Mason Schools pass budget, ok free period products

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The Mason School Board meeting on March 9 featured several conversations on the current use of the school budget, alongside the beginnings of planning the spending for the next semester of Mason Public School District.  

According to Gary Superintendent Kinzer, the school district received $3.7 million in revenue on Jan. 20, from sources such as property taxes and government funding, and spent $3.3 million dollars for monthly costs.  

“Wages were down a little bit due to holiday break, and utilities were higher because the day’s been a little colder, which is as expected,” Kinzer wrote to the board.

The budget projection changed from a predicted $470,000 deficit to a $74,000 surplus in a previous meeting, which was touched upon in the March 9 meeting.  The change resulted in a proposed budget change in where more money would be focused on the food and transportation budgets.  The change was approved by the board.

Additionally, the board also began the process for a bond sale, which was unanimously approved.  The money gained from the sale is planned to be used in construction for new facilities at the middle school and high school.

After the financial report, the topic moved onto the resolution of the JUUL lawsuit, in which multiple public school districts across six states, including Michigan, sued the e-cigarette maker for marketing to minors.  Around $50,000 would be paid to the district as a result of the settlement, however the district cannot speak badly about the e-cigarette company.  The board accepted the results of the lawsuit.

The board also considered purchase of menstruation products, which had four different quotes.  Kurt Creamer said “The method of dispensary was nothing short than a box hanging on a wall.”

“A dispensary unit would hopefully get people to take time and grab one rather than overuse of the supply,” Creamer said.

Kinzer thought differently.  “I was invited to a presentation at the middle school put on by a middle school student, and she educated a group of us on the motion of period poverty.  That there is a cost to period products as well as missed instruction when students have to get out of class to get a product, and sometime that’s difficult.”

“So the two points of contention were that this is an equity issue and to provide at no cost”

The board bought a no-charge dispenser for the both the middle and high school girl’s bathrooms, all in favor.

The board also approved the cost of several upcoming field trips, from the Mason High School Costa Rica field trip for July 2024, the Mason High School band camp for July 2023, and 8th grade band trip to Mackinaw Island, May 2023.  

The meeting’s final item on the agenda was a decided in a closed session, in which the board held a discipline hearing about an unnamed student.  The hearing resulted in the student’s expulsion. 

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