District 833 School Board Regular Meeting
Unofficial Clerk's Summary for
October 1, 2012
11 October 2012
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the School Board of Independent School District 833, South Washington County, was held on Thursday, October 11, 2012. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Leslee Boyd at 6:00 p.m. at the District Service Center, located at 7362 East Point Douglas Road South, Cottage Grove, MN. School Board members present were Marsha Adou, Leslee Boyd, Tracy Brunnette, Laurie Johnson, Ron Kath and David Kemper. School Board member Jim Gelbmann was absent. Superintendent Keith Jacobus was present.
Aaron Bushberger, Director of Finance, presented information about the current state of district finances. Aaron began with talking about the state school district finances - revenues per pupil, fund balances and referendum revenue. Aaron provided information about the various district funds:
Food Service Fund is responsible for all food service related capital and equipment purchases and includes chargebacks from the General Fund for items specific to their area
Community Service Fund is responsible for all community service related capital and equipment purchases and includes chargebacks from the General Fund for items specific to their area
Transportation Fund is not required to be a separate fund but the district tracks the revenues separately - 5% of the General Fund is allocated to this budget
Capital Outlay Fund does receive funds from specific state revenue sources including capital outlay funds, lease levy funds and capital projects levy - included with this is Health & Safety
Other Funds include the Building Construction Fund (bond and levy for funds for specific alternative facilities and construction projects) and Debt Service Fund which is a levy for scheduled debt service payments
Internal Service Fund involves the General Fund to contribute funds to pay for current and future post-retirement benefit obligations - the District Citizens Financial Advisory Committee has an interest in establishing specific guidelines for this fund
The 2012-2013 General Fund Budget has proposed revenues at $152,688,543 and proposed expenditures at $155,713,109 for a net difference of -$3,024,566. The projected fund balance for June 30, 2013 is $11,238,280 or 7.5%. 82% of the district's revenues come from state aid/credits. 86% of the district's expenditures are for salaries/benefits. Aaron went over the budget projections and with current figures, the fund balance continues to go down with a negative balance projected for the 2014-2015 school year. The School Board and district administration will need to look at how to address that in the near future with budget adjustment measures.
The district's referendum revenue generates $19.5 million per year, or $929.44 per pupil. Referendum revenue is an "equalized" levy where the state will provide funding based on a property wealth/resident student population. Out of the 48 metro school districts, South Washington County Schools is 30th for referendum revenue. The state cap is $1,604.43 per pupil which leaves our district at $674.99 below the cap. The district also has revenue from their capital projects levy which generates approximately $1 million for 10 years - this was approved by the voters in 2006. A portion of the referendum revenue for South Washington County Schools will expire and is due for renewal by November of 2013. A second portion of this revenue will be due for renewal by November of 2014 but could do a revoke/renew and include that in November of 2013. In December, the School Board will be required to approve the final pay 2013 levy. The audit results will also be finalized at that time.
Dave Bernhardson, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education, provided an update on the process administration is developing as it relates to the service levels and the related budget considerations. The outcome of this process is to provide information to the School Board outlining the range of student service levels and their impact on the budget. A framework will be created to determine service levels based on budget availability. Service levels being considered include facilities, staffing ratios, technology, transportation and Special Education. A Review Team will be created to include school and department representatives and community members. The intent is to provide this information to the School Board in early February of 2013 so the board can move forward with their budget process in a timely manner.
Superintendent Keith Jacobus stated that the School Board and Cabinet have been talking about their DISC results. The DISC is a style insight instrument that has four dimensions: D - Dominance / I - Influence / S - Steadiness / C - Compliance. Part of this process involves talking about expectations between various groups as that can help build a stronger, effective team.
What does the School Board expect of the executive team?
-The Board sees the executive team as the experts so they want to hear the various perspectives; want to know the pros and cons of items brought forward; want complete information so the board can make the best decision for all students
-Expect excellence in your staff
-Have a high level of trust
-Don't wait to see the opinion of the board first - your opinions matter - bring the critical thinking to us
-Bring every possibility to the table so the board can make better decisions
-The more information brought forward, the better
-Think outside the box and not remain in the status quo - bring things forward that are new and different when you can - be creative
-Open honest communication - need information for every side of an issue
-Include the right people in your discussions
-Need to have a high level of trust and have those challenging dialogues
-Give the board time to digest all of the information they have been given
-Create a process calendar for all of the issues coming our way to give us the time we need to prepare
-Feel free to disagree when you think we are going off track
What does the executive team expect of the School Board?
-Abide by policy governance versus management
-Act as a team
-Don't surprise each other
-Remain open to opinions
-Work to stay within policy governance
-Don't have your mind made up before you come to the meeting - wait until you hear all of the information
-Ask your questions prior to board meetings so we have time to prepare a thorough response
-Requests should go through the Superintendent as he guides the executive team's work
-Know that we have done our homework and are coming forward with our best recommendation as it relates to students - try not to succumb to the special interest groups - we make decisions for all students
-Stay curious and have those collaborative communications
-Be clear on when enough is enough when it comes to information flow - we have a lot of information to share but don't want to overwhelm you or get redundant
-Ask questions when you need to and give us time to prepare a response
-When you ask the questions we can have the open dialogue and you can get the information you need
-Requests for detailed information should go through the board chair and should be shared with all board members
-If you are clear with your request, we can get you what you need
-We appreciate the willingness to work together
-Can you give us the "why" of why you want the information because that helps us - information should be gathered for decision making purposes and not to make specifically make a case against an issue
What do board members expect of each other?
-We are a team despite having diverse opinions and backgrounds
-Once we vote, we need to be one voice with our decision - we are a board of 7, not individuals
-If we get to an impasse, don't start to operate as a silo
-All board members should get the same information
-Be prepared - take the time to do your homework for meetings
-Honor our decisions
-Try to learn about different ideas and be able to bring those forward to the group
-Try to attend conferences and gain more knowledge and bring those back to the group
-Follow the polite meeting protocols
-Honor the Chair's position
-Attack the problem and not the person
-Try to keep emotions out of decision making
What does the community/public expect of the leadership group?
-Interact together in a positive manner
-Honest interaction and good communication
-Put students first
-Communication why we have done what we have done so the community can see all sides - communicate in as many different venues as we can
-Look at the big picture
-Don't always go with the status quo
-Turn over every rock we can
-Be visible - be the cheerleaders
-Focus on what is best for kids
-Board and administration should work together and portray one voice
-Proper consideration given to their perspectives
-Be transparent - do what is right and ethical at all times
The meeting adjourned at 8:35pm.