Baker School Board approves $17.1 million budget

The Baker School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $17.1 million budget for the 2013-14 school year.

The budget includes $188,000 that the state Legislature appropriated to the school system, half of which must be used for instructor pay, Superintendent Ulysses Joseph said.

The rest of the money may be used at the district’s discretion.

Joseph recommended that $1,000 be given to each teacher and $500 to each support worker as a one-time salary supplement in November. If the money is awarded to the employees, there will be none of the $188,000 left “and in fact we would have to add to it,” Joseph said.

Board member Elaine Davis suggested raising the amount given to support workers to $750, but Joseph said that the budget was too tight.

“Both groups probably need that and more, but we have to look at what we have and then decide,” he said.

Davis said that the board should wait until later in the school year and see if some money could be found in the budget to give an additional $250 to the support workers.

Other business before the board included:

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: During a discussion about personnel actions, board member Doris Alexander noted that Richard Oliver, who is head football coach at Baker High as well as the school’s head of weightlifting and athletic director, will receive $12,000 in stipends for his sports duties.

“When (Gary) Mitchell was athletic director, you took away the salary supplement and said it was only for coaches. It was $8,000 as I remember. You need to be careful about treating people differently,” Davis said.

Oliver will receive 8 percent of his salary, or $4,539, for serving as athletic director.

Davis explained that former athletic director Mitchell’s stipend was more because his salary was higher due to his years of service.

The board voted to strip Mitchell of his duties as athletic director in June 2012 and transfer the position to the then-vacant job of head football coach.

At that time, the board gave no reason for the move.

Oliver was hired later that month.

DISNEY TRIP: The board split on whether to approve an April trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., for a group of students from Baker Middle School.

Board members Davis, Dana Carpenter and Shona Boxie voted for the measure. Troy Watson voted against approving the trip. Alexander abstained. Watson expressed concern that dates and other information were incorrect on the form submitted to the board.