By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
Saving the Salem-Keizer School District large amounts of money by issuing pension obligation bonds was approved at Tuesday’s school board meeting.
The bonds will pay down the district’s portion of the state liability of the Public Employees Retirement System. District staff had told the board that the district would benefit by issuing bonds at a lower rate than the 7.75 percent PERS assumed earnings rate if the proceeds earn an average rate of return that exceeds the interest rate of the bonds.
The actual payoff amount will be determined by PERS, Superintendent Christy Perry told the board, but she said the district to date has saved over $67.7 million from its 2002 and 2004 bond issuances. PERS has determined that the district’s portion of the liability is $51,450,037, and after consulting financial and legal experts, staffers recommended a maximum interest rate of 5.25 percent.
Also at the meeting, the board approved amendments to the constitution of the Oregon School Boards Association and revisions to board policies. Directors showed some concern over wording of a requirement for them to state the reasons for positions they take at meetings, but chairperson Rick Kimball said they should not take the wording too literally.
In the Spotlight on Success portion of the meeting, the Parent Club Board of Claggett Creek Middle School was honored as Volunteers of the Month. Krina Lee of the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation said in presenting the honor that Kristy Fletcher, board president; Lisa Buik, vice president; and Justine Christensen, treasurer, were nominated by school staff “for multiple reasons.”
They have worked many hours, Lee said, to support parent involvement and have provided club meeting presentations and supported various student-oriented programs.
Wednesday of this week was National Education Support Professionals Day, and the board approved a proclamation honoring district support professionals, formerly designated as classified employees.
Personnel actions approved by the board included the following in the McNary High School attendance area:
• Contract for Trisha Dalke as a temporary part-time first-grade ESOL teacher at Keizer Elementary School.
• Contracts for temporary full-time teachers: Rhonda Rhodes, behavior specialist at McNary; Sarah Brending, first-grade ESOL teacher at Gubser Elementary School; and Lori Lloyd, third-grade teacher at Clear Lake Elementary School.
• Retirement of Craig Nicholas, health teacher at McNary.
• Resignation of Abby Federico, learning resources teacher at Claggett Creek.