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Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
  • Board approves tuition changes, workers' comp, agreements

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  • The Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education accepted motions pertaining to tuition rates within the district and at Grand River Technical School, workers' compensation insurance, a facility rental agreement, and renewal of the Ag Campus' vehicle lease agreement with Kline Van and Specialty Rentals during their regular monthly meeting held at the District Headquarters on Tuesday evening (Dec. 18).
    "We've been asked to go back and look at our tuition [rates]," said R-2 Superintendent Dr. Roger Barnes, who noted that those asking were mostly administrators from other schools who sent students to an R-2 facility. "We set our tuition at $7,900."
    Barnes said that he contacted the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for an alternative tuition calculation tool, which was provided to him. This tool, he said, is often used for districts who take in students from unaccredited districts.
    "[Per those calculations,] I would not have a problem with moving [the rate] from $7,900 to $7,100 [annually]," he said.
    It was also suggested that this rate be locked into place not only for this school year, but also for the following year.
    The motion was put to a vote and approved by unanimous voice.
    Grand River Technical School requested the board allow them to up their tuition rates directly following this — by $100 (from $2,200 to $2,300) for the three-hour secondary education program, and by $200 (from $5,300 to $5,500) for the six-hour adult block.
    "Grand River Technical School tuition has been frozen for the past three years," Barnes explained.
    "Do you compare your tuition to other similar schools?" asked Board President David Meneely, of GRTS co-director Ron Wolf, who was present for Tuesday night's meeting.
    "They don't provide that [information] anymore," Wolf said. "But we're in the upper middle [in terms of cost]."
    Wolf said that there was a similar school out east that offered free tuition, while St. Joseph's tuition was higher than theirs, and Maryville's slightly lower.
    The board approved the tuition hike with no opposition.
    Assistant R-2 Superintendent Jim Ruse presented the board with the lone workers' compensation bid the district received, from Missouri Employers Mutual.
    "We escalated [in usage] so much that some companies did not want to put in a bid on us," Ruse said.
    The District's MOD rate (experienced modification rate, which contributes to how much companies pay each month in workers' compensation premiums) rose from .97 to 1.06 over the last year. Anything over 1.0, Ruse said, is getting pretty high.
    Based upon estimated payrolls, workers' comp coverage district wide was bid as follows:
    • School Professional Employees and Clerical: 8868 — $8,669,753
    • Drivers: 7380 — $341,367
    • School All Other Employees: 9101 — $865,879.
    Based on 1.06 Experienced Modification Factor:
    • Bodily Injury Each Accident: $500,000
    • Bodily Injury Policy Limit: $500,000
    Page 2 of 2 - • Bodily Injury Each Employee: $500,000.
    The total annual workers' comp policy premium comes to $104,652.
    Ruse said that Missouri Employers Mutual is the same provider that the district is currently using. He noted that their original bid had come in closer to $155,000, but the premium was lowered once Ruse worked with the company to take off workers who had taken out workers' comp claims, but who were no longer employed by the district.
    The board took the lone bid.
    Barnes presented the board with a slightly-amended facility rental agreement, including a cutting and consolidation of the separate rental fee for both the commons area and the fieldhouse at the Chillicothe Middle School (now, instead of a $350 fieldhouse rental fee on top of a $350 commons area rental fee, it is just a flat rate of $350 for the both together), and the inclusion of a custodian within the new Jerry Litton Stadium rental.
    Board member Brent Turner asked if the rental fees were in-line with what other schools were charging for similar services and facilities.
    Barnes said that he surveyed other similar districts for their rental costs, and found that the district was fairly accurate in their rental prices, with a few notable exceptions, which were corrected.
    Seeing no argument, this, too, was passed by the board.
    Finally, the board confirmed their wishes to continue a rental agreement with Kline Van and Specialty Rentals for a 2011 Dodge Ram 2500, which is used on the Litton Ag Campus. The rental agreement is for $1, and is for one year.
    The district is allowed 2,500 cumulative miles per month on the vehicle, with excess mileage fees kicking in after that mark, and 20,000 total miles per rental term.
    Board member Jason Bone, who works for the Kline company, is listed as the lessor representative, and abstained from voting for conflict reasons. The measure still passed, his vote aside, by unanimous vocal decision.

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