School board rescinds declaration of fiscal exigency

Salida School Board member Carrie Mattix, right, presents a floral gift to outgoing board secretary Brandy Coscarella, left, as facilities manger Brandon Hawkins and board president Joel McBride look on, at the board’s June meeting Tuesday. Coscarella has been board secretary for about 15 years, but recently resigned her position. 


Salida School District R-32-J school board voted to rescind the district’s declaration of fiscal exigency at their regular June meeting.

The question had come up in the boards’s May meeting. At that meeting district business manager Sheila Moore differed with superintendent David Blackburn’s opinion on the matter and advised waiting to see what state funds would look like this month.

Moore told the board Tuesday that the final numbers from the state were still not all in; however, the state equalization funds slated for Salida amounted to $702,608.

She said she was still a little wary, but could support rescinding the declaration at this time.

Blackburn said at this time the district has healthy reserves.

Moore added that other state funding would depend on the October count, an enumeration of all of the students registered and attending school on Oct. 1, which the state uses to determine per pupil revenues for school districts. The current PPR is $8,723 per student.

Kelsey McNeill, of Solvista Health provided the board with a guest report on the cooperation between Solvista and the school district to support students with mental health services. 

Later the board voted to approve a memorandum of understanding to extend that cooperation with the addition of a Solvista mental health professional to be situated at Salida High School. The memorandum is for a two year commitment at $30,000 per year.

The district is also looking as a reorganization of the administrative structure of its alternative programs at Crest Academy and Horizons Exploratory Academy. The departure of Jill Davis as principal of the middle school program at Crest and the hiring of Talmage Trujillo, principal of the high school program at Horizons, to fill the shoes of retiring Salida High School principal Tami Thompson has caused the district to look at combining the principalship of both programs.

With a single principal for both programs, Blackburn said, two full time teachers could then be brought in to fill math and science positions previously covered by Davis and Trujillo at their respective schools.

The board approved the reorganization of the structure of alternative education based on Blackburn’s recommendation.

The hiring of Onward Educational Consulting, not to exceed $43,473 was approved by the board in order to provide information for a deeper conversation regarding possible future changes in graduation requirements for Salida students.

The board further approved motions to give the superintendent authority to negotiate a sales contract for 627 Oak St., and approved Stifel to represent the district as the placement broker to secure a certificate on participation on the funding of the Oak Street property.

The posting of the position of board secretary/public information officer to fill the position vacated by Brandy Coscarella was also approved by the board.

Coscarella was honored for her work by the board members and presented with parting gifts.

Board president Joel McBride also honored a number of staff members retiring this year.

The Salida School Board will take a month off in July and will reconvene Aug. 10.

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