SIKESTON -- Following the state's recommendation, the Sikeston R-6 Board of Education approved an increase in its tuition rate during Tuesday's regular monthly meeting.
"As the board knows, each year we follow the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's calculations which are based on the prior year expenditures divided by the prior year average daily attendance," said Lori Boardman, R-6 director of business services.
DESE's calculations give the district a per pupil cost for educating its students in the district, and that's what it bases its tuition recommendation on, Boardman said. The calculated rate for the 2008-2009 school year is $6,739, which is $658 higher than last year's rate. The board approved the state's recommended rate.
In other business, board members awarded the bid to complete landscaping in and around the Math and Science Center. Bolen Brothers Nursery of Sikeston won the bid for the purchase of hundreds of plants for $4,132.
"Our landscaping class or agriculture class students will be doing the landscaping, but in order to do that, we have to purchase the plants," said Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller, who also noted the board is close to finishing its bids with the Math and Science Center.
The board also awarded the bid for an HVAC unit at the Fifth and Sixth Grade Center to Presley Sales and Service of Sikeston for $25,022, which was the lowest bid.
"We had two units go down over there prior to the start of school," Borgsmiller said about why the unit needed to be replaced.
Also on Tuesday, the board approved entering an agreement with the Missouri School Boards Association to provide the district's Medicaid claim services.
"The approval of this agreement with MSBA will allow us to continue to do claiming for administrative costs and receive income through the Medicaid program," Boardman said.
The business director explained the board had an agreement for several years with a company called Maximus. Because Maximus' contract with the Division of Health Services and federal agencies that controlled Medicaid expired June 30, their services were no longer available, she said.
"This( agreement with MSBA) is a similar agreement with the same percentage cost that the company will take to do these services for us, and we're asking the board to approve this so we can continue to receive that revenue which is through MSBA rather than Maximus," Boardman said.
The rate is 5.25 percent for whatever the district collects for the quarter, which is the same rate the district had with Maximum, Boardman said.
Dr. Marisa Bowen, assistant superintendent of curriculum and secondary grades, briefed the board on the district's ACT scores for the 2007-2008 school year.
Sikeston's total average was 21.0 which was an increase from the prior two years' scores but lower than the state composite score of 21.6 and national average of 21.1.
Bowen said the district's science and math scores were also higher than the past two years at 21.0 and 20.4, respectively. The district's science score was higher than national average, which was 20.8.
Also the district's English score was higher than both the sate and national averages, Bowen noted. It was 21.5 compared to the state's score of 21.4 and national score of 20.6.
As of last week, district enrollment was at 3,517, which is a little higher than enrollment at the close of 2007-2008 school year, Borgsmiller said.