The School Board held a special meeting Monday evening.
By law, new Board members needed to take office April 27. Andy Busch, Joni Heisner, and Gary Sullivan were all congratulated for their wins in the April 7 election and they have taken their Oaths of Office. Busch and Heisner will serve three year terms and Sullivan a two year term.
(Go to the four minute, 30 second mark of the video)
— The Board voted 5-1 in favor of the proposed budget amendments (Sullivan voted no and Larry Steffes was absent).
Due to school buildings not being used since mid-March, there are several district accounts that will end the year with a surplus (like the substitute teacher account).
Superintendent Mitch Wainwright stated he is hearing projections from state leaders that state aid to school districts could be less for next school year due to effects from the pandemic. Therefore, he made the recommendation to pre-pay for technology items out of this year’s surplus to help offset a potential deficit next year.
It was explained that if the district chose to put the surplus in its Fund Balance account, it would actually be counterproductive due to how the state funding formula works. If a district doesn’t expend its funds each year and instead saves that money, the state believes a district didn’t need the funding, and therefore, reduces its state aid the following year. (An exception to this is the Fund 46 Capital Maintenance account, which does allow the district to save specifically for capital maintenance projects.)
Budget amendments generally require Board approval to move accounts from one to another. This is money already budgeted for the 2019-20 school year.
$104,637 will be moved to the technology fund from other accounts.
(Go to the five minute, 45 second mark)
— The Board then spent some time discussing the specific technology purchases recommended by administration. Notably, the district will be phasing out the MacBook laptops for high school students and going back to Chromebooks in the coming years. Also, all teacher workstation computers will be replaced as the current machines can no longer support the required software upgrades.
The Board approved the purchases in excess of $5000 (per Board policy) by a unanimous vote. They are listed here: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=46289810
(Go to the 18 minute, 30 second mark)
— The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for May 11 at 6:30 pm.