SCHOOL BOARD TO WEIGH CONTRACT WITH AGENCY PROVIDING SPECIAL ED
February 23, 2001 11:00 pm

The Brookings-Harbor School Board on Monday will consider whether to renew its contract with the South Coast Educational Service District, which provide services for severely disable students.

The service district recently come under fire from Brookings-Harbor parents concerned about deficiencies in educational services and safety hazards in the special education classrooms.

Approximately 283 special education students attend Brookings-Harbor schools. About two dozen of those are considered severely disabled and require special services.

Every year, each of the 10 school boards within the service districts territory Reedsport to Brookings are asked to approve an agreement defining the services to be provided the following school year, said Brookings-Harbor School District Superintendent Paul Prevenas.

The service district is funded through state aid and local property tax dollars earmarked for the agency, generally at no additional cost to school districts, Prevenas said.

However, this year, because of budget problems, the service district is asking each school district to provide its own Speech and Language program, or contract with the service district at an additional cost to provide the program.

Despite concerns about the loss of Speech and Language services, and parents continuing concerns with the service district, Prevenas said he is recommending the board approve the basic contract.

That recommendation, he said, follows a number of earlier discussions with other superintendents within the service districts territory, and discussions with district business managers, including Brookings-Harbor School District Business Manager Bev Fleshman.

In other business, the Brookings-Harbor School Board will decide whether to double the student fee charged for the Drivers Education class.

For years, the district has charged students $50 each for the training program. The actual cost of the program is approximately $230 per student, and only about $70 is funded by the state, Prevenas said.

He recommended the board increase the fee to $100, effective this summer. The Drivers Education course, which includes the classroom training and behind-the-wheel training, is offered only during the summer months.

In other business, the school board will consider contract extensions and renewals for various teaching staff members.

The school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the Azalea Middle School Library.