Pubdate: Sun, 19 Feb 2006
Source: Iosco County News-Herald (MI)
Copyright: 2006 Iosco News
Note: Letters to the editor are welcome but must be signed, with an address 
and phone number for verification purposes.
Author: John Morris
Bookmark: (Drug Test)
Bookmark: (Youth)


TAWAS CITY - In a unanimous vote Monday, the Tawas Area Schools Board of 
Education said "no" to a proposed voluntary random drug and alcohol program 
for students at the high school.

"From a school's point of view, there's just no good reason for it," said 
board member John Freel. "That's not to say it's not a good thing (the 
proposed drug program). "But it's difficult to come up with a justification 
for going with it."

The board of education heard a presentation during a work session on Jan. 
23 from St. Joseph Health System officials concerning the proposed program. 
The health system was awarded a $525,000 three-year grant to implement the 
new program for students in grades nine through 12 in the four county high 

While all four superintendents signed a letter of agreement allowing the 
health system to apply for the federal grant from the U.S. Department of 
Education, it required board approval and possibly policy changes to 
implement the program within the school districts.

The school board's policy committee met in late January and has recommended 
that Tawas Area Schools not participate in the student drug testing program.

In addition to rejecting the program, the school board also voted to 
rescind and void the previous letter of agreement signed in July.

Two board members, Timothy Kolnitys and Elaine Brown, were absent from 
Monday's meeting.

In another matter, the school board said it wants more information from the 
Iosco Regional Educational Service Agency (IRESA) before it moves ahead to 
support or reject a proposed three-quarters of a mill request for 
operations at the vocational-educational center.

School board President David Lixey said IRESA officials are looking for 
support from the four school districts before moving ahead with the 
proposed millage election. A vote could be taken during the general 
election in August, should IRESA move ahead with the proposal.

Freel said while the proposed millage "sounds like there's a good idea in 
there, but we want to know what it is." Freel added he'd like to see more 
specifics on the proposal before he is comfortable enough to make a vote.

"We're not sure to what we're agreeing to," he said.

Lixey said IRESA also is considering a telephone survey prior to deciding 
whether to put the measure on ballots.

Between Hale, Oscoda, Tawas Area and Whittemore-Prescott, 232 students 
currently attend the career and technical education center at a cost of 
$2,730 per student. Each of the school districts pays tuition for students 
to attend.

Tawas Area has 78 students attending the center and will pay $212,940 this 

The school board also on Monday amended its budget to reflect an addition 
$75 per student foundation grant which generates about an additional 
$110,000, another $56,000 from incoming transfers and $20,000 from Title 
One for about $173,000 in additional revenue.

The new revenue figure is at $11.1 million up from $10.9 million approved 
in October.

Expenditures were also lowered slightly from $11.1 million to a little more 
than $11 million.

That leaves the school district with an expected end-of-the-fiscal- year 
fund balance of nearly $1.2 million, an increase from the start of the year 
of more than $1.1 million. The fund balance in October was projected to be 
about $894,000 at the end of the fiscal year.

The school board also accepted letters of retirement from longtime 
employees day-time custodian Ken Murphy and teachers Jeanne Hamilton and 
Cathy Revenaugh. It also accepted a letter of resignation from assistant 
girls track coach Chris Owens.

The board voted to hire Tracy Clairmont as an assistant junior high school 
Science Olympics coach and William Stoll as an assistant girls track coach 
replacing Owens.
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D