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Budget Workshop 03/01/2010

March 1, 2010

There was a Budget Workshop on Monday, March 1, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in the Library at Lake Region Middle School.  Board Members present were:  Mody Botros, Kenneth Brown, Beth Chaplin, Jean Clancy,               John Fillmore-Patrick, Richard Merritt, Laura Ordway, Philip Shane, Nikki South, and Janet Ver Planck.

Administrators present were:  Kathleen Beecher, Zane Clement, June Conley, Kristen Goff, Lisa Caron,     Roger Lowell, Andrew Madura, Peter Mortenson, Roseanne Schacht, Joshua Sturk, Paul True, Cheryl Turpin, Sherrie Weese, and Patrick Phillips, Superintendent of Schools.  

Superintendent Phillips made clear to Board members that the Board had asked the Leadership Team to review the budget to see what an additional reduction of $100,000 would look like.  A list of $152,844 in reductions was distributed to the Board.  It was explained that the reason for the $152,844 versus just $100,000 was that a reduction of a second in-service day was included on the list and that would need to be a negotiated item.   An equivalent set of reductions were included on the list.  He also stressed that the Leadership Team is not recommending these reductions.  There is no good choice on this list.

The list was reviewed as follows:

Pay to Play

Paul True distributed a WMC Participation Fee list for 2009-10.  He explained that it is difficult to put a set amount on a participation fee.  Many factors have to be taken into consideration including: Do you charge a set fee for everyone?  Do you use a sliding scale for families that qualify for free or reduced lunch?   Do families with multiple students pay less per student.  

It was thought that any activity that has a stipend involved would have some type of a fee to participate.  For lacrosse and hockey which are currently pay to play sports, the number of students participating in the sport, cost of officials, ice time (hockey), and travel time, are all factored into determining the cost.

Teacher Workshop Day

This is a philosophical decision.  Currently there are 7 in-service days built into the school calendar.  Two days exceed the State’s minimum number needed.  This would be a negotiated item and the cost for a teacher workshop day is $54,000.  There is also one furlough day on the original cut list which will need to be negotiated also.   

The Leadership Team told Board members that they had originally recommended a reduction of an in-service day for a reduction in the initial budget not a full furlough day for all employees.

District-Wide Curriculum

Kathleen Beecher explained that they can either do less or go slower on curriculum work.  The reduction of $5,500 would cover salaries and benefits.  There will still be some money available to get some work done.  The remaining $6,000 would be a reduction in books and instructional supplies.   The reading programs have been piloted this year.  If it is decided to implement the program the materials can be purchased on a slower basis.

District-Wide Curriculum (continued)

There was a question if the use of laptops and getting information on-line would help reduce curriculum costs.  Paper costs are down.  Teachers are using on-line programs.  Curriculum development companies, however, make you purchase the books before you can use their on-line service.

Middle School Librarian

Peter Mortenson explained that this would change the librarian position to an Educational Technician III position.  The District’s Library/Media Specialist would supervise the position.  The person would need to be authorized versus being certified.

Middle School Summer School

Peter Mortenson explained that it would be better to keep the Student Support Center rather than keeping Summer School.  This position is much like the teacher interventionists at the elementary level.  Having this position has noticeable shown an improvement in students getting their work done.   There are about 30 students in summer school.

High School Summer School

Roger Lowell explained that the District used to charge students to take summer school.  The thought is that students could contribute toward their second chance to get their work done.  Also if they had to pay, they may be more responsible for getting the work done.  There are an average of 70 to 80 students who participate in summer school.   The costs are based on the number of common assessments they need to complete.  One common assessment would be $15.00 and could go to $30 for a package of additional units.  

Life Skills

In the initial budget, half of the Life Skills position is included in the ARRA grant for 2010-11.  This would put the whole amount into the grant.  The inclusion of this position has to be accepted by the grant provider.

CRES – 4-hour per day Custodian

This would change the 4-hour per day position at Crooked River Elementary School from a year-round position to a school year position.  Staff from other schools would be rotated during the summer to cover vacation time.

Postponement of Replacement Maintenance Vehicles

These are surplus vehicles that are pick-ups used for grounds maintenance, plowing, etc.  As this has been a light winter, it may be possible to get through another year without replacing the vehicles.

Literacy Specialist

Kathleen Beecher explained that this would be a reduction of 8 additional days that are budgeted to the Literacy Specialist.  These days allow for professional development for teachers.  Some money would be available in the curriculum budget for some of this work.

Middle School Guidance Secretary

This would be the reduction of a 5 hour per week position which was just included in the budget in 2009-10.

A motion was made by Niiki South, seconded by Jean Clancy, to continue the discussion of the budget during the Board meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.