Monday, November 27, 2006

Legislative Breakfast Notes 11/27/06

Since official Board of Education Meeting Minutes are generally not available to the public for at least one month folowing a meeting, I will be posting my notes here for the public to review. These are my personal notes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or official minutes for the BOE meetings. Although I have diligently tried to make these notes as accurate as possible, I am only human and do make mistakes. Please follow-up for official minutes upon approval.

For a copy of the Board of Education Legislative Issues Packet, please go to: https://www.boardocs.com/mabe/ccpsmd/Board.nsf/Public?OpenFrameSet
Go to the meeting of 10/10/06; look under New business (Stand on your head and count to 10) :)

Attendance:
Board of Education – Bailey, Abell, Cook, Pederson, Wise, Coggins Marshall, Carrington, Wade (late)
BOE Staff – Wineland, Estep, Richmond, O’Malley-Simpson, Stubblefield, Hettel, Schwartz, Cunningham, Balides (late)
Commissioners - Cooper, Patterson, Collins, Graves
C.C. Government Staff – Fink, Eicholtz, Voehl
Delegates – Jameson, Levy
Pages – Frazee, Coombs, Coggins III
Media – Rabe (MDIND)

Jameson – foresee structural deficit. Will try not to cut funding for education and school construction and renovation.

Levy – state general fund helps fund education like Thorton. Doesn’t think education or Thorton is going to be cut in 07. Maybe not in 08. Probably in 09. Risky. 1+ billion shortage. Suggests we (BOE) should look at funding sources. Mindful spending. Push forward with construction. Suggests having finance people from BOE call him and review finances.

Wineland – compounding of state overlapping payments & stretching them out causes funding problems. Build seats or renovate; can’t do both.

Levy – Housing market has dropped nationally 7%. County 21%.

Cooper – Commissioners proposed increasing the excise tax for the state formula. 3% increase. DRRA – builders having trouble paying because market has slowed down. Caution overfunding.

Abell – Is it feasible to obtain any kind of funding on on resales? Don’t have current figures here but a lot of the students entering the system are from resales not new construction.

Cunningham – 06-07 school year had a student turnover of 3,300. 217 student net gain.

Cooper – Not looking at resales now but possible in the future for school renovation cost. Not enough profit for new schools.

Patterson – Teacher housing – offer incentives to home owners to rent to teachers. Keys for Employees program. Commissioners have adopted program. BOE unaware. Hettel to prepare presentation for Board.

Cooper – Is there any one issue more important than the others?
Bailey – Teacher retirement legislation that allows them to stay in county and teach with out losing retirement benefits.

Wise – Wants Hope Scholarship reinstated.

Abell – Hope Scholarship – Didn’t Erlich replace it with an equally advantageous program?

Levy – No

Jameson – No

Hettel – No

Levy – financing a program similar to the Hope Scholarship is similar to the budgeting and financing of a pension fund.

4 comments:

3291asiber said...

“Levy – …Suggests having finance people from BOE call him and review finances.”

We have three delegates, all of whom are supposed to be familiar with financial and legislative issues affecting CCPS. Levy wants this “review” between finance and himself to what end?

Will the other delegates be privy to that “review”? Will the elected Board of Education? Will the public? When? How?

3291asiber said...

Bailey – the one issue more important than the others – is “Teacher retirement legislation that allows them to stay in county and teach with out losing retirement benefits.”

That’s the biggie? REALLY?

Jennifer Abell said...

3291asiber - In Levy's defense, maybe review was the wrong word for me to use. Maybe "explain". Throughout the entire meeting I got the distinct impression that we (BOE) will be looking at drastic funding cuts for education in general. As many "warnings" and "cautions" that were verbalized to us, it just, ummmm... it's that little red flag that goes up. You know your sixth sense. Anyway, Levy was offering a chance to sit down and explain and go over financing matters. Maybe lend his budgetary gold finger:)
As for Bailey - Yep! He's the Chairperson and he spoke on behalf of the Board when the question was asked. I personally wouldn't be able to narrow it down to one. We are a good system but there is so much room for improvement. Teacher attraction, teacher retention, teacher retirement, overcorwding, class sizes, safety and security, discipline issues, funding, NCLB, AYP, MSA, HSA, ACT, SAT, AP, and any other acronym you can think of.

3291asiber said...

I, too, got the impression that financial issues were a big concern.

As for Mr. Levy – I would still like to hear that the other two delegates will be involved in this “explaining.” Ms. Jameson may be well-versed in the numbers crunching (I don’t know), but Mr. Murphy is a new delegate and should be included.

You made my point about Mr. Bailey. There are so many important issues! Really, really important issues! Frankly, when I read his priority choice, my immediate response was that he thought perhaps this was the “plum” that would put him in the good graces of the EACC. Haven’t got a clue, though --