Growth of professional employer organizations could mean savings for district

Thursday, October 25, 2001

The growth of professional employer organizations could mean a reduction in costs to the Marshall School District.

Assistant Superintendent Roger Blakely discussed the matter at the Tuesday meeting of the Marshall Board of Education.

According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations' Web site, a PEO is an organization that provides an integrated and cost-effective approach to the management and administration of the human resources and employer risk of its clients, by contractually assuming substantial employer rights, responsibilities, and risk through the establishment and maintenance of an employer relationship with the workers assigned to its clients.

Blakely said while there are not many PEOs in the Midwest right now, in three to four years they should be more common. He said he had done some calculations and estimated the district could save as much as $200,000 by partnering with a PEO.

"I think it's something we would like to educate ourselves on," Blakely said. In other business, the board heard reports on a nationwide sing-along and student MAP test results.

Deb Foreman, elementary music teacher, reported that a nationwide sing-along of the song "God Bless America" is being organized. Locally, the event will take place at 10:10 a.m. on Nov. 8.

For the event, a group of Marshall fourth-graders will lead the community in the song by singing it live on KMMO radio. The district's second-graders will soon be writing letters to businesses throughout the city encouraging them to take time to participate as well, Foreman said.

Superintendent of Schools Joe Aull reported on the MAP test results from the past spring. He said that student performance and achievement are among the more important aspects of education that administrators should focus on.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Legislature have deemed the MAP tests to be their indicators of success in these areas, Aull said. Locally, students have improved their performance on the tests, with the best scores being earned by the district's elementary students. The state assigns points based on the completion of eight performance standards. Aull said the state requires that at least one of these standards be met at the elementary, middle school and high school level.

"I think we did very well across the board," he said.

The elementary students met the most of the standards, satisfying six of the eight criteria. The high school students met only two of the state standards for MAP results, but Aull said this was in line with the state averages.

Aull said the important thing to note in the MAP results was the trend of improving scores. While the scores are not exactly where the district wants them, they are getting better.

"We want to try to do better each year," he said.

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