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Air conditioning work begins at North Platte

by Kim Ficket
Landmark reporter

Thanks to a recent tax levy question approved by voters, work has begun on the installation of 41 air conditioning units at the North Platte School District.

At a recent meeting, board members voted to award the bid for purchase and installation of the air conditioning to Nash Gas for $164,280. Superintendent Dr. Francis Moran stated that it's the district's goal to have all the units installed by next school year.

Moran also updated the board regarding appropriations from the state legislation. Since the board meeting, Moran stated that the regular legislative session had ended and $133 million appropriations were set aside for education.

As expected, the state was unable to fully fund the education formula, which makes it the first time the formula hasn't received 100 percent funding from the legislature. Moran said that the state is $20 million short of fully funding all the districts in Missouri.

"Under the circumstances, I think education can feel fortunate we were given such strong appropriations," stated Moran.

According to Moran, the North Platte School District is one of the first areas to get cut due to its levy being over $2.75. What that means for the district is that it will receive 93 percent of what it should have in line two of the formula and 98 percent in line one of the formula.

Moran stated that line one and two of the formula are appropriations that determine the funds the district should receive to operate.

The board also discussed the special education bill, which clarified wording in the bill for school districts in Missouri.

"The bill clarified wording that each school district didn't have to maximize each handicapped child's potential but instead would have to meet federal government guidelines to establish an appropriate education environment," said Moran.

The board also heard information regarding Senate Bill 319, a reading law established by the state legislature. The law states that various programs be available to help students who are reading below their grade level. According to Moran, because of the reading law the district will implement remedial programs for those students in summer school, as well as the establishment of an after school program to help improve the reading skills of those students.

A bid was also approved for the purchase of 40 computer units from Kolar Computer in Blue Springs, for $626 per unit. The cost includes the CPU, monitor and a three-year warranty.

Moran stated that the board also approved the transfer of $373,155 in funds for the installation of air conditioning and to address future and existing facility needs. Moran said the board's main goal with the future includes the continued replacement of windows in the future throughout the district.