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

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 9 Board Meeting Highlights: My last local issue blog entry

The April 9 board meeting was another SRO affair with a chock-full agenda. I hope to see better meeting management with the new board to be reorganized April 28. This many hot topic items should not come to the board at one time. 4K approval, Referendum discussion, Alternative Education program presentation, are each a large enough discussion to dedicate a full meeting to. Add to that staff continuing to present arguments for pay period choice and Senior project disgruntlement and you have the recipe for a 4 hour meeting.

Referendum: Lack of specific information and seating a new board on April 28 brings this back for discussion April 30 and decision in May. Information regarding precise plans and costs for each section was requested.

4K: The unfunded first few years of this program is to be taken out of the fund balance. State law allows up to 3K per kid in year 1 and 1.5K per kid in year 2 to get a district up the the fully funded year 3 without taking money out of the fund balance. Administration noted that there is a chance that there will be funds in this grant for the year 15-16 up to 1.5K per kid. They will be applying for these funds. It will significantly reduce the depletion of the fund balance. The board approved the implementation of 4K in ECSD in 2015-16.

Alternative Education: Much information was given but much remained in question. The board will bring it back for discussion next meeting on April 30.

Teacher contracts: Board approved all but Alt Ed folks, as they have not yet approved the Alt Ed. Program. Nobody loses a position as this is expected transfer of students and staff.  Seems admin. should know that the board won't approve a contract for a program that isn't approved yet. Hmm.

On top of all of this, there was a boatload of policies at third reading and handbook change requests to refer for second readings, the process of which was a bit murky as it was the first time they'd done this. Curiously, the Virtual School policy that was approved April 9 at its 3rd reading indicates that singleton students enrolled must pay HALF of the fee. So how come we have been paying the full fee? Hunh. Just another question for me to find an answer for.

This will be my last blog entry regarding the ECSD. I may yet blog about my take on national trends in education, but I'm going mum on local issues after this. Thank you all for following me through the years and most of all thank you for your support for me in the election. I promise I will bring my A game to every board meeting and endeavor to bring our kids excellence in education. It's been real. M

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