May 9, 2013 School Board Regular Meeting
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, May 9, 2013. The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairman Tracy Brunnette 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, Tracy Brunnette, Jim Gelbmann, Laurie Johnson, Ron Kath, David Kemper and Katy McElwee-Stevens. Superintendent Keith Jacobus was present.
Motions were made and seconded to approve the agendas. The consent agenda contained retirements, resignation and terminations; leaves of absence; new employees/change of status.
The first reading of the proposed FY 2013-2014 Nutrition Services budget was presented. Revenue for the 2013-2014 budget is proposed at $7,785,900 while expenditures are proposed to be $8,589,134 for a deficiency of $803,234 which will come from the department\'s fund balance. The projected fund balance for June 30, 2014 is $792,507. This budget will be brought back to the May 23rd School Board meeting for approval.
Representatives from the state and county, presented information related to the possible use of Park High School as an Evacuee Reception Center for the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. The purpose of the Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) is to ensure plans, personnel, facilities and equipment are in place in the event there is an emergency that requires an evacuation from a nuclear generating plant. The establishment of a new center requires Letters of Agreement between the State of Minnesota, Department of Human Services and Washington County. The County then establishes letters of agreement with the local provider that outlines the responsibilities of each party. If approved, training would begin next fall. This item will be brought back to the May 23rd School Board meeting for approval.
Keith Jacobus, Superintendent, introduced Bill Morris and Peter Leatherman, both of Decision Resources, Ltd. who were on hand to share the results of the district\'s 2103 Residential Survey. The intent of the survey was to understand the public\'s perceptions of the work we do as a district, as well as the efforts of the School Board and the staff on behalf of the students we serve. 400 random sample households were included in this survey. 83% of those surveyed thought the quality of our public schools was either excellent or good. Things that were liked the most about the district included good teachers, good education, strong academics, program variety and broad curriculum. Things that were liked the least included high taxes, lack of funding and large class sizes. Perceptions of the school district ranked very positively. When asked how funding would fare for the school district over the next few years, over 29% of those surveyed thought funding would get worse, 21% thought it would get better and 44% thought it would stay about the same. When asked about property taxes, 50% thought that the overall total property tax was high however 47% thought the school district portion of taxes was average. When asked about a predisposition to a possible district referendum, 65% stated that they would support some type of referendum. 82% though said they would support the operating levy renewals which would result in a no property tax increase. When asked about a levy that would include an increase in an operating funds, there seemed to be support if it included some of the concerns people have like maintaining class sizes, enhancing security, expanding digital offerings, providing additional mental health initiatives and staff development. More showed support for an operating levy versus a capital projects levy.
The first reading of the proposed 2013-2014 Community Services budget was presented. The proposed revenue in this budget is $11,620,680 while expenditures are proposed at $12,203,954 for a deficiency of $583,274 which will come from the department\'s fund balance. The projected fund balance for June 30, 2014 is $607,891 which is 5%. Revenues for this budget are primarily generated through fees. Additional funds are generated through state aids and local levies. There will be no recommended fee increases for 2013-2014. There will be a small increase in state aids and local levies primarily due to an increase in the population. There will be a small decrease in fee revenue due to a reduced number of K-Plus sections in the preliminary budget. Inflationary increases are included in this budget for salary and benefit costs. This budget will be brought back to the May 23rd School Board meeting for approval.
The meeting adjourned at 9:27pm.
This information is only a summary. The full text is available for public inspection at the administrative offices of the school district or at www.sowashco.k12.mn.us .