Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Special Session Minutes

Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in  special session on August 21, 2002, at 5:00 p.m. in the District Administration Office.  Present were:

John Maurer  ) Chair
Amy Amrhein  )
Chuck Keil  ) Board Members
Terry Littleton  )
Kent Provost  )

Juli Di Chiro
Loren Luman
Media Representative
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary

I. Call to Order

 The meeting was called to order at 5:04 p.m. by Chair Maurer. 

II. Roll Check

 A roll of the board was taken and all members were with the exception of Director Provost who arrived at 5:36 p.m.

III. Discuss Impact of Special Session of Legislature held August 16

 Juli Di Chiro reviewed the fiscal impact of the legislative action taken in special session.  She explained Senate Bill 1022 which had the veto overturned.  This bill transfers the final May payment from the current fiscal year into July of the next fiscal year.  The financial impact of this bill to the Ashland School District is $1.5 to $1.6 million.  The May payment would be delayed until July 15.

 Juli Di Chiro discussed a three-year plan for building a $1.5 million reserve.  The Board could consider paying the teachers’ summer checks in July each year.  In addition, the Board could reduce overall expenditures by $500,000 for the next three years until a sufficient reserve is built to return the teachers’ pay schedule to the current system.

 Juli Di Chiro discussed House Bill 4056 which had the veto sustained.  This bill would have allowed the legislature bonding authority to borrow money against future cigarette tax revenue.  $50 million in scheduled payments to the Common School Fund is now no longer available to schools.  The fiscal impact to the Ashland School District is an immediate shortfall of $280,000.  Plan A for dealing with the shortfall would be to cover the salary of two existing elementary teachers with School Improvement Fund carry-over in the amount of $120,000 and cover the salary of three existing elementary teachers with Title II A funds in the amount of $180,000.  Plan B for dealing with the shortfall would be to consider reducing the work year by four days:  two student days and two inservice days.

 Juli Di Chiro recommended that the Board proceed with the plan for delaying the payment of teacher summer checks to July.  The Board agreed to proceed with the recommended plan.

 Juli Di Chiro discussed the impact of the failure of Measure 19, and recommended that the Board wait until the results of that election are known before making further reductions.

 General discussion was held in which the following issues or suggestions were raised.
· Delay the start of school
· Reduce school days at Thanksgiving or some other time of year
· School days can only be reduced for one year
· Indebtedness to PERS is now $11 million.  How do we pay that back?

 The Board reached the following consensus statement.    The Board will implement both plan A and B  resulting in an immediate savings in the general fund of $300,000.  In addition, as soon as  possible, the administration will start working with employee groups to find alternative ways of reducing the budget including reduction of days.  School will open school according to the current school calendar. 

IV. Consider Use of Ashland School Foundation Fundraising

 Juli reviewed a revised plan for Ashland School District’s use of Ashland Schools Foundation Funds.  The plan included:

· Ashland High School:  Immediately restore the equivalent of 1.0 FTE to support meeting goal of 160 students per teacher; restore college counseling if Measure 19 passes in September.
· Ashland Middle School:  Restore support to the counseling program if Measure 19 passes;  add additional sections of electives to the Encore program to reduce class size after the first 9-week period if measure 19 passes.
· Elementary Schools:  Add a minimum of an additional .5 teacher at each elementary school after September election if Measure 19 passes.
· If Measure 19 fails, the impact for the district is $857,000.  The School Board would request collaborative dialogue with the Foundation Board to discuss next steps.

Following discussion, Director Provost moved that the Board adopt the plan as presented.  Director Amrhein seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

IV. Consider Timeline for Renewal of Activity Levy

 The Board discussed whether or not to recommend an Activity Levy election in November of March.  Following further discussion, it was agreed that the election should not be held in November.  Therefore, the Board will discuss this further at a future meeting.

V. Resolution in Support of Ballot Measure 19

 Director Amrhein presented the following resolution to the Board for consideration.

Resolution #2002-09

WHEREAS, the Third 2002 Special Session of the Oregon Legislature referred Measure 19 to voters at the September 17, 2002, Special Election; and

WHEREAS, Measure 19 converts the Education Endowment Fund into an Education Stability Fund -- a “rainy day” fund to protect public schools in the event of future economic downturns and resulting revenue losses; and

WHEREAS, Measure 19 authorizes a $150 million withdrawal from the Education Stability Fund to backfill 2002-03 K-12 budget cuts and still leaves a $138 million balance in the fund;

WHEREAS, Measure 19 provides for 18 percent of future lottery proceeds to be deposited into the fund; and

WHEREAS, Measure 19 creates a school capital matching fund to assist school districts with their future capital construction and improvement needs.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Ashland School District Board of Directors supports Measure 19 as critical to both the short and long-term needs of its schools and students; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ashland School District Board of Directors urges its staff, parents and community to vote in support of Measure 19.

Director Amrhein moved that the Board adopt Resolution #2002-09 as presented.  Director Keil seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

VI. Schedule Work Session to Interview School Board Candidates

 The Board scheduled a work session to be held September 24, 2002, at 7:30 p.m. in the District Board Room to interview school board candidates.

 At the regular meeting in September, the Board will schedule a special session to deal with the election results.

VII. Adjournment

 There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:06 p.m.

Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary

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