BP-Husky donated $30,000 to the Oregon City Schools District for use in the areas of science and math. The school board approved the donation at a meeting on Feb. 15.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Zalar said that it has not yet been determined how the money will be spent.
“We’d like to discuss that with the district leadership team and entertain recommendations for that,” said Zalar. “My recommendation is that the elementary and middle schools could use that money to upgrade some of their equipment.”
He said he would also like to see the money used to address the schools’ test score needs on the Ohio Achievement tests. “That’s an area of need that we can look at. The high school has received funds such as this in the past, and I think it’s appropriate to look at elementary and middle school level at this point.”
Zalar said letters of thanks have been sent to BP.
School Board member Richard Gabel said BP has been very generous in the past.
“They’ve given us a lot of money over the years since I’ve been on the board. It’s very much appreciated,” said Gabel.
Zalar said he frequently expresses his appreciation at quarterly meetings of the BP advisory board on which he is a member.
“We just had a meeting last week. At every one of those meetings, I make a point of thanking them for their generosity in being a good neighbor and good partner for the school district,” he said.
Also at the meeting, the board:
• approved a bid of $19,658.10 from Wilkie and Associates for the purchase of a boiler for Starr school. Other bids that were submitted included $43,999 from Boilers, Controls and Equipment, and $51,456.15 from Robertson Heating Supply.
• approved bids for the purchase of parts to build 300 computers for the district. The board obtained bids from five companies and will purchase the lowest bid parts from each of the following vendors: Insight $14,625; CDWG $25,341; Florida Micro $63,645; and Tech Upgrade $20,219.40. The total of $123,830 will come out of the PI Technology Allocation account, which is part of the technology purchasing rotation.
• heard from Zalar that the Ohio Legislature has introduced bills that may have an impact on school districts.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty at this point in time in terms of how some of these changes are going to develop. But HB 30 and SB 15 are offering major overhauls to the way schools are currently funded and organized,” said Zalar. “I would expect the governor to announce his recommendation for the budget, probably in mid March, just after our next board meeting. We’ll know much more at the end of March than we know today in terms of future directions of the state. Some of the areas that are being identified - a lot of them deal with collective bargaining, school finance related issues, retirement plans, pensions, health benefits, structures - as things that the state is looking at primarily in an effort to balance their budget. Related to that is the very real possibility that the governor will be adding two more calamity days to this school calendar year. Currently, we’re under three, and the governor has indicated he is looking to add two more to bring the districts up to five days that we’ve had historically. We expect that to pass sometime this spring as well.” Zalar added that he will be attending a regional meeting next week with area superintendents and elected officials to discuss some of the changes by the Legislature. “Hopefully, that will provide some updated information. The legislators have reached out and are trying to get input from various stakeholder groups in the educational enterprise. I know our collective bargaining units are also communicating with those elected officials as well to voice their concerns about some of the changes that are being suggested. This is part of the process, and we hope we will know more within the next coming weeks.”