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Study touts MTI's local significance

Mitchell Technical Institute's analysis of the economic impact and return on investment for the college topped the list of items discussed at Monday's meeting of the Mitchell Board of Education.

The meeting was held at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy.

The overall impact of MTI students on the local business community was calculated at $37.6 million over a year of analysis and supports 534 jobs, according to a study conducted by Emis, which provides economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions.

John Heemstra, vice president of MTI, said the study reflected the 2016-17 fiscal year and concluded for every $1 invested by students, $5.20 was returned.

"The alumni added earnings of MTI is $23.1 million, which an economic boost similar to hosting the World Series," Heemstra said.

That $23.1 million figure of represents the higher earnings of MTI students earned during the year, the increased output of businesses that employ students and multiplying effects of students and their employers spending money at other businesses.

Heemstra noted that MTI the impact of MTI's payroll and day-to-day spending in the Mitchell trade region amounts to $11.4 million in added income, which was enough to buy 335 new cars and support 168 jobs, according to the study. The study also concluded the student rate of return was 17.5 percent for an average annual return on investment for MTI students, compared the 10 percent 30-year return rate of the stock market.

"The economic impact MTI has on Mitchell is in a category of its own," Heemstra said. "For every $1 invested by Mitchell taxpayers, $4.70 was returned."

MTI has 1,579 for-credit students and 772 non-credit students, along with 132 employees on a $9.2 million payroll. The study found that 38 percent of MTI's students originated from outside the Mitchell trade region to attend MTI and that the average associate degree graduate earns $10,000 more than a high school graduate at their career midpoint.

Handbook approval

The board questioned Mitchell High School Principal Joe Childs about including the Student Responsibility Block (SRB) opt-out for juniors and seniors at the Mitchell High School, which is not currently in the MHS handbook.

At MHS, students who have performed at a proficient level in mathematics and english during their junior year may have the option to opt-out of SRB and semester tests their senior year.

"We like to offer students incentive for students to give their best effort, and that's why we have the opt-out option," Childs said.

Child said the opt-outs have changed three times in the last six years, making it difficult to include the option in the MHS student handbook. The 2018-19 handbook was approved with SRB changes by the board.

Board member Lacey Musick requested the SRB opt-out be included in the MHS handbook.

"I think it's wise to include this in the handbook, so parents are aware their child can have the option of opting out of semester tests and SRB their senior year," Musick said.

Other business

The board also took the following action Monday:

• The board recognized Marica Shannon for a $5,000 grant from CenturyLink for technology in art.

• Approved the consent agenda, including board minutes, claims, personnel and open enrollment.

• Approved a CTE grant for $92,860.02 for welding equipment at MHS, which will be supplied from A-OX Welding Supply.

• Approved meal prices for the 2018-19 school year, leaving the prices the same for the new year.

• Approved the tentative agreement with the Mitchell Classified Education Association through the 2020-21 school year.

• Approved on second reading Mitchell School District Board Policies 1047 (K-12 student restraint and seclusion) and 1071 (extra-curricular participation code requirements).

• Approved, on first reading, the Mitchell Technical Institute policy series 1000-1200.

• Heard board member and superintendent reports.