School district approved for $109,000 grant for greenhouse
Eureka Springs School District Superintendent Bryan Pruitt told the districtís board of directors at its meeting on Monday that the district has been approved for a grant of $109,650 from the state Department of Career Education.
The grant would pay for construction of a greenhouse on district property and help pave the way for the district to offer agriculture education classes.
ďIím very proud of that amount,Ē Pruitt said of the grant, adding that he had hoped to receive about $80,000.
Pruitt said the location of the potential greenhouse hasnít been determined yet. He said the district would have to pay for a pad for the greenhouse as well as for connections for water and electricity.
At a meeting a few months ago, the board heard a presentation on the possibility of adding an agricultural education program. Pruitt said Monday that the program could begin with eighth- and ninth-grade students, who would have the opportunity to complete the entire program before graduation, although he said students in higher grades also would be able to participate.
The district would have to hire a certified agriculture teacher to oversee the program, Pruitt said, which would add an additional expense. After brief questioning from board members regarding the districtís current budget and teacher salaries, Pruitt said the districtís teacher salary schedule is the highest in Carroll County and the district can afford to add an agriculture teacher.
Since the board authorized Pruitt to apply for the grant, the board determined that it did not need to take any action on the issue Monday.
Also at Mondayís meeting, the board heard a presentation from a representative of the Personnel Policies Committee regarding stipends that faculty members receive for overseeing extracurricular activities. The committee conducted a survey of those faculty members and discovered that nearly all of them believed their stipends should be increased. After some discussion, the board decided to table the issue for its next meeting
The board voted unanimously to increase hourly pay from $9 to $10 an hour for substitute custodians and food service workers.
The boardís next regular meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the district administration building.