The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education, with help from the Missouri School Board Association, is continuing its search for a new superintendent of Columbia schools. The current superintendent, Chris Belcher, announced in January that he was planning to retire in June.
The Board began its search shortly after Belcher’s announcement and just closed the job posting February 14. Board President Christine King said there is a total 19 candidates.
The Missouri House failed to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that proposed a variety of changes to the state tax codes. Those changes included income tax cuts for both businesses and individuals.
Proponents said the bill would have improved the business climate of Missouri, while critics believed it would significantly lower the state’s general revenue fund, resulting in cuts to state agencies and education.
University of Missouri spokesperson John Fougere said the campus is supporting the veto.
The Columbia School Board decided to allow the use of cell phones in schools. Christine King, president of the Columbia Public School Board of education, said this policy will help students access school material through their phones.
“We want to provide the technology of online instruction through a variety of ways to students. In order for them to use their iPhone, for example, to look up whatever it is they need to do for a class, we have to allow them to bring that into school,” said King.
At the Columbia Board of Education meeting tonight, Superintendent Chris Belcher is expected to propose a new plan for school start times.
Instead of high school students starting first at 7:20am, like in previous proposals, Belcher is recommending they begin at 9:00am after the elementary and middle schools. He says research supports his proposal.
Four candidates are contending this month for the open position in the Columbia Board of Education. The position was formerly occupied by Paul Cushing who resigned to take an out of state job.
The four applicants are freelance media producer Rex Cone, Tim Parshall, the assistant director of the Assessment Resource Center at MU, Bill Kinney, an ear, nose and throat physician, and Executive Director of Central Missouri Community Action, Darin Preis.
Current board members will select the replacement.
Paul Cushing celebrated his victory at Flat Branch Pub and Brewing with friends and family. He picked up 21 percent of the vote, finishing second to Christine King, who led with 42 percent. Cushing said any of the candidates would have been worthy.