"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9-13-10 ECSD Business Action Item School Board Meeting

Click on the link for a copy of the agenda of the Business Action Item School Board meeting to commence at 5:45pm on September 13th in the Theodore Robinson Intermediate School LMC immediately following the 5:30pm meeting at the same venue to sell last year's BT house and buy a lot for this year's BT house. Click on the link below for details regarding that transaction.


There's only two items up for discussion at this meeting. The Board goals and the Annual meeting budget background. Heidi will discuss this year's ACT scores and academic excellence along with beginning of the year summary and middle school coverage. Please keep Mr. and Mrs. Flaherty and Connor in your thoughts. We wish a speedy recovery to him.

I hope to make it for the beginning of this meeting, but may have a conflict. I'm curious how Heidi plans to spin the ACT scores this year and really want to see the budget discussion. I hope the stimulus money is used wisely and with great care. There are so many competing needs in our district it's hard to make such a decision sometimes. That's why the Program Based Budgeting process is so important in our district. It helps keep the priorities in focus for when there is such a windfall. It also helps put into perspective things like the Youth Center which wasn't even on the radar until the end of July.

Please remember that the Annual Call to Meeting is September 27, 2010 at 7pm in the High School Commons. Click on the link below for the official posting:


Every citizen of the ECSD has a vote on the business at this meeting. Make that extra effort to come make your voice heard on the topic of the mill rate, board salaries, more than likely establishment of a Fund 80 to exceed revenue caps in support of the youth center. This means that the school will be allowed to tax you beyond the revenue caps. It also means that any program that qualifies as a Fund 80 program, like summer enrichment programs, are eligible to be funded in this way. Heidi made it clear that this is an important aim for her in establishing this fund. Don't expect the expenditures to end at the funding of the youth center.

That being said, the annual call is more like an advisory referendum. The board will take the result of the vote into account when it sets the final tax levy in October after the state contribution is known. Previous discussions of these kinds of advisory votes have centered on the demographics of the meeting attendees. For example, last year, there was such a vote regarding purchase of property to increase green space at the middle school. I think the vote was FOR purchase of the property at the August meeting. When the Board convened to finalize the levy in October, the personal interests of the majority citizens voting for the purchase were clearly recognized by the board and this minimized the impact of the vote in the board's mind. That purchase was ultimately denied by the board. The same kind of thing could happen this time as well. By all means, come have your voice heard for or against establishment of Fund 80. Just understand that the vote at the annual meeting is not binding and may differ from the board decision in October when the final levy is set. The Annual Meeting GIVES THE BOARD PERMISSION to set a levy up to a certain amount and establish a Fund 80 for a certain amount. It does not COMPEL the board to do so.

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