School board votes to put bond measure on ballot

The Boonville R-1 Board of Education voted to place a bond measure on the April 8 election at the Wednesday evening board meeting. It will not increase the current debt service property tax levy.
The district will borrow $4.2 million to complete district-wide safety and security upgrades. Additionally, the district will complete heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements. Deferred maintenance issues may be addressed with the funds along with providing technology upgrades to the district. Furthermore, funds will also provide opportunities to renovate or remodel some of the buildings in the district.  If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the School District is estimated to remain unchanged at $0.8868 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real estate and personal property.
In 2010, freshman sports was discontinued. At Wednesday's meeting, a vote of four in favor and two against re-instated freshman sports to half capacity of what it originally was.
Boonville R-1 School Board members Barbara Holtzclaw and Dr. Kristi Smalley were in favor of freshman sports but voiced concerns over teachers pay and benefits. Holtzclaw also said up-to-date technology and books are greatly needed.
The board also heard concerns from Boonville High School Teacher Kristina Haun who also was in favor of implementing freshman sports but was concerned over pay the teachers earn. Haun released the following statement on behalf of the Boonville Education Association.
"We fully support athletics and all extra curricular activities in the Boonville School District. We believe extra curricular activities have a positive impact on our students and our community. If freshman sports must be added to ensure our students have the best possible school experience then we fully support adding them. However, our school district has many pressing concerns at this time such a several repairs that need to be made in the buildings along with the purchase of up-to-date technology and textbooks. We as members of BEA ask the Boonville School Board to consider the following pressing staff concerns. Many teachers are still making less than they were five years ago because of pay cuts or because they are in areas of the pay scale where for several years they do not receive a step increase. We will support anything that will benefit our students. We simply ask the Boonville R-1 Board of Education to give due consideration to the needs of our employees and support staff."  
Boonville Superintendent Mark Ficken said the district is making strides to answer the needs of the employees. He added, the bond measure would also answer some of the concerns related to technology upgrades along with security.
The freshman athletics would cost the district $16,500 per year, almost half of the cost it was in 2009.
Please continue to read on page 8 regarding a more in depth story on the re-introduction of freshman sports.