BOE approves new method of elections

Last night members of the USD 402 Augusta Board of Education approved 7-0 to change the way school board members are elected.

Currently, the board is comprised of two representatives from each of the three districts in USD 402 and one at-large member. No candidates filed to run for District 3, Seat 6 at the last election.

The school board operated with only six members until Matthew Blank was selected to fill the vacant seat in September of this year.

"We've discussed this for awhile. We'll be giving it to the community with this resolution. If they vote it down, we'll operate the same. If they vote to approve, then we'll have an at-large method of election," Board President Bill Rinkenbaugh stated.

Superintendent John Black added, "If the decision is made tonight to approve the resolution then we'll file and the Butler County Election Office will make it known to voters in 2014. We don't want a special election."

The question will appear on the next regular ballot in either April or November of next year.

Other action

In other action, the board approved 7-0 an interagency agreement between the Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas (ESSDACK) and USD 402 for the creation of an Adult Learning Center.

Black explained there would be no fiscal liability for the district and ESSDACK would be the fiscal agent for the Adult Learning Center, the employer for the staff, and will provide the materials, equipment, instructional software and technical support.

The USD 402 Adult Learning Center will be not be located at any of the Augusta schools and with Lynda Kerstetter as instructor and Ardith Haagenstad as para educator.

Belinda Larsen can be reached at