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School board: Grading policy changed, budget approved

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By Linda Ireland

The LaRue County School Board held second reading of a new grading policy last week.

Standards for high school students were raised with end-of-course tests counting for 20 percent of their total grade.

Last year, the final exams at LCHS counted 15 percent in each course. In the 2011-12 school year, the exams counted as 10 percent of the grade.

The policy is tougher than the state’s, which mandated two years ago that end of course testing in English II, Algebra II, U.S. History and Biology count as 20 percent of the final grade. The final exams in those classes are “Quality Core” (published by the state). For other courses, the exams are teacher-created.

In other business:

  • The board approved a working budget based on $22.6 million revenue. Revenue sources include $342,910 in local property taxes. About $13.4 million is earmarked for salaries.
  • Martin Flooring was awarded flooring bids for the gym floor at LaRue County High School ($15,800) and Hodgenville Elementary School ($2,065). Conrad Floors bid was higher ($19,980 and $2,060, respectively).
  • Some discussion was held on the transparency of the superintendent’s contract.

Board member Linda Pearman requested a monetary value of each benefit in the contract be included in information submitted to the Kentucky Department of Education.

Copies of emails sent from Pearman to Chay Ritter of the Division of District Support were available in the board packet.

“My constituents have been adamant about wanting to know the cost of fringe benefits to LaRue County tax payers for our superintendent of schools,” she wrote. “The salary has always been available to the public via the KDE’s website, but monetary value and limitations regarding some of the benefits are not available (ie. Who can use the board owned vehicle and the estimated value of that benefit, etc.)”

Ritter responded that superintendent compensation data is being compiled by her agency that “may hopefully answer some of the questions you’ve been asked by constituents.”

Ritter advised that although the information was not yet accessible on the website, it is available through open records request at the district level.

Superintendent Sam Sanders said the KDEss asked for a copy of every superintendent’s contract in the state. Additional information will be available about each contract next year on the website.
Sanders’ new contract goes into effect July 1, 2014.