March 8, 2011
Posted on: March 09, 2011
GOOCHLAND COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
MARCH 8, 2011
GOOCHLAND HIGH SCHOOL
CALL TO ORDER
Ivan O. Mattox, Sr., Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.
Ivan O. Mattox, Sr., Chairman
James L. Haskell, Vice Chairman
Mr. Maxwell G. Cisne
Mr. Raymond A. Miller
Mr. Andrew A. Meng, III
Dr. Linda A. Underwood, Superintendent
Also attending were:
Peter M. Gretz, Assistant Superintendent
Thomas DeWeerd, Director of Secondary Education
Debra Beasley, Director of Special Education and Student Services
Ernie McLeod, Director of Finance
Sonny Turner, Supervisor of Maintenance
Betty Thurston, Supervisor of Transportation
Francie Ball, Principal, Goochland High School
Johnette Burdette, Principal, Goochland Middle School
James Hopkins, Principal, Byrd Elementary School
Dianna Gordon, Principal, Randolph Elementary School
Stacey Austin, Principal, Goochland Elementary School
Andrea Erard, Legal Counsel
Diane Bennett, School Board Clerk
The Media was represented by:
Ken Odor, The Goochland Gazette
MOMENT OF SILENCE
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Sierra McLean, a 5th grader at Byrd Elementary School.
ADDITIONS/DELETIONS/CHANGES TO AGENDA
Dr. Underwood and Mr. Mattox presented certificates of recognition to the following students:
- Sierra McLean, for being the youngest NAACP Queen.
- Hunter Richardson for having his artwork chosen for the VAEA Winter Newsletter.
- John Joyner for winning the 2nd Annual Art Contest for the Richmond Flying Squirrels
- Reflections Winners: Sara Ragland, Mahogany Snead, Katelyn Lambert, Jason Howell, Laurel Edmonds, Shelby Greenburg, Alexandra Norman, Brandon Myrick, Haley Thompson, Jaleel Jackson, Jason Dardick, Davis Mohar, Julia Kistler, Shannon Ferguson, Amanda Williams, Bella Finck, Patrick Frago, Joseph Hardman, Kathryn Hardman, Jonathan Daly, Morgan Butler, Savannah Slater, Ciera Otte, Rachel Ferguson, Sydney Butler
- Spelling Bee Winners: Christian Zeppa-Drumheller, Camden Harrahy, Tessa Hazzard, Anna Hoffler, Mason McCray, Erin Maguire, Madison Riddock, Elizabeth Rosenbaum, Keeley Shoemaker, Annie Snyder, Christopher Spence, Jackson Stull
FIRST PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
- Sekou Shabaka explained that the contest that Sierra McLean won is not a beauty contest. The NAACP asks 16 churches in the county to help in raising money for the organization. Sierra and her family raised $9,000, not only winning the local contest, but also a state contest. He wanted to give credit to Second Union Baptist Church as well.
- John Wright talked about the budget. He said that much of the numbers being thrown around and are part of the County Administrator’s proposed budget are not the final numbers. What has been presented in an email from Dr. Underwood in their packet said $1.425 million and he believes that because of reductions and a number of the factors that go into that the number is down in the $1.1 range and there are a number of items that make up that gap. He is sure Dr. Underwood is aware because of conversations, that there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to try to see to it that the gap proposed on county side and school side has been addressed in whatever way possible to both help explain information that has not been satisfactorily explained to the Board of Supervisors and to try to come to an understanding where some of the savings will come from. He stated he has a real problem with some of the communications that have come out recently from school administration. He said there was an email sent out, he believes, to stir up public comment to see that people showed up to support either funding the schools through the fund balance or tax rate increase. It is his belief that this backfired; that the email made it to the Board before the meeting. Further he believes there was an email that went out to staff this afternoon talking about cuts, and he thinks that creates an environment that is at the breaking point for the schools. He said it has been difficult budgetary times during the current year because of last year’s cuts. Everybody is making more from less and working harder to do so. That has pushed morale for the teachers, schools’ administration, and the students within the schools to its breaking point. He thinks that the way that some of the cuts to make up this difference have been addressed may very well push the entire school system to the brink. He understands the need to address every possible cut and make everyone aware of them, but he feels the list he saw today far exceeds the needs to mitigate differences in this budget. He finds it close to mental terrorism in many ways. He doesn’t think it breeds an environment that is healthy for the teachers, or students and is very upsetting. He feels most of all what the county needs is leadership. He is not sure the approach thus far has displayed that. He encouraged constructive leadership in every way and further encouraged that things quickly be eliminated from the proposed cuts. He thinks we need to address things in a real manner and not try to scare everyone to death.
- Elizabeth Nelson-Lyda stated that all of the paperwork for the Goochland Education Foundation has been completed with the state and local government. They are now receiving funding from the United Way. They are actually now receiving monthly contributions to the Foundation. This year before the end of the year, they will be funding a teacher of the year award in the amount of $100 and one county-wide award for teacher of the year, as well as one high school scholarship in the amount of $500.
- Chad Smith spoke regarding the proposed cuts to high school and middle school sports. He stated that the significance of childhood obesity has nearly doubled since the 1990s, and youth sports provide a source of structured activity and exercise, and also provide the opportunity for children to make friends and gain confidence. He said children who are obese are at risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and Type II diabetes. They also have to deal with social discrimination. The leading cause of childhood obesity is not only bad eating habits but lack of physical activities. Since we are looking at daily physical education to be eliminated from schools, then the children who attend these extra physical activities will now sit at home in front of their computer, TV or eating snacks. We need to keep sports in middle school and high school. We need to protect our youth and protect their future. Sports help teach boys and girls some of the same life skills that make them successful in college, such as time management, how to deal with success, how to deal with disappointment, persistence, self-esteem, teamwork, and the benefit of a good work ethic. Cuts in school-based sports and physical education programs contribute to a range of problems afflicting the nations youth including obesity, violence, and academic failure. Middle school is where the time when youth tries different things and decides what they would like to do. We cannot afford to have this negative impact on our youth. If a child doesn’t have somewhere to go and have something to occupy their time, then unfortunately they more than often end up in trouble. He believes extra activities after school will eliminate most of this and increase the fundamentals of life for our children. He discussed this last year when he stressed that when you take away the opportunity from a child whose parents can’t afford to put them in a youth organization due to the cost, these children are our future, and if we don’t give them this opportunity they will be lost. If you don’t give them this opportunity, not only do you take away the opportunity away from a child to play, but if he or she is good enough then you also take away the opportunity for that child to attend college by receiving a scholarship. Sports will make a child keep grades up and for some that move on to college make an impact on our community. Team sports teach things that go beyond scoring, batting, shooting, and winning and teach them to think about the group and not just themselves. There are also positive mentors present. He feels if you cut school programs you are taking away opportunities from kids who may not have this opportunity. He said children will learn anything by having too much free time on their hands and they won’t want to come to school. He said we will go right back to where we started with dropouts. He feels the kids will leave our schools and go to private schools where sports are offered. He asked that the Board think about the children and the opportunities given them by leaving sports in the school system.
- Heather Wilckens said she is concerned about the future of her children, the children that she teaches, and the children that attend our schools. She said the decision made tonight will not only affect this coming year, but years to come. Each year that our children are in the schools it builds upon the next. It will be difficult for them if they have nothing but core classes. Colleges look at the whole student, but not just their grades, but their extracurricular activities, sports, and arts. She asked the Board to look where the cuts can be made and where we can preserve those things that will give our children the best future. She is concerned about the future for the children.
- Penny Palen addressed the elimination of substitute teachers. She said we are not on a complete discontinuation pattern, but are just short on a middle school basis by about $1,200. Because of that it basically trickles down to every school to stop the substitute teachers. She has parents calling her wondering what will happen to their child when going into SOL testing. She feels it could have been addressed with the community a little better. They are trying hard to lobby the Board of Supervisors to fund the budget and when items like that become public knowledge it makes the school system look like funds are being mismanaged. She is not saying that is the case, but that is how it appears to the general public. She asked for clarification on what is going on with subs right now and said it will help everyone’s cause as parents, GEPA, and others stand up to the Board to fund the budget for next year.
- Kendall Hoffler said she has written a lot of emails that she has deleted because they were written in anger and frustration with what is going on with the budget again this year. She doesn’t want to speak from anger but from a point of working together. She is the President of the Randolph Elementary School PTA, but was not speaking on behalf of PTA or the parents there. When her children started Randolph four years ago, she adored that school. She said it felt like a true community when you walked through the door. When people would ask if she sent her children to public school, she was proud to tell them about Randolph. She said she has seen in the past four years what feels like a dismantling of the school system. She has written to her Supervisor in support of the School Board and the budget, but she seconds the remarks by J.D. Wright tonight. The things that she’s hearing and seeing that are coming from Central Office are disturbing to her. She said it feels like the School Board is trying to rile the parents up to go to the Board of Supervisors to get them to support funding the budget, but then sends out things that seem threatening to parents. She wondered if the Board members know what is going out to the staff, and what the parents are hearing, if they understand that the closing of an elementary school is a possibility? Do they care about the thousand-plus signatures put together on a petition last year demanding that the money go to the classroom for instruction? She said it doesn’t feel like it. Parents are asking what it will be like next year? What will be left after the School Board is finished dismantling all of the things that make us want to live in Goochland, that make them want to send their children to GCPS. She said the School Board has managed to run off one of the best administrators in this county. She has worked very closely with him, the parents had nothing but wonderful things to say about him and what a wonderful experience they had at Randolph. They are having a great experience with Mrs. Gordon. She feels that both school suffered because of that decision. She asked what the school system will look like for her children? She understands that it is tough times economically, but feels the Board has to do better.
- Mr. Mattox stated that due to time there is a second public comment period. He welcomed everyone to speak during the second public comment period.
- Suzanne Murray said she has 3 children and has lived in Goochland County for 13 years. She grew up in Augusta County where education was number one and when she moved to Goochland she saw similarities that she doesn’t see any more. She said it is a sad state that we are in and sad that there is so much of them versus us. She said we cannot have this frustration and emails flying back and forth. She said it is just ugly. She received an email that included scare tactics. She cannot accept that we have educated people who cannot come up with a better way to handle the situation. She said the School Board Members are there because of their passion, and if their passion is not for the children then why are they there?
- Mr. Mattox explained that we are midway through the budget process. The Board of Supervisors has not decided where the funding will be, and we are not sure of where the state and federal government will be as far as what we will receive next year. We are still in a process. However we have to look at overall budget and what could be impacted if the monies we are asking for is not there. Nothing is etched in stone, but we have to have conversations. We have to deliberate and look at the possibility that if the fund is not where we have asked it to be then we have to make decisions. Those decisions are not tonight and not tomorrow. When the Board of Supervisors comes back with their final number of what they are giving to the school system, then we can better understand where we need to be as far as what things were going to have and not have. What things will have to be cut and what will not have to be cut. Again this Board has worked tirelessly. The least number of years that any board member has served is eight years. I can tell you that if we had a magic wand and we could just wave that wand of what we wanted for our system, it would not be what it is today. We want the best for our school system. We want the best for our children. We want the best for this community. However, due to the uncertainty out there economically, we are not sure what that’s going to be. I can assure you that we as a Board will try to do what is in the best interest of this community based off of the funding that we have. I will assure you that. What we have dealt with in the last two years has been very difficult for this Board. We have dismantled things that we put together and that we love to have for our children, but when the dollars are not there we have to make those tough decisions. We apologize if it looks like we don’t care, but we do care. These are things that we actually put together, things that we worked diligently on to put in place and now we are constantly tearing things apart that we do not want to tear apart. Again we are committed. I have two kids in the system now. I don’t want to lose anything. I can tell you the members of this Board have served, some of them 30 years or more, and I can tell you that their tenure on this Board has always been total commitment to the school system, total commitment to this community. I assure you that we are trying to do what’s best for our school system. Again, it may not look like it and I apologize for all the things you may have seen that may not have come to you the way you wanted them to come to you. Again, I apologize for those things but I can tell you that right now we are still in the budget process, it is not completed and the Board of Supervisors have not finished their job. I can tell you they are committed to our school system. They try to do what they can with the resources they have and they have a difficult job as well. We have to understand where they are coming from. They have to keep not only the school system afloat, but they have to keep the county afloat. I ask you to support our community at large from the School Board, School System, Board of Supervisors, and to all of the other entities that have to function in this community. Again, I can assure you that we will work diligently to do what is in the best interest based off of what funding we do get. Again, like Mr. Wright said earlier, those numbers have gotten better for different reasons, however there are still a lot of increases that we are going to be hit with that are uncontrolled by us. I ask you to please bear with us and bear with the Board of Supervisors as we go through this process coming up with what the final numbers will be and what the final impact will be. I thank you all for your support tonight for being here tonight, I appreciate your caring and showing up for the School Board meeting and I encourage to continue to show up and support us and to give us your insight and your concerns because we need to hear those concerns. One of the things we will be discussing tonight is because of community insight or community input. Again, we appreciate your support, concern and passion for our school system.
A. Regular Monthly Workshop-Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at Goochland High School
B. 2011 VSBA Southside Regional Forum-March 17, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. at the Cumberland Middle/High School Complex
C. Dates for redistricting meetings were confirmed. The dates and times were sent to the School Board members. Dr. Underwood asked that they add those dates to their calendars.
The following Consent Agenda items were presented for approval:
February 1, 2011 special meeting minutes, February 8, 2011 regular meeting minutes, February 22, 2011 workshop minutes and Bills and Payroll for February.
Linda Norris, Bus Driver
Mr. Cisne made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Meng, to approve the Consent Items as presented. The motion was approved unanimously.
ENERGY SAVINGS UPDATE
Pete Gretz and Sonny Turner presented the Energy Savings Update. They explained that the total budget is $500,000 and there is a targeted savings of 10%-12%. This savings will be achieved through lower heat settings in all facilities, changing AC settings, eliminating all personal appliances (i.e., heaters, fans, coffee makers, refrigerators, microwaves, etc.), and emphasizing general awareness such as turning off the lights, and unplugging when possible.
FY 2011-2012 BUDGET UPDATE
Dr. Underwood presented an update on the FY 2011-2012 budget. She explained that the School Board’s proposed budget was not given to the Board of Supervisors. They did not have it during the presentation. The budget was transmitted electronically on January 26, 2011 and on that same day hard copies were sent over. The county did not
receive the hard copies. She said at that time there was a lot going on with the county and she feels it was an oversight. She has talked at length with Ms. Dickson about it and they both regret it happened.
Dr. Underwood said where we are with revenues and the difference that is in the School Board’s proposed budget and the County’s budget also includes a number of things for the School Board to think about. The changes to the proposed revenues will not be final until the Governor signs the state budget, but we can make updates based on what the General Assembly did. Those revisions were made to revenues. We also know there will be a decrease in the VRS cost and the health insurance cost.
Dr. Underwood reviewed the math. There is a $1,186,323 gap between the School Board’s proposed budget and the County’s budget. She stated we will have to position ourselves for new and increasing mandates, new SOQ requirements, and federal regulations. In order to decrease costs we will have to look at possible reductions such as:
Transportation: double runs (stagger school day), reduce to code requirements, eliminate Maggie Walker transportation
Curricular programs: Elementary Support Staff (1.5 GIST, 3 enrichment resource), Elementary fine arts (2.5 art, 2.0 music), JSRCC college connection, dual enrollment, CTE, Project Return and Alternative Ed, eliminate Young Explorers, serve only identified gifted students, reduce secondary electives, reduce levels of secondary core courses
Co-Curricular: Robotics, DI Reading Olympics, ACE, band, drama, dance and chorus competitions, field trips
Extra-Curricular: GMS athletics, GHS golf, swimming, gymnastics, GHS scrimmages, reduce all athletic schedules by two contests (other than football), athletic training
Staffing: one LMS GHS/GMS, one clerical position at GES/SC, math specialist, take classrooms to SOQ, six secondary positions, electives and/or attrition, elementary to SOQ, art, music and PE, assistant principals and athletic director could teach one section each, four furlough days, elementary instructional support (see Curricular)
Reduce number of school days: reduce from 180 to 160 student days, lengthen day, savings in HVAC, energy, cleaners, transportation, instructional assistants and substitutes
Increase revenue: participation fee, extra-curricular activities, offsets operating fund costs in stipends and transportation
Dr. Underwood further stated that these items were not brought to the Board as recommendations. Everything is being brought forward because the Board needs to think about what can be done if there is a gap. Some hard decisions will have to be made. She asked the Board to think, apply budget criteria, consider implications, and provide feedback. The Board of Supervisors will approve the budget at their first meeting in April.
REVIEW OF PROCESS AND TIMELINE FOR COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Dr. Underwood reviewed the timeline and process for the comprehensive plan (See Attachment 1).
REDUCTION IN FORCE (RIF) RESOLUTION
Dr. Underwood presented a Resolution for reduction in force. She explained that this is the first step in the process. The resolution was presented as follows:
WHEREAS local revenues continue to decline; and
WHEREAS the County Administrator’s Proposed FY2012 Budget is $1,425,000 less than the School Board’s Proposed Budget; and
WHEREAS 83.8% of the annual budget of the School Board consists of costs directly related to personnel, salary and benefits; and
WHEREAS it is not possible to make the reductions requested by the County Administrator without impacting personnel; and
WHEREAS Policy GCPA-R of the School Board requires the adoption of a Resolution prior to the initiation of a reduction in force.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Goochland County School Board at its regular monthly meeting on March 8, 2011, on the recommendation of the Superintendent, hereby authorizes a reduction in force for next fiscal year, which is FY 2011-2012.
Mr. Meng made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Cisne, to approve the Resolution as presented. The motion was approved unanimously.
- Mr. Mattox suggested a supplemental appropriation for substitutes fuel, sporting programs currently in place and due to the funds received from basketball, football, etc. we are in a deficit in those programs as well. He proposed that this Board address these issues because we cannot go into the line items and move them. He suggested they come up with a resolution at the next Board meeting to present to the Board of Supervisors.
- Mr. Miller sent an email that by his calculation this is the 4th year we are planning cuts. He said we are reacting to a situation in an unplanned way. We are having to look everywhere we can to make cuts. He suggested we look further than what to do this year. He read the following email:
Dear Fellow Board Members and Dr. Underwood:
If trends and forecasting can help us in projecting budgets, then we have to acknowledge that the trend is downward for public education and will continue. That being the case, I believe that we must look at the delivery of “Public Education” with a mind set of “how to accommodate cuts and at the same time deliver a quality educational program.
I have given much thought to this dilemma and have come to the conclusion that we must look at the possibility of reducing elementary school plants from three to two. I believe that the first phase of the study should be objective and cost driven. Secondly, a community based committee should conduct the study with the primary focus on cost savings and which plant closing will generate most savings. Finally, it should be the task of administration to determine the impact of the educational program and a final report be made to the School Board and the School Community.
I am making this proposal tonight and ask that the Board support it for future presentations to the Board of Supervisors as cost saving measures with the least negative educational impact.
Mr. Mattox stated they would take it into consideration and bring it back at the workshop. If there is a consensus to go forward they will allow the Superintendent to go forward.
- Mr. Haskell stated that 83.8% of the budget goes to personnel salaries and benefits. He asked Dr. Underwood to provide for the last 10 years that percentage in the county budget.
- Mr. Haskell is still looking for recruits to meet with the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Mattox stated it is a valid concern. Mr. Mattox will try to get in touch with the Chair to schedule a meeting of two boards, informal but with an agenda, and ask the Superintendent to draft a letter.
SECOND PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
- John Wright said that much of what was presented tonight was worst-case scenario. He said that in Mr. Haskell’s speech he mentioned he wanted to know what public wants. Mr. Wright wants no RIFs. He said that attrition without back-filling is equal to RIF and he doesn’t want to see that. He said Mr. Haskell asked for suggestions from the public like the budget that was presented by the public last year. Some other ideas were looking at the technology budget in particular the fact that we are using Apple. He said their products cost more than other products. He said he didn’t see a proposal from any PC-based companies. He suspects it hasn’t been researched. At 50% reduction in cost that is roughly about $300,000 that we are looking for. If we look at the numbers the difference is $1.186 million roughly, we could close the gap by using things such as the VRS reserve, adjustment in the real estate tax, the math specialist position, furlough days, savings from switching to a PC computer-based company. He said he would like to see the two Boards sitting down and go through the budget line by line, but before Mr. Haskell finished making the suggestion of the meeting there were digs made. He said we are a team and need to work together. He would like to see, as letters are prepared to go out to staff, that the trauma be minimized. He feels the letters last year scared a good number of great employees away.
- Penny Palen said Dr. Underwood has mentioned she has no plan B, C, or D. Ms. Palen said she has a plan B and probably a plan C too. She has reviewed budget and knows we are down to $1,186,000 million. She said she is pretty sure county will return $332,000 in VRS reserve. She said this is not really an issue and they have been fighting for this since day 1 and they are basically agreeing to doing this. She said Dr. Underwood stated there are unfunded mandates in our budget currently. In looking through budget she also noticed there are a lot of unmandated positions that are also highly funded. Her proposal, her plan B, is the elimination of Director of Elementary Education, Director of Secondary Education, one guidance counselor, one elementary principal, one library media specialist, one high school assistant principal, full time legal counsel, the human resources position that was added, proposed math specialist, health insurance for all part employees-mainly bus drivers (the cost of this equals approximately the savings of dual bus runs), and the combination of the accounts payable and payroll positions. This was not counting some ideas that facilities committee is looking at now with possibly outsourcing maintenance and custodial. She did not count Mr. Wright’s adjustment in the real estate tax. She has heard so many times that cuts will affect smallest amount of students possible. She said her plan B will affect the smallest number of students as the positions are all unmandated.
- Sekou Shabaka said he served for five years as a school board member of a unified school district, has a 41-year career, with all but six in executive and management positions. He said the list that was given in the email seems more appropriate to a work session internally than to be put before the Board because that seems to be putting the burden on the Board. He said that before any deadlines are given about the budget he thinks Dr. Underwood should sit down with GEPA, PTA, NAACP, GEF, and others and ask the question “what is your ideology and what would you do?” Another point would be an agenda review with Dr. Underwood and the Chair. There should be no surprises. If the Board didn’t see the email before they came here it should’ve never happened. Revising the agenda before the meeting is to not to tell her what to do but to have some questions answered. He does feel that in doing a budget, it may be best to bring in outside eyes of someone without a vested interest and take out some of the emotion and do things more practically and more to the point and keeping in mind the interest of the students. It seems there are only a couple of options: level funding or reduced funding. He believes it is legal that a year-round liaison from the School Board to the Board of Supervisors therefore when you get to the budget it’s a matter of continuous discussions about what is best for the children. There is an established relationship. He thinks this is a matter of process and it has to include everyone, and when things are done that you don’t like at least they are on the table and can be handled in a positive manner.
- Laurel Heiser is worried about future of children in Goochland County. She does understand that when community works together we can come up with solutions. She said that dollar amounts in the list might have helped her understand. She is a volunteer DI coach and has asked for no money from the school and her parents donated the supplies this year. She thinks we can get creative if we know what the needs are. She’s heard rumors about school closing, trailers, computer lab. She’s heard there’s grant money and corporate. She asked that this information be posted so everyone can be aware. She said we need to look at this as a community not as individuals. She asked that we try to come up with a solution other than cutting programs.
- Michael McDermott said he heard there was a personnel action that wasn’t in the public agenda and wanted confirmation. Dr. Underwood confirmed that the addendum in the public copy of the agenda is the one on the agenda. He said there was no motion to accept the consent items. The Clerk confirmed that there was a motion made by Mr. Cisne and seconded by Mr. Meng. Mr. McDermott said that as a matter more credibility and ethics, there was a resolution for reduction in force in the agenda that says approve as presented or provide direction as appropriate and he did not hear anyone move the resolution. The Clerk confirmed that there was a motion made by Mr. Meng and seconded by Mr. Cisne. Mr. McDermott asked why the resolution presented showed a $1,425,000 when the presentation showed less. He asked why the resolution couldn’t be changed to reflect the actual gap. He said it is a statement of fact and the record will show in the presentation that it was $1.1 million and not $1.4. The issue here is that we may not want to play by the rules, but in life you have to. The Board of Supervisors has consistently asked for the budgets ahead of time, the contingencies, the line-item budget, and yet it’s gone on record that these requests have not been met. He said the Board has heard from the public where savings can be made. They have heard from the public and from the Board of Supervisors to cut some administrators. He said that not one proposals presented call for any administrative cuts.
- Mr. Haskell asked that the Superintendent clarify the issue of whether or not the Board of Supervisors has a line-item budget. Dr. Underwood confirmed that the Board of Supervisors had received the line-item budget.
- Kendall Hoffler wanted to point out that she doesn’t want anyone to lose a job, but when a list of where we might have to go is presented and the School Board tells parents that this is painful and they’re looking everywhere, she will have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Haskell that there were no cuts to Central Office staff. Ms. Hoffler said that when the School Board asks the public to work with them to go to the Board of Supervisors, the parents want to do that, but when those cuts are submitted and it’s suggested that the Board look at two elementary schools rather than three, no one asked what the number of students versus administrative personnel was in 2005 or 2010. She said that if teachers are going to be put on the table then administrators have to be there too. She said she felt the Board could ask parents to cover DI. She doesn’t consider furlough days for administrative personnel. She said that’s not hurting them like it’s hurting a teacher to lose their job.
- Phil Davis said the process sounds bizarre - to sign up to voice his opinion. He said that represents a barrier to getting feedback from parents and citizens of the community. He grew up not far from here and has kids in the school. When it came time to begin the discussion of where his children would go to school the concept of public school wasn’t on his mind and public school wasn’t on his mind, but his wife wore him down and convinced him to visit RES. Stacey Austin won them over day one and his son has an outstanding first year experience. His daughter couldn’t wait to get there. He was disappointed that Stacey Austin was reassigned out of public discussion. He said it’s actions like those that kill the credibility of this Board. He realizes that as a function of the organization they have to do these types of things, but at the same time as they are elected and paid by tax dollars they have a responsibility to provide information and not hide information in the manner that is continually done here. The behavior is consistent. Everything that is recorded but they can’t get recordings. He said the Board has done a lot of concealment. He understands when budgets are cut and it’s not fun, but the teachers are the backbone and are the front line and are the last thing they should be cutting. He said Mrs. Gordon is doing a great job. He said the School Board goes out of its way to hide and conceal, wastes money using Apple computers and don’t provide a .pdf that can be searched, don’t provide an Excel document, but paper scan. He said it is a deliberate attempt to hide information. He thinks it’s deliberate. He challenged School Board to release recordings. He asked the Board to take opportunity to share information to get more people involved.
Mr. Cisne made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Meng, to go into closed meeting pursuant to Virginia Code Section section 2.2-3711(A)(3) for the discussion or consideration of a student disciplinary matter because discussion in open meeting would disclose information from a student scholastic record and pursuant to Virginia Code section 2.2-3711(A)(1) for the discussion or consideration of the resignation of a specific employee. The motion was approved unanimously.
END CLOSED MEETING
Mr. Haskell made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Meng, for the Board to come out of Closed Meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.
CERTIFICATION OF CLOSED MEETING
Mr. Meng made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Cisne, to certify that only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and only such public business matters as were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was convened were heard, discussed or considered in the meeting by the Board. The motion was approved unanimously.
Mr. Meng made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Haskell, to long-term suspend student no. 10-10 through the end of the first semester of the 2011-2012 school year and to permit student no. 10-10 to receive educational services through home-based services and to authorize the Superintendent to permit student no. 10-10 to return to school prior to the end of the first semester next year. The motion was approved unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned by the Chairman.