Meetings Watch: Clovis Municipal Schools Board of Education

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

The following is a report of Tuesday’s Clovis Municipal Schools Board of Education meeting:
— While discussing 2007-08 budget numbers, Clovis Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm addressed the matter of Training & Experience values and how the school system wasn’t taking advantage of available funding.

Under the system, teachers are given multiplier values based on their time of service to a school system and the amount of
education they’ve received beyond a bachelor’s or master’s degree in increments of 15 credit hours and 45 credit hours.

For example, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree with less than two years is given a value of .75, a teacher with 15-plus years and a master’s degree plus 45 hours is given a value of 1.5.

Clovis was rated 61st in the state with a teacher average of 1.077, which Seidenwurm said was average for a 5A school. The top two schools, Animas (1.316) and Tatum (1.271), Seidenwurm said, have much smaller staffs and averages spike with only a few teachers. The statewide average is 1.10.

Board members didn’t think requiring a master’s degree was a good idea — board member Mark Lansford said in some colleges the process was quite political — and Seidenwurm agreed, saying the T&E process may not be around long enough to matter.

For the time the process is in place, Seidenwurm said, she wanted to make it a point of emphasis teachers receive post-degree education. She pointed out that 106 teachers in the system had only bachelor’s degrees. If all of those teachers took 15 hours of classes and moved up into the next category, the school would have received $400,000 in extra state funding — $297,000 for raises and the rest for whatever the system would need.

— The board was given curriculum proposals for arts, music, theater and math. The board members will look over the proposals for the next 30 days.

— The board approved three phone service renewals — long distance services with NTS and local and cellular service with Plateau.