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

Friday, April 22, 2011

School Board Committee Meetings of the Whole April 25 at 6 p.m.

Click on the post to see the agenda for Monday's meeting of the committees of the whole. There are no surprise items on the agenda, which typically follows a set listing every month. Usually, there is a reorganization meeting held on or near April 25th every year, known affectionately as the "reorg. meeting." This is the meeting at which the newly elected school board elects officers, takes on committee assignments and generally establishes the new pecking order. John Rasmussen can't be here Monday due to travel plans he's had for a very long time, so the Board decided to put off the reorg. meeting until May 2 at 6 p.m. so the newest board member could attend.

It's time for a reevaluation of the Human Growth and Development curriculum again. Check out the following link for details regarding this meeting on May 4 from 8am - 3 pm.


Finally, there will be the regular Board Business Meeting on May 9 at 6 p.m. Much is happening in the district this time of year. The general mayhem surrounding the unsettled nature of the state budget scenario has caused a lot of rumor and innuendo to fly around town. Much of it probably has a kernel of truth, but resist the urge to believe everything. If you hear that "they aren't going to replace any retiring/quitting teachers," then more likely the whole story is "they aren't going to interview for such and so position until after the official budget is presented from the state." Which means after July 1st. Because that's when the state promised to have a solid budget proposal. Two of the three years I was on the board, the state didn't come through with final numbers until October. Imagine if you will the havoc that plays on the budget setting needs of each and every district. How can you hire people in August if you don't know whether or not funds are available for it? It's a very difficult situation. So remember to take a deep breath and hope for the best. They have only had to lay off teachers due to decline in enrollment for next year. That may not be the case for 12-13, which is shaping up to be even worse.

Why, you say, are we suddenly suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? It's not, as some would be happy to report, entirely the fault of Gov. Walker. His "budget repair" bill is a dominant player here, but the chickens are coming home to roost, ala the stimulus funds accepted two years ago. What did they hire the temporary special ed position at TRIS with? Stimulus funds. Where did all the capital funds come from for a new handicapped access van and new PT equipment come from? Stimulus funds. All in all, these funds inflated the budget to the tune of nearly a half-million dollars over two years. Add that to a loss of $550 per kid from the state (about a million) and a loss in enrollment of about 40 kids over the last 3 years (about a quarter of a million) and a perfect storm of budget misery strikes. Had it not been for the diligent efforts of the board to build up the fund 10 balance and toe the line on certain expenditures, things would be a lot worse than they are, which is bad enough. So, keep your wits about you and remain calm. Hard as it may be, trust the board and the administrators to be sensible in these dark days. And if all else fails, come to a board meeting!

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