Mercer County CUSD #404 grapples with grading and budget

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
From left, Robert Reed, principal of Mercer County Junior High, nominated Alan Boucher for an award to commend the school district's following the Reemployment Act that holds jobs for employees who are in the service. Presenting the award is Bob Schwieder from the National Committee for Employee Support of the Guard and Reserves, a non-profit group.

The board held a hearing for the 2010-2011 budget for fiscal year which runs from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. A balanced budget was approved by a 7-0 vote. The budget proposes $13,760,593 in revenues, with expenses at $13,190,692. A grading scale that has been under discussion for several meetings was adopted that gives point values (on a 100 scale) for A to F letter grades that includes  plusses and minuses.

Before the Mercer County Board of Education meeting got down to business, two presentations were made to the district - One, a plaque from National Committee for Employee Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR), a non-profit group and the second, a $648 check from Knuckle Busters Car Club. Half of the money from the car club's show during Aledo Antique Days at the end of August was matched by Aledo Chapter 20110 of Royal Neighbors of America.

Bob Schwieder from ESGR presented the plaque to Alan Boucher, saying the organization was formed to inform employers about the federal reemployment act and to recognize a job well done. Boucher was nominated for the award by Mercer County Junior High principal Robert Reed, who is in the reserves.

Boucher said, "I get my marching orders from the board. It's easy for me to implement their orders."

Schwieder added, "Freedom is not free."

GPA and grades

The board brought back to the table a grading and GPA proposal, which makes a change to the grading scale that used during the first year of consolidation.

By a 6-1 vote, the board approved using plusses and minuses with grades, with the point value calculated into the GPA. Called the 93 scale, an A would be from 95 - 100 with a 4.0 Grade Point Average (GPA); A- is 3.67 GPA with 93-94 grades; B+ is 91-92 for a 3.33 GPA; B is 86-90. (3.0 GPA); B- is 2.67 GPA for 83-84 score; C+ is 81-82 score for a 2.33 GPA; C is 2.0 GPA, for 76-80 score; C- is 1.67 for 74-75; D+ is 1.33 GPA for 72-73; D is 1.0 for 66-71 score; D- is .67 GPA for 64-65 and F was 63 and below.

Voting against the change was Dwight Shoemaker, board president. Board members in favor of the grade changes were Kay Forret, Steve Willets, Mike Retherford, Don Yates, Tricia Hank and Doug Ball.