Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kuna school district to review cell phone bill

The Kuna school district will evaluate the district’s cell phone service to determine whether there may be cost savings for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The school district spent $29,310.09 on 51 school district-funded cell phones in 2010-11.
The issue was discussed at the Jan. 10 school board meeting.
School board chairman Jim Ford said he is in favor of the school district funding cell phones for some school district employees, but he wanted to make sure the district was spending wisely.
The list of school district employees who have a district-funded cell phone includes six technology employees, nine maintenance employees, seven principals, the two deans at the high school, the high school and middle school building administrators, the middle school activities director, the district superintendent and assistant superintendent, business manager, federal programs coordinator, assessment/data coordinator, projects manager, two nurses, a substitute nurse, two psychologists, five custodians, one transportation employee, one security employee, the high school work-based learning coordinator, three food service employees, special education employee and the regional migrant coordinator.
The Kuna school district receives funding through a federal program called ERate, which reimburses 37.07 percent of the district’s cell phones charges, according to Bryan Fletcher, the district’s business manager.
Ford suggested the possibility that some district employees already have cell phones for which the district could reimburse up to a certain limit.
The school district’s technology director Devan DeLashmutt told school board members on Tuesday, Jan. 10, that it would be too convoluted and difficult to track and enforce and that the number of hours required to manage such a system might end up being more expensive in the end.
Superintendent Jay Hummel said the action on Jan. 10 was simply to explore the potential cost savings. Hummel said the district reviewed cell phone usage and made cuts about two years ago.
School board members did not discuss the possibility of cutting down the number of people in the district using district cell phones.
They unanimously agreed to direct DeLashmutt to review the district’s cell phone service.

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