INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 94 CLOQOUET, MINNESOTA MARCH 22, 2012 SPECIAL MEETING
INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 94
MARCH 22, 2012
A special meeting of the School Board of Independent School District No. 94 was called to order by Board Chair Gary Huard, 302 - 14th Street, in the City of Cloquet, on March 22, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call - the following Board members were present on roll call:
-Superintendent Ken Scarbrough
-Kim Josephson, Business Manager
-Connie Hyde, CAAEP/High School
-Randy Thudin, Washington School
Absent: School Board Member Dan Danielson
APPROVAL OF BOARD AGENDA
S. Crowley made a motion to approve the agenda, as presented. D. Buytaert seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved by a yea vote of all members present on roll call.
S. Crowley made a motion to pull the proposed Band cut from the budget reduction list. J. Crowley seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved by a yea vote of all members present on roll call.
D. Battaglia made a motion to pull the proposed FACS cut from the budget reduction list. S. Crowley seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved by a yea vote of all members present on roll call.
BUDGET REDUCTIONS DISCUSSION
Superintendent Ken Scarbrough commented that the Boards' purpose of meeting tonight is to discuss the budget and provide direction for the administration as it relates to budget reductions. The Board will take final action on these reductions at their meeting on Monday, March 26, 2012. Comments will be allowed from the audience following the budget reductions presentation and discussion.
Superintendent Scarbrough provided a review of circumstances that have contributed to the district having to make budget reductions this year, including a summary of the failed referendum outcome on question #2 to increase per pupil funding, budget difficulties due to the State borrowing of funds (close to $8 million this year), and delayed funding from the State. Flat funding and increased costs are showing difficulties we will be facing as we move into the future.
Proposed reductions totaling $554,690 were reviewed and discussed. This amount included the removal of the proposed Band and FACS reductions. Discussion followed, centering on the following possibilities:
-Increasing the staff development reduction to $40,000.
-Further reductions in teaching staff for the third and fourth grades, which would increase class sizes at these levels.
-Elimination of All Day Kindergarten programming, which would realize a $300,000 savings.
-Reduction of a period/day at the middle school, thus increasing class sizes 30 or more.
-Further reduction in athletics, i.e. some junior high activities and middle school athletics which would realize a $25,000 savings.
-Elimination of Director of School Improvement (DSI) position.
-Print Shop, realizing a $27,000 savings.
-Additional extra-services contracts reductions.
-Additional secretarial reductions.
Concerns were raised by S. Crowley regarding the increased class sizes for the fifth grade level. Space and moving of students to Churchill would also be issues that would need to be discussed due to increased class sizes. Additionally, the Board indicated it would like to know what the upcoming kindergarten round-up attendance indicates for enrollment next fall as that will have an impact on our budget as well.
Board Chair G. Huard opened the floor up for audience comments. In summary, comments included the following areas:
-FACS - thank you for removal from the reduction list.
-Band - thank you for removal from the reduction list.
-Possibility of charging for All Day Kindergarten. This is not possible as the District is not allowed to charge fees when running kindergarten as a general fund expense.
-Making cuts to assistant coaching contracts and using more parent volunteers.
-Asking for parent volunteers to help in the classrooms, offices, etc.
-Increasing fees across the Board, or require additional fundraising to take place.
-Elimination of free activity passes for seniors.
-Elimination of all extra-services contracts.
-Reducing Washington principal position to a .6 FTE vs. a 1.0 FTE.
-Reconfiguration of elementary schools to a (K-1-2) and (3-4-5) structure.
Another comment was "what as citizens, can we do about the budget situation." The bottom line is to keep the political pressure on at the state level, community to participate in local referendums, and for the district to be as fiscally responsible as it can.
The Board thanked everyone for attending and for the comments received.
The next regular meeting of the Cloquet School Board is scheduled for Monday, March 26, 2012 at 6:00 p.m., following the 5:30 p.m. Working Session. The meeting is held in the Garfield Board Room on the 2nd Floor.
There being no further business to discuss, Board Chair G. Huard adjourned the meeting at 6:57 p.m.
Clerk of the School Board
Chair of the School Board