School Board sticks with KESS despite number changes

 The Clear Lake School Board clarified Monday it spent more than $20,000 with Kelly Educational Staffing Services (KESS), not $12,000 as previously reported, but stuck with its earlier vote to pay KESS to handle substitute teaching assignments this school year.
 “I’m disappointed we didn’t have the numbers-- and we probably should have delayed our vote until we had rock solid numbers. But at this point we are stuck,” said Board member Mark Tesar.

 Tesar, along with Jill Wilhelm and Chyrl Bervig said they cast their votes July 28 concerning the district’s contract with KESS based upon numbers presented by Superintendent Anita Micich and Board Secretary Lorna Leerar. Bergvig cast the lone vote against the KESS agreement.
At the July 28 meeting, Micich and Leerar estimated the district spent approximately $12,000 above what it would have cost to secure its own substitute teachers and paraprofessionals in the first year of the KESS agreement. That figure was challenged by district patron Jeff Klaudt, who met with Micich a day after the Board meeting. Micich confirmed Klaudt’s assessment of district funds paid to Kelly Services and determined he correctly identified the district paid Kelly Services $242,663 through July 2014, rather than the $201,360 reported to the Board.
The district said outstanding time sheets, along with some errors and challenges in calculating costs resulted in an incomplete report to the Board. The cost difference was determined to be just under $18,000 by last week.
Monday, Klaudt said he found additional errors in computation, putting the cost of using KESS at more than $20,233. Micich and Leerar agreed with the revision.
“I felt the Board was mislead and voted on the $12,000 figure. My gut feeling is that there would have been a lot more thinking about it,” Klaudt told the Board Monday night. “Discuss it now, and I hope it comes to a re-vote. And if you vote the same way, well at least you had the information this time. The disappointing thing is that we’ve had two or three versions.”

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