The Billings School District 2 board will wait a month to decide if it will extend the contract of its superintendent, and it will meet again Tuesday night to discuss administrator benefits.
Superintendent Keith Beeman’s old contract had been included in the meeting’s agenda rather than his proposed new one. As such, the board voted Monday night to wait a month to open talks with Beeman, giving trustees and the public a chance to see the new contract.
Beeman was hired by the board last May and at the time signed a contract through the 2012 school year for an annual salary of $160,000 with no raises. The board now is proposing to extend his contract through 2014.
The move by the board to postpone the decision didn’t stop a handful of people from addressing the proposed contract talks in the public comment portion of the meeting.
The two speakers who addressed the board, implored trustees at least to wait until Beeman’s original contract came up before deciding to extend it. At this point, they said, he hasn’t even been in office a year.
A portion of Monday night’s meeting was spent talking about class sizes in the district.
More than 50 teachers will be retiring this year, and, in an effort to avoid layoffs, many of their positions will be left vacant.
Kathy Olson, director of elementary education, and Scott Anderson, director of secondary education, told trustees that will have an affect on class size.
Class size is dictated by state standards and is used to determine a district’s accreditation with the state.
Last year, SD2 had 79 classes in the elementary district over the state-mandated limit, Olson said. This year the number was 76 classes.
Next year, Olson projected the district would have 87 classes over the limit. In all, nearly a quarter of all classes at the elementary-school level would be above the state-mandated level.
Olson pointed out that a majority of those larger classes would be only one or two students over.
In the high school district, the average class size was 22.5 students per period. Next year it’s projected to be 23.9 students. The state requires that individual classes have no more than 30 students.
Anderson said all the core classes at the high schools — English, math, science and social studies — will see increases in class size.
The biggest single jump will be in science.
Classes will go from an average of 21.9 students to 25.3 students per class.