Hello everyone, It has been a while since I have updated the blog. I apologize for the tardiness, but since it has been summer, I have been on a bit of a break. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t work to do. We have had four board meetings, two work sessions, and I have attended a conference on educator effectiveness.
But the real reason I write is that next Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 6 pm is the Annual District Meeting to review the preliminary school budget for next year and to welcome community input. Now some of you may ask why this is important. Here is why I think you should come to the meeting.
1) It is a review of the school districts operating budget. Many people get upset over tax increases. Our budget is slated to increase local property taxes for homeowners 1.5% for the school district portion. Originally it was a 6.5% increase. We are still not sure why the estimates we originally received were so different from what the state quoted us in July. A lot can happen between now and mid-October, but the increase is very manageable.
2) It is an opportunity for you as a parent, student, tax-payer, teacher, etc. to come and see where the dollars are being spent in the district. It also is an opportunity for district members to come in and share their thoughts on the district and provide feedback.
I think our entire community has a vested interest in the success of our schools. The school board and the administrative team are working on strategic planning goals. Our district does have its share of challenges. As we have begun collecting more data we are beginning to identify some clear needs. The question becomes, how do you address the need? Is it a minor tweaking of existing practice and policy? Does it require we blow up the current system we have and start over? Or does the solution lie somewhere in between? Again, it would be helpful to hear from community members input on how to move our district forward while addressing needs.
There are three resolutions that will be voted on by the public during that meeting. The resolutions are as follows:
1) Raise the salary of board members at the same rate of increase that was provided to administrative staff as well as teachers and support staff.
2) Set the tax levy for the coming year based on the annual budget. Based on preliminary numbers it looks to be a 1.5% increase over last year. Again, this is what the larger portion of the meeting will be about as the annual budget is presented and reviewed.
3) Permission to sell off surplus equipment.
Each of these resolutions will be presented and asked for community action. Just as a note, the request for the increase to board member salaries was not voted on by the board. It was a proposal that was worked on and presented to members. It can only be approved or shot down during votes taken at the Annual Budget meeting. If my calculations are right, my position (non-officer) would see a $75 increase in pay for the year.
So, next week Monday, August 20, 2012 at the District Administration Building starting at 6 pm, I hope to see you there. If you have questions between now and then, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .