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District looks to adjust how students can pay unsportsmanlike conduct fines

By Staff | Jul 26, 2011

Changes to the verbiage of unsportsmanlike conduct fines were addressed during a school board meeting Tuesday afternoon for the athletic manual for students.

The language that was discussed dealt with how students would have to pay a $250 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct to the Florida High School Athletic Sports Association.

The language that was added to the manual included a payment plan that the students could participate in to pay off the fine or a work detail program that would also pay off the fine over a period of time.

Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke said the senior high principals were concerned about creating a sense of responsibility for students in regards to conduct if they were given a fine during a sporting event. He said the manual’s language now provides an opportunity for students to take on the responsibility of paying off the fine in a couple different ways.

Burke said if the student chose to participate in the work detail plan they would pay off the fine through a plan that the principal would develop.

Boardmember Mary Fischer said she thought the new verbiage was an excellent strategy because it allows for options of responsibility.

Boardmember Don Armstrong also thought the options were a good idea because he thought they should not be punishing the students for their socioeconomic status.

The school board also addressed a district CEO insurance policy for Burke during the briefing meeting Tuesday afternoon due to suggestion at a prior meeting from Board Chairman Thomas Scott to look into a life insurance or disability insurance policy.

Bonnie McFarland, director of insurance and benefits for the district said a policy is usually taken out when individuals possess a unique skill set because in the event they were to pass away it would be a significant loss to the district.

The estimates for a $200,000 policy ranged from $9,700 to $11,400 for 10 years and a $400,000 policy ranged from $16,000 to $19,500 for a 10 year plan for a key person insurance policy for the superintendent.

Burke said instead of having a policy, he would rather like to look at the senior executives that are a part of the system. He said by looking at the executives they can look at ways to ensure the board that there are persons that are within the senior management team that have the skills to move up the leadership chain and resume the CEO position if something were to happen.

“I would want to undertake that on behalf of the board,” he said.

The board also discussed grant funding for the district and how they can obtain additional grants that will help move them forward with student achievement. Additional staff was also addressed, due to the district only having one person writing grants.

Each year the district attempts to bring in $1 million in competitive grant funding, which has been accomplished the last six years.

Another agenda item that was discussed Tuesday included reimbursement of in-county travel for board members.

Fischer said in November 2008 there was an agreement with board members to waive the in county reimbursement for their travel time.

During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, $2,033.07 was reimbursed to board members, $2,334.20 was reimbursed during the 2006-2007 school year and $4982.55 was reimbursed during the 2007-2008 school year.

After some discussion the board decided to continue to waive the reimbursement for in county travel.

“I would be completely against reimbursement,” Armstrong said. “I can’t see the taxpayers paying for this.”

He said he knew he was going to have to drive around to the different schools when he decided to run for office, which he knew would come out of his pocket.

Georgianna McDaniel also gave a presentation during Tuesday afternoon’s meeting regarding the final expenses for the superintendent search that concluded in May. Although the district budgeted $17,400 for the search, they ended up spending $13,583.40 before $892.13 was subtracted from cash donations received from the community, which was $4,708.73 under budget.

The expenses included $5,526.88 for the consultant contract with the Florida School Board Association and $2,798.05 for advertising and print media.

The district took care of travel expenses for two out of the four candidates, which amounted to $857 for Burke and $718.80 for candidate Steven Cobb.

A total of $1,379.56 was spent in hospitality, which included $531.66 for a welcome dinner before the interviewing process took place.