By Becky Killian, Editor
The Knox County Board of Education has voted to create four new positions as part of an administrative reorganization plan.
The first phase of the plan was presented to board members Tuesday by Interim Superintendent Ralph Hoskins.
The positions created were:
—alternative program coordinator, who will serve as an alternative instructional specialist as well as be a direct liaison with the Kentucky Department of Education and be the district’s grant writer.
—facility coordinator, who will be responsible for monitoring energy savings as well as insurance and bidding. The position will require the employee save more than he or she is paid in salary.
—districtwide purchasing system and supervisor of maintenance, who will purchase all materials for district operations and supervise the district’s maintenance and mowing crew. A current district employee can be used in this position with a salary adjustment.
—districtwide K-8 athletic director/attendance liaison, who will work with school principals to set clear attendance goals and help the district and schools to work together to meet the needs of the students.
“I think it will really help our district at a minimal cost,” Hoskins said about the new positions, adding board members will see results.
Board Chairwoman Carla Jordan raised concerns about the positions, saying some had been abolished by the district. She also wondered if the district’s new superintendent, when named, should be involved in the process of developing new positions.
Hoskins said the district needs to make the change now, adding he wouldn’t anticipate that the new superintendent would change them.
The vote to create the positions was unanimous.
The board voted to change how frequently employees are paid. Currently, they are paid once a month; however, that will change to twice a month on about the 15th and 30th. The change begins July 30 for full-time employees who work 240 days a year and Aug. 30 for employees like teachers, aides and bus drivers.
Before the vote, Gertrude Smith, finance officer, said it could be a difficult adjustment initially since the first paycheck under the twice monthly system will only be for about half a month’s work, rather than a full month’s work.
A majority of employees had wanted twice-monthly pay, however, it was cost prohibitive before direct deposit due to the cost of checks, toner, etc., Smith and the board explained.
There was discussion about delaying the change to allow employee input again, but it was noted without a vote this month it couldn’t be implemented until 2014.
The vote to make the change was unanimous. The district plans a media campaign and other communication efforts to alert employees to the change so they can budget appropriately.
The board voted unanimously to pay the district’s head coaches a lump sum of $10,000 so all coaches are paid the same amount. The athletic director’s lump sum payment was set at $6,500, which remains unchanged from what is currently being paid.
Previously, coaches had been paid based on rank and experience. The change is expected to cost the district about $2,100.
In other business:
—The architect presented an overview of the progress on renovations at G.R. Hampton and Dewitt Elementary. The board asked the architect to investigate what the cost will be for the generator at Dewitt’s new wastewater treatment plant. According to Frank Shelton, district spokesman, the old wastewater plant did not have a generator, although the staff was able to keep the plant running during extended electrical failures. The estimated cost savings is about $10,000 if the board were to decide to eliminate the generator from the wastewater treatment package.
—The board voted to purchase 10 school buses at a cost of about $91,868 per bus. The new buses will have air conditioning and will be financed through the Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association, likely for 10 years.