions would fund “constructing, equipping, repairing, and remodeling school buildings; acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment; and acquiring and improving school sites,” with slight differences.

Proposition 1, which specifically mentioned the high school building, would be a bond issuance of $410,000; Proposition 2, which didn't mentioned any particular section of the school, would be a bond issuance of $470,000; and Proposition 3, which specifically mentioned “constructing an furnishing a new ag building,” would be a bond issuance of $520,000.

The board did not sign any of these documents, and most of the members expressed views that a new ag building just wasn't nearly as necessary as the repairs to the gym floor and the weight room and several other issues through the other school buildings.

Instead of signing any of these, they asked Miller to get in touch with the school's bond advisor to have him come and speak to the board on July 8 at the board's regularly scheduled meeting to discuss whether they might instead simply remove the ag building from the proposition that the voters failed to elect at the last school bond election.

The problem with breaking things into separate propositions, is that each would be a separate bond issuance, and each bond issuance carries some significant costs. So, putting two propositions before the voters would, in the end, cost twice as much as just putting one proposition that contains everything that the board considers absolutely essential for bond funding.

Miller agreed to contact the consultant and find out if he would be able to attend the July 8 meeting. Miller himself will not be at that meeting due to a conference he, and others, will be attending.

Educator Conferences

Superintendent Miller reported that he, and other staff, will be attending a few conferences this summer, including the OSSBA Education Leadership Conference, held Aug. 22-25, and the Oklahoma Coaches Clinic in Tulsa July 21-26. The school also received a $10,000 grant to enable Miller and some other staff to attend a national conference next month: the Making Schools Work Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, July 7-13.

Staff Contracts Approved

The board also approved the following staff contracts:

• Bryan Davey – $25.25 per hour at an estimated 12-month cost of $46,460.

• Brenda Daughhetee – $11.72 per hour, est. 12-month cost of $21,564.80.

• Patricia Dauphin – $18.28 per hour, est. 12-month cost of $33,927.68.

• Patricia Omey – $16.25 per hour, est. 11-month cost of $23,546.25.

• Tamara Stoddard (Link) – $12.27 per hour, est. 11-month cost of $21,398.88.

• Bryant Weber – salaried at a 12-month cost of $55,273.20.

School Committees, Workers Comp, Other Business

Along with the Superintendent and the minutes clerk, Patricia Dauphin, board members Shane Morris, Shan Wilson, Russell Reed and Phil Kirkpatrick were present; member Robert Babcock was absent.

The board approved the consent agenda, which comprised the past meeting's minutes; the activity fund report; encumbrances for the general, nutrition, and building funds; and two committees for next school year: the Safe School Committee and the Healthy School Committee.

The Safe School Committee in 2019-20 will have the following members: Superintendent Miller, Principal Michelle Shelite, Bryan Davey (maintenance), Bryant Weber (teacher/Freedom EMS), and a parent and student yet to be determined.

The Health School Committee for the coming school year will be comprised of Principal Shelite, Michael Schnatz (coach/PE), Cindy Wilson (elementary teacher), Darci Immell (high school teacher), Patricia Omey (child nutrition), and a parent and student yet to be determined.

The board also decided to continue the contract with OSAG for workers compensation insurance, even though the cost had gone up quite a bit. Miller had attempted to obtain a second quote from another company to see if that cost could be brought back down, but was unable to obtain the quote in time for the board to make the decision prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year. Miller said he would start the process of obtaining that second quote much earlier next year so that the board will have some options when it comes time to consider workers comp insurance for the 2020-21 school year.


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