With a little more than a year before her contract is up, Columbus Municipal School District Superintendent Cherie Labat’s employment was discussed during executive session of Monday night’s board of trustees meeting.
Board president Yvonne Cox publicly announced “the employment of the superintendent” as one of the executive session items before the board retired to closed session. When trustees returned to open session, they took no action.
Cox would not comment to The Dispatch on the nature of the discussion except to say it was not part of Labat’s yearly performance review, which is typically toward the beginning of the calendar year.
“(Her annual evaluation) happens at another time, and at this time I have no further comment,” Cox told The Dispatch.
Labat was hired in June 2018 on a state maximum contract of four years, and in 2019 her contract was extended through Oct. 14, 2023.
Labat’s pay also increased from her original $150,000 to $175,000 with the contract extension.
When reached by The Dispatch this morning, Labat would not comment on the board’s discussion.
CMSD talks budget
The board held its first public budget hearing an hour prior to the board meeting, and district Business Manager Holly Rogers presented the board with a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2023.
Rogers is advising the board to ask the city for operating funds of $11,401,430.24 from ad valorem taxes, which is up $608,904.38 from last fiscal year’s request of $10,792,525.86.
By state law, a public school district can claim the collections of any of the previous three fiscal years, plus up to 4 percent, as its “base” that it can request from ad valorem taxes for operations.
With the funding increase, CMSD’s tax rate would jump by 1.24 mills to a total of 64.15.
As this was the first public budget hearing, no action was taken on the budget, but it is set to be voted on next Monday at 3 p.m. at Brandon Central Services.
Once a budget is approved by the school board, it will go before the city council, which will approve the appropriation from local taxes and set the mill rate. A mill is used to determine property taxes and is typically equal to $10 in actual taxes for every $100,000 of assessed property value not covered by homestead exemption.
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