Not everyone approved of spending money from the tuition reimbursement program for school psychologists at Monday’s District 124 school board meeting. After debate, the Board of Education voted to table and further discuss the issue in January, to give them and the Financial Task Force time to consider various options, according to board president Kathleen Rohan.
The psychologist’s reimbursement plan would pay for an additional master’s in their field. Furthering their education wouldn’t increase psychologists’ wages, Rohan maintained.
School board member Robert McDonald, asked how the school and psychologists will benefit from the program.
Furthering the school psychologist's education equips them with more tools to help students, answered Supt. Diane Cody.
Board member added that furthering the school psychologist's education was a good idea to do since there’s an increasing number of children identified with psychological problems.
Pat Cronin, a media aide and member of the board’s Financial Task Force, objected to spending money on the tuition reimbursement program for psychologists. She questioned the point of creating a financial task force to reduce spending when the school board is considering spending more.
Cronin noted that non-certified staff don’t get any tuition reimbursement. Nor does the administrative staff, Rohan added.
“(The tuition reimbursement) It’s a can of worms that could get bigger,” Cronin said.
At this point, only one psychologist in the district is interested in going back to graduate school, Rohan said.
Before the board brings the program back to the table, they will consider putting a cap on the maximum tuition money given out.
Other items discussed and approved at Monday’s school board meeting included:
- The school board approved spending $23, 394.03 to install an electronic card access system to increase security and give teachers the flexibility to work on weekends at school, Rohan said.
- The board tabled the approval of the process of master planning with FGM Architects. The creation of a master plan for maintaining school buildings will cost the district about $51,025. “Eventually (we have to) bite the bullet, so other board members to come have a good foundation to make informed decisions," said vice president of the board, Terry McDonald.
- Angela Kahn and Kelly Duffy, PTA President talked about first Walking Club, “Walk Across the U.S.” Currently, there about 60 children involved in the program, Duffy said. The students use a log to track how many miles they’ve walked. Some have tracked over 20 miles over the last four weeks, Kahn said. Currently, students and parents are in Louisville, KY, walking toward Disney World, Kahn said.