Morenci school board 05.05.2010

Written by David Green.

Morenci Board of Education members hired varsity coaches Monday for the fall and winter season, but held off on the supporting coach staff until the June meeting.

Head coaches Tom Saylor (football), Tim Yatzek (girls basketball), Brad Brown (cross country), Dennis Owens (volleyball), Tim Bovee (boys basketball), Scott Clark (wrestling) and Jessica Taylor (competitive cheer) were unanimously hired for the next school year.

They will be consulted to make sure they’re “comfortable” with the other coaches in their sport before a hiring decision is made at the June 7 meeting.

Brandon Williams was approved as a volunteer assistant baseball coach for the season now underway.

LISD BUDGET—The Lenawee ISD seeks approval of its annual budget from local school boards. Morenci’s board gave its approval, but not without concerns expressed.

Superintendent Michael Osborne said he’s heard concerns expressed by other superintendents in the county. Many administrators believe the ISD has not made cuts to match the districts that it serves, Osborne said.

He’s heard it stated that the ISD’s healthy fund equity—much of it for future building projects—should be used to better support local district during tough financial times. As an example, the cost of services that the LISD provides to local schools could be lowered.

Teacher Sally Kruger noted that when she attends literacy meetings through the LISD, Morenci has to pay for a substitute teacher. That’s a cost the LISD could cover.

Osborne advised the board to approve the budget, but to express its concerns about LISD spending.

“Get specific,” he said. “Don’t just say that you need to make cuts.”

Over the next two months board members should become familiar with the budget and services offered and come up with specific questions and concerns to present to LISD board of education members.

FEDERAL FUNDS—The board approved a memorandum of understanding to support the state’s effort to win federal funds through the second round of the Race to the Top program.

By signing on to the program, Morenci would be qualified to receive funding if Michigan were selected, but the district would not be required to go along with the program.

Board president Scott Merillat noted the state legislature was able to quickly rush through the Race to the Top application, yet it takes months to come up with a state aid plan for local districts.

“We’re looking for leadership from legislators,” Osborne said. “If education is important, they’re going to have to show it.”

Board member Phil McCaskey urged district residents to contact legislators.

State Senator Cameron Brown can be reached by calling 517/373-5932 or writing to [email protected]

State Rep. Dudley Spade can be reached by calling 517/373-1706 or writing to [email protected]

TRANSITION—Supt. Osborne said Morenci’s school staff and community members have made for an easy transition to the shared superintendency with Hudson. He said he’s received a lot of support and he’s impressed as he continues to meet “great people in the right positions.”

HIGHLIGHTS—After hearing administrators present the highlights from their schools, Merillat stated that in spite of cuts, Morenci’s students continue to do well, both locally and in county-wide activities.

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