Board looks at cost of cutting TIES

The New Prague Area School Board learned more about the costs of leaving the Technology and Information Educational Services cooperative (TIES).

More than a year ago, the district began exploring leaving the organization, which provides various computer services to its member districts. New Prague joined in 2010, and there are approximately 36 districts that are part of the group.

An evaluation two years ago found that the district was not utilizing many of the services provided by TIES, and in fact was receiving those services from private vendors at a lower cost.

The district began exploring the cost of leaving the cooperative and found that the costs were extremely high. Since then, other districts have begun to question the continued feasibility of the cooperative. New Prague was one of 12 districts that filed a notice of intent to leave at the end of the 2017- 18 school year. Since then, TIES has explored the costs of continuing as opposed to shutting down.

Superintendent Tim Dittberner told board members at its January 11 meeting that TIES will decide at its January 24 meeting how it will proceed. After that, it will be up to the 12 districts to decide if they will indeed leave the cooperative.

At a December 20 meeting attended by Dittberner and School District Business Services Director Sandy Linn, they learned that the cost of dissolving TIES would be quite high, due to legal costs, retention bonuses that would have to be paid to employees to keep them from leaving before the dissolution and contracting services to help districts make transitions to other systems.

The total cost to the New Prague district if TIES dissolved would be around $300,000 over two years. If TIES decides to go on.......

To see more on this story pick up the January 11, 2018 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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