Talks continue on new superintendent’s contract

2010-04-19T21:17:00Z Talks continue on new superintendent’s contractROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
April 19, 2010 9:17 pm  • 

Contract negotiations are continuing between Billings School District 2 and Keith Beeman, its superintendent candidate.

At the school board’s regular Monday night meeting, trustees Joel Guthals and Peter Gesuale, who are conducting the negotiations, said they hope to have a preliminary contract on which the board can vote ready by next week.

“I don’t envision we’re going to have any difficulties,” Guthals said.

The contract involves a number of components, and each takes time to resolve, he said.

The major components on which the two sides are working include salary, the time over which the contract will extend, the need to acquire the necessary certifications, vacations and benefits, moving expenses, evaluation format and provisions for termination.

“We are not there yet,” Guthals said.

But the process is moving along smoothly, he said.

Near the end of the meeting, David Munson, director of special education, informed the board of a plan his office is putting together that would eliminate special-education services for 19- to 21-year-olds. At present, the district serves 23 students in that group.

Munson said School District 2 is the only district left in the state that still offers services to 19- to 21-year-olds. State law only requires a district to teach special-education students until they are 18, he said.

Still, he added, its something he wished the district could afford to continue.

“This would not be on the table if there wasn’t” a financial crisis, he said.

He said his office would have a proposal ready for next month.

Also at the meeting, the board recognized Thomas Harper, the district’s business director, and his staff for a budgeting award they received late last month.

The Association of School Business Officials International presented the district with its Meritorious Budget Award for Excellence, the fourth year in a row the district has received the citation.

“This is excellent,” said Malcolm Goodrich, board chairman.

The award recognizes the district for budget presentation and transparency — the budget appears in its entirety online and is available to view at the district office. Also, committee and board meetings where budget details are hammered out are open to the public.

The association is comprised of 6,000 school districts nationwide, Harper said. About 8 percent of the districts receive the award.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or657-1231.

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