The Alta School Board, along with other school boards across the state, will be discussing a new statewide sales tax that if approved, could reduce property taxes and provide districts with more options to improve facilities and equipment.
"Passage of this proposal will be challenging," said Superintendent Fred Maharry. "In order for this to happen, local boards, educators and other community members must become involved."
He pointed out that there is a large disparity between local option sales tax collected in various districts and a statewide penny proposal would address that.
"If this were passed," Maharry said, "our property taxes could be reduced by 70 cents per $1,000 of valuation." That, everyone agrees, would be quite welcome.
Board member Ila Galvin said though she wasn't opposed to the statewide sales tax, which would be divided equally among all districts, and provide more dollars, she was concerned that if under the jurisdiction of the government the "formula" would be changed.
"I would like some guarantee that they will not be able to reallocate the funds to other entities. Right now, the SILO funds are wonderful for the schools and I'm worried that if the state is control they can make changes in how the funds are distributed."
The issue will be brought up at the Iowa Association of School Board convention which Galvin, Val Rosenthal and Maharry will be attending Thursday and Friday.
Maharry shared with the board that the breakfast program at the schools is being greatly used and he is pleased with that. Some 163 breakfasts were served Oct. 12.
The board approved contracts for:
* Terra Miller, food service at the elementary, $8.25 per hour.
* an associate to be hired for first grade based on a student's individual education plan. The position will pay $7.25 her hour for seven hours and will be advertised.
The board also approved resignations for:
* Kirsten Doebel as junior class sponsor and student council advisor.
* Randy Bissen as junior high boys' track coach, which is necessary for him to assume the boys' golf coach position.
* Mark Shea as high school girls' track coach.
It was also recommended the board approve the drug testing agreement for the district's bus drivers. The tests are required by federal law and are done in association with the Iowa Association of School Boards and Buena Vista Regional Medical Center. This is a continuation of the agreement that has been in place for several years and the cost is $45 per driver.