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.
Columbia's school board has come out in favor of a state ballot measure that would raise the state's cigarette tax and possibly bring money to public schools.
Proposition B is a proposed tobacco tax on November's ballot. It would raise taxes on cigarettes purchased in Missouri, which is currently ranked 11th in smoking rates and has the lowest cigarette tax of any state. The proposed tax would move Missouri to 36th place in nation-wide cigarette taxes and some of the money collected would be used to fund public schools.
Columbia Public Schools are having a difficult time finding enough part-time substitute teachers. So the School District is considering hiring full-time substitutes to help solve the problem. Columbia Public Schools’ spokesperson Michelle Baumstark explains full-time substitutes would have to fill in wherever they were assigned. Part-time substitutes don’t have to.
The Columbia School Board has also approved a plan to allow public school teachers in the district the ability to have a specific organization represent them in negotiating their salaries. School Board members voted unanimously to approve the representation at a budget meeting Monday night.
For representation , teachers can choose the Columbia Missouri National Education Association, or maintain the current system, which involves an informal mode of communication between teachers and administrators.