Morenci school aides back with reduced hours 2016.01.06

By DAVID GREEN

Eleven paraprofessional staff members were recalled Monday night by the Morenci Board of Education following a layoff decision approved in December.

The layoff was scheduled to take effect Jan. 5, but the staff was called back to service before that happened, although some of the employees now have fewer hours to work.

Superintendent of Schools Mike McAran looked at hours worked by aides and questioned whether the district could afford to employ the staff at the same hours due to continuing financial difficulties.

Staff members recalled with reduced hours are Sherri Dillon, 8.0 hours per day; Lucy Mansfield, 7.75 hours; Dawn Williams, 5.75 hours; Rossana Wright, 3.0 hours; and Jeffrey Lampson, 2.0 hours.

The following were recalled with no changes to their hours: Pam Elarton, 2.5 hours; Carla Ford, 25 minutes; Rob Price, 6.83 hours; Tracy Schell, 1.5 hours plus 7.5 hours on Fridays; Eileen Moore, 7.5 hours on Fridays; and Amy Harris, 1.5 hours. 

OFFICERS—During an organizational meeting, Scott Merillat was re-elected president of the board for 2016. Also returning to office are Carrie Dillon, vice-president; Ivy Hutchinson, secretary; and Laura Spencer, treasurer.

The board will continue to meet at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month with two exceptions: April 11 and Sept. 12.

The March and July meeting dates are also expected to change.

ELECTIONS—Michigan legislators approved a change in state election laws that would prohibit schools and other public bodies to provide factual information about election issues during the 60 days before an election.

In the school’s case, the district would not be able to inform voters about the annual homestead exemption vote for the two months preceding the election.

McAran urged residents to contact the governor and urge him to veto the measure.

The ballot language always lists the measure as a new tax rather than a renewal of the existing measure, he said, and it’s important to explain the issue to voters.

• See next week’s Observer for additional school board news.