December 18, 2008

School board approves housing incentive program for teachers

After tabling it twice and revising it, the Center-Stanton Public School Board approved the Housing Incentive Program at the monthly meeting Dec. 15.

In the program the board will put $2,000 per year into a special account for each qualified teacher employed by the district for five years. If at the end of that period a teacher owns a home within the district, that teacher will receive $10,000 plus interest. One-half of that incentive pay will be given to teachers that rent a home in the district or live outside the district but send students to the Center-Stanton school.

In presenting his argument in favor of the program, board president Rick Schmidt referred to the vision of growth as presented in the Oliver County Comprehensive Plan saying this is one piece in helping the county grow.

"If we don’t start recruiting and retaining, the future of our school may be in jeopardy in the long term," Schmidt said. "We’re one or two families from not having girls’ basketball here, and once you lose it, it’s hard to bring it back."

Schmidt conceded that people can’t be made to live in the district, but with a healthy interim fund, he believes this is the time to provide an incentive.

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