By Justin Hotop
The Perry County School District No. 32 School Board of Education had a few tough decisions to make at its latest meeting June 8.
The board had several bids for the gas and diesel fuel bid for the next school year. Midwest Energy’s bid came in at eight cents below the price at the pump on a given day. The board approved the bid from MFA Oil Company for a locked in price of $3.61 for gas.
District Superintendent Andy Comstock was amazed by the locked in price from MFA Oil.
“I called them and asked what do you mean by $3.61?” he said. “They have new management and were comfortable with that price for an entire year given the amount of fuel we use. I asked again, are you sure?”
Comstock noted that locking in a set price is a gamble.
“With the set price though, we can set a budget for that,” Comstock said. “As opposed to paying the daily price and hoping that the price doesn’t skyrocket. Then we have to pay more. The price of gas is usually higher in the summer because the demand is higher and everyone is traveling. The real question is do you think the price of gas will go down?”
Board vice president Jamie Robinson didn’t believe that the price would drop too significantly for the district to feel too bad about the locked in price.
“My only question is what hurts us more?” Robinson said. “If we go with the pump price and it jumps to $6 per gallon or if it drops below $3 and we are locked in at $3.61 per gallon? I don’t see it dropping for at least the next six months though.”
The board also approved the sick leave payment amount for retiring teachers. The district took the average amount of pay for a substitute teacher for one day which was $85 per day at the start of the year and was changed to $100 per day in November. The move was to entice more teachers to serve as substitutes throughout the year, partly because the district was struggling to find substitute teachers..
The district will pay $92.50 per sick day accrued, up to a max of 180 days for current retiring teachers in July.
“The amount is about on par with most districts, but it’s also an incentive for someone not to use their personal days,” Comstock said.
The board also approved a $0.30 lunch increase and $0.10 breakfast increase for the student meal prices for the 2022-2023 school year. Breakfast for students K-5 will be $1.55 and students 6-12 will be $1.60. Lunch for students K-5 will be $3.25 and students 6-12 will be $3.30.
The rise in price was to stay in compliance with the free and reduced lunch program that is provided by the federal government.
The board approved the bid from OzArc Gas Company to supply welding gas and rods for the 2022-2023 school year.
The meeting started with several students recognitions which included the Perryville girls soccer team, which finished fourth place in Class 2. Perryville junior Tegan Bishop was also recognized for her athletic achievement. She finished competed at the Class 4 state track meet and earned a third place medal in the 800 meter run at sectionals, where she also set a school record with a time of 2:21.80.
The board also recognized students who participated in the Missouri State High School Music State Festival, as well as the SEMO Art Show, and Missouri State Art Show.
The next board meeting will be on July 13 at 7 p.m.