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October 2, 2013

Policing policy at Greater Clark

District hires agency to streamline guidelines

JEFFERSONVILLE — An outside company will handle policy updates for Greater Clark County Schools starting in 2014, but at a startup cost of $21,100.

On Tuesday, the district’s board of trustees approved a contract with NEOLA Inc. in 2014 to streamline and update policies to stay in accordance with state law, but one board member didn’t approve of the measure.

Mark Pavey, board vice president, said while he understands how difficult it can be to manage changes within board policy to match new state laws every year, he thinks the system works fine with the district’s legal counsel as it is.

“We go through this every month it seems,” Pavey said. “I guess  I’m wondering why we need a $21,000 program to go through what we’ve been doing for years. We’ve been customizing them, I kind of think the Sandy Lewis [district general counsel] program is good as well. I have a little bit of a hard time spending $21,000 on something I feel like we’ve done a really good job with in the past.”

NEOLA would update policy twice a year for the district and account for all the state laws that change from the time of one update to another.

Andrew Melin, superintendent, also said the policies would be easier to search through. While Lewis has been able to track those down for board members, Melin said this system would make that easier for everyone.

Jerry White, board member, said while he understood those concerns, a lawsuit because of missing an update in board policy would be more costly than paying for the service.

Christina Gilkey, board president, said aside from the legal liability, this would give the board more of a chance to keep their policy in accordance with state law changes.

“I thought about the timing, too. I’ve been on the board for five and a half years and we’ve been doing policy review every month,” Gilkey said. “Our manual is that thick and I bet we’ve gone through an eighth of it.”

The measure passed 6-1, with Pavey opposing.

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