Monday, June 10, 2002

Regular Session Minutes

Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Budget Committee met in regular session on June 10, 2002, at 5:00 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers.  Present were:

Jill Turner ) Interim Chair
Jim Watkins ) Budget Committee Member

Amy Amrhein )
Chuck Keil )
Terry Littleton ) Board Members  
John Maurer )
Kent Provost ) 
Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent
Loren Luman, Business Manager
Bill Street, Certified Representative
Judy Kimball, Classified Representative
Mariah Mayfield, Student Representative
District Administrators
Community Members
Media Representatives
Anita Charters, Recording Secretary

I. Call to Order

 The meeting was called to order at 5:14 p.m. by Jill Turner, Interim Chair. 

II. Roll Check

 A roll of the board was taken and all members were present with the exception of Corinne Lombardi and John Schleining, who were absent, and Carol Davis, who was excused.

III. Revise Agenda

 Bill Street requested that public comment for middle school teachers be moved to the beginning of the agenda.

IV. Approve Minutes of May 22 Meeting

 Upon motion by Chuck Keil, seconded by Terry Littleton, the minutes of the May 22, 2002 meeting were unanimously approved as presented.

V. Public Comment

Audience members supported the position of the classified union that reductions in force should be based on seniority and that a reduction of hours impacts their ability to perform their jobs.  They also asked the administration to provide more information in the budget document to explain each item.

VI. Report on Legislative Session

The third special session of the Oreegon Legislature is scheduled to begin Wednesday, June 12, 2002.  Representative Alan Bates will update the board at tonightís regular meeting.  Juli Di Chiro reviewed some of the proposals to be considered.

The committee discussed short-term revenue bonds and specific additional budget reductions.

Juli Di Chiro reported that other state superintendents would consider reducing workdays.  There is a waiver process in place to teach less than the state-mandated number of teaching hours in an emergency situation.  The district is currently at the state limit of 130 hours per class at the high school.

The committee discussed other budget considerations:  1) the fairness of reducing work days when high school teachers cannot be reduced any further; 2) the realization that the Ashland Schools Foundation is a one-year revenue source; 3) whether the School Improvement Fund will have any carryover funds; and 4) the effects of an elementary school closure.

VII. Update on Employee Negotiations

Terry Littleton remarked on the cooperation and positive discussion at recent bargaining meetings.  Work continues on the approach to take in further reductions in work hours.  A salary freeze in lieu of reduction in hours was vetoed by the OSEA membership.

Other issues identified by Judy Kimball and Bill Street were 1) a reduction in certified staff would mean a reduction in classified hours; 2) seniority has become a morale issue; 3) custodial reduction is a safety issue and affects extended day programs; and 4) six hours is not a good definition of a school day. 

Chuck Keil suggested that the budget resolution contain a statement that the district and the OSEA are working together to seek a compromise on the issue of reductions in workdays and work hours.

The committee suggested 1) that school closure would be a strategy for 2003-04 to provide more time to analyze the issues; 2) the district should strive to be sustainable over time by making and maintaining good faith agreements in contracts and schedules; 3) lack of carryover funds is critical; 4) rate increases for health insurance is significant; and 5) the district must find a new liability insurance carrier.

VIII. Special Recommendations

There were none.

IX. Additional Public Comment

Audience member asked the committee to carefully review the budget for luxuries that could e eliminated in order to retain staff, to increase the contingency fund and to write to legislators.

The committee discussed the differences between the internal service fund and the contingency fund, and which fund will pay the districtís 2002-03 unemployment claism.

[John Schleining arrived at 7:00 p.m.]

It was suggested that the district develop a new budget format that would include footnotes or a narrative.

Chuck Keil moved for approval of the 2002-03 Budget Document with two revisions:  decrease the contingency account in the general fund by $200,000 and increase the internal service fund in special programs by $200,000 to pay estimated 2002-03 unemployment claims, thereby maintaining an internal service fund balance of $650,000.  The motion was seconded by Jim Watkins and unanimously approved.

Kent Provost moved that the districtís administrators negotiate in good faith to accomplish a $120,000 reduction in classified wages.  The motion was seconded by Amy Amrhein and unanimously approved.

X. Announcements

A budget hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2002, at 7:00 p.m. in the district boardroom.

Chair Turner announced that the budget committee had completed its duties and was discharged.

XI. Adjournment

 The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary

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