American Staff Writer

Moore's school board approved spending more than $13 million, endorsed the final stage of a three-part bond package, and raised the salaries of its administrative staff during a marathon, four-and-one-half hour meeting Monday evening.

With the calendar year quickly drawing to a close, the board approved spending $354,884 from its general fund and $47,979 from its building fund. Board members also authorized $32,475 in child nutrition expenses; $9,356 from the 2004 bond fund; $8,154 from the 2005 bond fund, and $10,695 from the 2006 bond fund.

Additionally, the board approved spending $9,786 for an artificial turf sweeper for the Moore football stadium and $8,941 for a scoreboard for the Westmoore High School gymnasium.

The district added several new buses to its fleet; spending $493,132 for eight new, 65-passenger units. That expense, records show, is contingent upon receipts of funds from the upcoming 2007 bond sale.

Along with spending $163,000 to send about 150 staff members to the Professional Learning Communities institute in St. Louis, Mo., next summer, board members also endorsed spending $173,502 for 7,560 cases of letter-sized copy paper.

The paper's price, Superintendent Deborah Arato said, reflects a 20 percent increase. "Paper has jumped to $22.95 per case," Arato told members. "An increase of about 20 percent."

While the consent agenda -- which included most of the board's spending items -- was handled quickly, it was the executive session which took up a majority of the meeting.

Following a brief termination hearing for district employees Wanda Brown and Rita Green, board members convened a two-and-one-half hour executive session to review the performance of superintendent Deborah Arato, finalize the last in a three-part bond issue -- scheduled for 2007 -- and discuss salary increases for school administrators.

At the conclusion of the executive session, the board unanimously passed a resolution to award a bond underwriting contract to Capital West Securities.

A second resolution, which approved issuing $14,950,000 in combined purpose bonds, passed unanimously.

No action was taken on Arato's evaluation.

Board members also unanimously supported salary increases for 35 administrators. The increases ranged from a high of $4,162 for Dr. Ann Caine, the district's executive director of elementary education and instruction, to a low of $1,250 for Vicki Brinkman, the clerk for the school board.

The board's next meeting is set for 6 p.m., Jan. 16, 2007, in room 122 of the Administrative Service Center, 1500 SE 4th St.

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