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EACS board approves new superintendent's contract

NEW HAVEN – The East Allen County Schools board made the contract between the district and its new superintendent official Tuesday with a unanimous vote.

Ken Folks, who had previously worked in Marion Community Schools and Northwest Allen County Schools, will officially begin his term as superintendent on July 1, but is already working with district staff.

The board approved the contract Tuesday during a special board meeting.

In his first year, Folks will earn $140,000 as a base salary. He will also earn $5,000 a year in annuity payments as well as a $10,800 car allowance and about $700 for a phone allowance. Depending on his performance, Folks could earn a $3,000 raise to the base salary for the last two years in the three-year contract and an annual $5,000 bonus. Acceptable performance is to be determined by the board.

Folks has already some had input in the district's Title I application that was also approved by the board Tuesday. The applications for the federal grant money are due later this week.

The application for about $2.8 million for schools with high populations of low-income families will cover six schools this year. The application doesn't have many specifics at this time because it's still a work in progress, Neil Reynolds, board president, said. The schools that will be funded in this year's application are Southwick Elementary, Paul Harding Junior High, Prince Chapman Academy, New Haven Middle, Highland Terrace Elementary and Meadowbrook Elementary. Folks will continue working with central office and building administrators to determine how best to spend the grant money, Reynolds said.

The administration recommended the board cut the number of Title I schools this year, to focus dollars on primary and secondary schools with the highest needs. The district funded 10 schools with its federal Title I dollars last year .

Board member Chris Baker said he was pleased with the six-school scenario that came before the board Tuesday, but emphasized the importance of meeting the needs of those schools that will experience cuts as a result of this year's change, particularly New Haven High School. Other board members agreed with Baker.