Posted on April 6, 2017.
By Bill Short
The Millington School Board unanimously approved an Inter-Local Agreement this week with the Arlington school district for coordination of Career and Technical Education services.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Larry Jackson and seconded by Mark Coulter.
When the six municipal school districts in Shelby County were getting started during the spring of 2014, their superintendents prepared a proposal to share services for the “operations side” of the districts. And they submitted three-year Inter-Local Agreements that were approved by the school boards in all six districts.
The agreements began on July 1, 2014 and will expire on June 30 of this year.
They were to share services in 11 areas: business and finance software, payroll, planning, benefits, purchasing, information technology support, transportation, Power School, nutrition, energy management, Career and Technical Education.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, has noted that the Shared Services programs were “hosted” by employees of the Arlington, Bartlett and Collierville districts.
Under the agreements, each district’s share of the cost for the services was based on its proportion of the total student enrollment in all six districts. Millington’s annual enrollment was approximately 8 percent of the total.
“That was a good thing for us,” Roper has said, “because we got valuable services that helped us accomplish a lot of things that otherwise would have been very difficult for us in a small school district.”
But the three host districts have decided that, beginning on July 1, the cost will be based on how many districts participate in a particular service.
As an example, Roper has said only the Arlington, Bartlett and Collierville districts have indicated that they will stay with Shared Services for payroll. If Millington participated, it would be the fourth district. So, each would pay 25 percent of the total cost.
Roper believes it is not in the Millington district’s “best interest” to continue in the Shared Services, except for Career and Technical Education.
At Monday night’s meeting, the superintendent said he wants the school system to continue being able to use the services of Clark Knight, who has been “very valuable” in helping the administration coordinate its CTE program.
And board Chairman Cody Childress said he has worked with Knight for several years.
“He’s a class act,” Childress concluded. “He’s a very valuable member for us to have on our team.”
At its Feb. 6 meeting, the board voted unanimously to create five new administrative staff positions that will perform 10 Shared Services in-house.
The five new positions are:
(1) Data Management and District Planning coordinator
(2) Network and System specialist
(3) Operations and Transportation assistant
(4) Purchasing/Contracts/Inventory coordinator
(5) Financial Operations supervisor
Roper has cited three reasons why he recommended that five new staff members be employed to perform the 10 services:
(1) It will save the district $348,000 a year.
(2) It will enable the district to be “more efficient” by performing the services in-house.
(3) It will allow the district to show the community that it is a “mature” school system that can “stand on its own.”