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School board sets up for 2010

The Morris Area School Board reorganized for 2010 at a meeting Monday night. In front, from left, are board member Jamie Solvie, Superintendent Scott Monson and members Kurt Gartland and Dick Metzger. In back, from left, are members Mark McNally, Stan Wulf, Lory Lemke, and interim member Laura Carrington, who is filling the seat of Brent Fuhrman while he serves with the National Guard overseas.

The Morris Area School Board reorganized for 2010 with housekeeping and a brief discussion about pros and cons of applying for a federal stimulus program.

The board met for about 90 minutes Monday, its first meeting of the new year.

Current chair Kurt Gartland was once again unanimously elected for another year as head of the board. Stan Wulf was reelected vice chair and Lory Lemke was selected to serve another year as clerk and treasurer.

In addition to setting salaries -- which were frozen at last year's rate of $1,200 per year -- the board approved meeting dates, committee assignments and finalized other reorganizational matters.

The board also discussed joining the State of Minnesota's application for Race to the Top funding. RTTT funding is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the federal stimulus program.

While the board directed Superintendent Scott Monson to return a Memorandum of Understanding to the state Department of Education, board members expressed apprehensions about some aspects of the program while others noted that some of the program's mandates were beneficial and likely to eventually be required despite participation in the program.

First, however, the state's application for the federal dollars has to be approved, and, second, districts have up to three months to choose whether or not they want to participate, Monson said.

The board agreed to continue the process and continue to seek answers about the program. The district also will discuss the RTTT program with teaching staff, Monson said.

For more on Monday's meeting, see this Web site and the Jan. 9 print edition of the Sun Tribune.