West Plains Schools get 100% on bus inspections

The West Plains Schools received perfect results from the annual school bus inspection, board of education members heard during their May meeting. The May West Plains School Board of Education meeting was held in the middle school library while a connecting hallway is being built between the main high school building and the building that houses the high school library. The board also heard updates on bids for surplus school property and discussions on the Missouri bill that raises teacher pay.
 
The board spoke at length on their underground fuel tank removal project. The underground tanks are in the removal process and the board declared the fuel dispensers as surplus. On the topic of surplus, the school board approved the sale of six busses that had been declared surplus. Board President Cindy Tyree abstained from the vote on the sale of the busses, because her husband, Lynn, was the purchaser of one of the busses. An open bid for the new above-ground fuel dispensers was heard and approved by the board. The board also welcomed Emma Arnold as the student representative for the school board.
 
On the topic of salary schedules, what is currently on BoardDocs will be changing, according to superintendent Dr. Wesley Davis and no motion was taken at this time. Matthew Orchard gave the report on the school bus inspection, and the board was pleased with the passage of all district buses. 
 
The school board heard from Sylvia Hershenson on a letter from the Salary & Benefits Committee. In the letter, the committee addressed Senate Bill 727. The bill raises the minimum teacher pay to $40,000 for the 2025-26 school year. The committee is asking that experienced teachers receive $2,000 above the minimum salary. This addresses a gap in the bill. While the bill increases teacher pay for all teachers to the new minimum, it also raises pay for teachers who have a master's degree and at least ten years of experience a minimum of $46,000. The committee also requested a change in the 100-plus days PTO buyback policy. The committee is requesting the buyback policy for regular teachers to match the program for substitutes. Dr. Davis noted to the board the number of employees this would affect would likely be under 10, and many schools have the policy that ties the programs for regular and substitute teachers. 
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