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Superintendent gives board job proposals for 2 positions

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

With Morgan County Schools facing budget cuts, new Superintendent Bob Balch gave school board members proposed job descriptions Monday for a testing coordinator and a personnel director.

Balch asked the board to consider making Mary Marquart a testing coordinator, adding to her duties as school improvement coordinator.

Her new duties would include supervising, training for and administering standardized tests. School improvement coordinator is a federally funded position when the school system fails to meet the state's testing standards.

Morgan County Schools failed two years ago to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress standard. The county met AYP in 2006 but must meet it two years in a row to get off school improvement status.

The school system estimates $1.6 million will remain in its fiscal 2007 budget reserves, but the state is asking the board to increase its reserves to $4.5 million. The state wants a plan from the school board before Feb. 23 on how it will cut expenses and increase its reserves.

Balch said Marquart's salary would rise to $73,584, with the federal grant paying half and the other half coming from the system's General Fund. He said the board would save money because it wouldn't have to hire an additional person.

"I think that's a pretty good deal for the school board," Balch said.

Interim Director of Elementary Education Ann Vest has been handling the testing coordinator duties, but she complained Jan. 4 of having too many duties and asked for relief.

Balch also asked the board to consider hiring a personnel director. Margaret McClemore handled personnel duties as the superintendent's administrative assistant before her retirement in December. When he hired Connie Goode as McClemore's replacement, he had the board approve the hiring on a secretary's pay scale.

His proposed job description says that among the personnel director's duties they would be making recommendations to the superintendent on personnel issues like employment, transfers, leaves of absence and evaluations; assisting in the hiring of certified personnel; and maintaining personnel records.

As a director, the position would be a 12-month teacher contract with a director's supplement. Balch said the pay would be a minimum of about $70,000. Applicants would have to have at least a master's degree and a minimum of 15 years education experience.

School board member Carolyn Wallace suggested adding an administration degree requirement.

Board member Betty Hackett asked if 15 years might be too much.

Balch said he would work on fine-tuning the personnel director job description. The school system's policy committee also must approve the description.

He said the school system would not have to advertise the test coordinator position because the board is adding to an employee's current duties. He asked the board to consider the Marquart proposal at its Feb. 8 meeting.

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