Geary County USD 475 board members have several items to consider during a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mary E. Devin Center for Education Support, 123 N. Eisenhower Dr.

One item on the agenda is the purchase of iPads not to exceed $302,094. In August, the Board of education approved the lease of 780 iPads. However, after reviewing the agreement David Wild, chief operations officer, said he found the terms unacceptable and cannot sign off on it.

“I didn’t like the terms and conditions,” he said.

Superintendent Eggleston will also bring to the board proposals from three agencies to assist in the development of the district’s strategic plan. Greenbush, The Education Consultant Center; Hanover Research; and WestEd have each submitted proposals for consideration.

Several months ago, Wild questioned the board about what their vision for the district in 10 years. He told them at the time that if the district requalified for heavy impact aid, his recommendation was to build a new grade school.

Impact aid is funding that comes from the Department of Defense to cover the cost of a school district educating children of soldiers who do not pay property taxes. Heavy impact aid is payment to school districts deemed heavily impacted by the Army.

There are three criteria to qualify for HIA. The district must meet all three for two consecutive years.

1. The school district must have a mill levy assessment that is at least 95% of the state average school district mill levy leveraging. They meet this requirement.

2. 45% of the student population are military dependents. The district is at 51%.

3. The per capita expenditure per student cannot be more than the state average. The state average is about $11,500 per student. The district will need to cut some expenses because it is spending about $11,800.

That conversation, having taken place in a public forum got the attention of community members who became concerned about the future of some of the buildings. Wild said his intention was never to make it appear as though schools were about to close.

“My proposal was a 10-year proposal, not a 10-month proposal,” he said. “We need to step back and do this right. To do it correctly we need to have a strategic plan. We need to do our strength and weakness analysis … and we need to determine what will our district look like in 10 years.”

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