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Charlo dissolves non-tenured teacher contracts

CHARLO — The Charlo School Board terminated the contracts of the six non-tenured teachers last Tuesday at a school board meeting.

The decision came after the district was faced with budget cuts due to decreasing enrollment. The district is also struggling with increasing insurance premiums.

Currently the district buys insurance for their teachers through MUST, but the district is now considering buying insurance from Flathead Insurance Company and Western States Insurance Company. MUST’s insurance premiums have increased this year by 25 percent.

Superintendent Paul Jenkins stated that they hope to rehire the six teachers in May, but expressed uncertainty that this objective could be attained. 

The board voted to renew contracts with all 22 tenured teachers. 

The school board also moved into executive session to discuss the future employment of the school’s two principals at a school board meeting last Tuesday. 

Clair Rasmussen serves as the school’s kindergarten through fifth grade principal, while Steve Love splits his time between teaching and the sixth through 12th grade principal. 

The board approved the motion to keep Love as a part-time principal and part-time teacher and also moved to keep Rasmussen as the full-time principal. 

The board went on to discuss partial funding of extracurricular academic trips for students who are participating in Business Professionals of America and SkillsUSA. 

Both Kristi Fullerton and Spencer Shafter addressed the school board, requesting the funds necessary to attend the BPA national competition in Anaheim, Calif. this summer. The two students have had multiple fundraisers that have contributed to the trip, but were still short a few hundred dollars. 

Stephanie Maughan addressed the board on behalf of the seven students who are participating in the SkillsUSA conference this June in Kansas City, Mo. 

The school board passed a motion to give each student participating $600 to attend the competition and conference.

The board also discussed the retirement package proposal for a Janet Dekmar. Dekmar expressed concern about the district decision to possibly use another insurance company. The board approved the proposed retirement package and gave Dekmar 20 days to sign the contract or take the buyout. 

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