At a combined budget hearing-school board meeting held Monday (June 24), Constantine school officials gave Superintendent Chuck Frisbie “top marks,” renewing his contract until June 30, 2016.
“Chuck is doing a wonderful job for the district financially, educationally and has vastly improved public relations,” school board President John Schuler said.
Frisbie has acted as superintendent in Constantine since July, 2008. His 2012-2013 salary is $106,600. He served as elementary principal for six years and superintendent for another six years in Mendon prior to coming to Constantine.
Voter approval is needed to use $5.8 million the district will gain from restructuring bonds to refurbish the Middle School. The proposal will be on a November ballot. A public meeting was held in March to develop a comprehensive plan for the building for the next 15 years.
“The building opened in 1956, with additions and remodeling done in 1965 and 2004.Our engineering firm recommended upgrading this facility, because replacement cost is $14,800,000 with upgrades costing half that amount. It is structurally sound, and could last another 50 years with these upgrades,” Frisbie said.
The Michigan Senate passed the fiscal year 2013-14 School Aid Budget in May with increases to the per pupil fund for area schools. Frisbie reported there was a $79 per pupil increase from the state, netting approximately $110,000 for the district.
The school board raised the price of a hot lunch ten cents. New federal requirements are forcing many school districts to raise prices gradually over the next several years The new rule referred to as “Paid Lunch Price Equity,” is based on how much the government reimburses schools for free lunches. If schools charge on average less than the federal reimbursement rate of $2.46 for free lunches, they use a formula to raise their averages prices. No school is required to raise its average price more than 10 cents, but could choose to increase it more.
Attendance has tripled, feeding 250 children and adults a day, at free summer breakfast and lunch programs in Constantine. Meals are served at Constantine HIgh School, Eastside Elementary, Riverview Park and Mason Township Hall in Edwardsburg. For information on the program go the school website www.constps.org.
Frisbie said the St. Joseph County ISD board voted to put a Headlee override on a ballot in August, which could mean $90,000 will be available for the special ed general fund for Constantine.
In other business
- The board recommended a l.5 per cent raise in salary for school staff next year.
- A buzz-in security system installed at all entryways at Constantine schools at a cost of $50,000 was voted in.
- The St. Joseph County ISD agreed to pay for transportation for special ed students for a year, saving the district $140,000, Frisbie said.
- A meeting was set up for 6:00 p.m. on July 29 to discuss school board goals for 2013-2014.
Source: Story and photoscontributed by Angie Birdsall.