Thursday, May 01, 2008

Notes from Board Meeting, 4/28/08

The Board Meeting from Monday, April 28th will be broadcast on Channel 96 on Wednesdays at 6 p.m.; Fridays at 9 a.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. . To view the full agenda and the various reports, please visit BoardDocs.

The below notes are my personal notes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or official minutes for the Board of Education meetings and are provided as a request from my supporters and the general public in a personal effort to be more transparent. Although I have diligently tried to make these notes as unbiased and accurate as possible, I am only human and do make mistakes.

6:00 - Public Forum
  • Male - President of AFSME - commissioner funded budget; commisisoners don't need to hoard money; support building new schools; Charles has more trailers than any other county; heard Richmond was upset about commissioners not funding new schools; gas prices and minimum wage employees
  • Female - MSTA and EACC rep; Releaseed Pellicore report to chairman of the board; commissioners bduget hiding money; 52.4% of what? designating previously undesignated funds; wants BOE to ask for what they need and not ask commissioners what they are willing to give; advocates for system on budget

Superintendent's Budget - Jim Richmond and Paul Balides

  • Requests $300.5M = $18.4M increase; County funding figures has changed 4 times over the last year so he cannot guarantee a balanced budget
  • No major new programs
  • current programs maintained
  • new funds requested for compensation
  • Finish Neal & 12th grade at North Point will be handled with transfers
  • Fully funding technology and materials of instruction
  • No increase in staffing for enrollment increases
  • Combining summer activities into some buildings and work schedule for summer 7:30 - 3:30 to conserve energy
  • Balides-Supplemental request budget will move forward with budget requests but may notbe funded. Budget is NOT balanced because we still don't have a number for county funding
  • Wise - Mandatory transportation cost - 22 replacement buses?
  • Balides - Not buying buses - contractors buy and recovery formula used for maintenance, fuel, benefots, etc. Part of contract
  • Wise - state formula or ours?
  • Balides - negotiated by system. consistent around region and other systems
  • Wise - Mandatory replacement?
  • Wineland - Yes, every 13 years
  • Pedersen - Synopsis from Parent Advisory Council on budget
  • Balides - Concerns include overcrowding; teachers and funding thereof; programs; intervention and summer programs; raising lunch prices again
  • Cook - Gifted identification and Summer academy?
  • Estep - streamlined costs by combining locations and reduced costs of meals. Increased pupil/teacher ratio by 3-4 students. No programs cut or limited.
  • Bailey - 3% administrative - compare to other systems in the region
  • Balides - Charles is 8th in the state
  • Bailey - supplemental budget in priority order? where is lacrosse?
  • Yes prioirty order; lacrosse included under school administration (next to last item)
  • Pedersen - Operating cost per pupil, ranking in state?
  • Balides - 2005 we're 22nd
  • Carrington - how much difference in the actual numbers?
  • Balides - 05 Montgomery was 1st at $12,500; PG was 10th at $9,400; Charles was 22nd at $8,700
  • Pedersen - projected students for next year?
  • Cunningham - Neal just under 500 but can house 640
  • Pedersen - questions the 500; thinks we'll open above capacity
  • Cunningham - If that happens the room is there
  • Pedersen - But the teachers are not
  • Cunningham - We will move them from under enrolled schools

Board Benchmarks

  • Bailey requested Board Retreat item be discussed first; consensus was yes.
  • Abell - How does the Chairman want these addressed?
  • Carrington - thought we were doing one by one
  • Wade - not going into detail, statistics, or results tonight, only deciding if we want to keep the benchmark. No rewording tonight either.
  • #1 SAT - Unanimous to keep; PASSED
  • #2 AP - Unanimous to keep; PASSED
  • #3 Scholars - Carrington = No; Remaining members yes; PASSED
  • #4 Highly Qualified Teachers - Unanimous to keep; PASSED
  • #5 Dangerous Schools - Unanimous to keep; PASSED
  • #6 Core Capacity - REMOVE; Abell = No; Remaining members yes; PASSED
  • #7 Survey parents - Unanimous to keep; PASSED
  • #8 HSA's - Unanimous to keep; PASSED
  • #9 NCLB - Unanimous to keep; PASSED
  • #10 Distance Learning; Unanimous to keep; PASSED
  • Abell - recommended a committee be formed; to include staff on updating and rewording the benchmarks
  • Abell - requested to serve on this committee since she is the only board member not currently serving on a committee

Board Priorities Retreat Summary prepared by Kitty Blumsack of MABE

  • Pedersen - requests Superintendents response to priorities and budget
  • Richmond - Maintain programs; if population (students) increases drastically, more than projected, budget will suffer. Highest priority is staff compensation and cost of living. Cancerned about effects over the next 2-3 years. Will fund safety issues and the "need to have's"
  • Abell - What is going to happen with this list?
  • Wade - working with Richmond to accomplish list, goals to work towards
  • Abell - adopting as goals?
  • wade - No, just an interst list
  • Pedersen - Shoudl we put in personal preference order?
  • Abell - consensus; mail to Ms. Stubblefield for compilation
  • Carrington - aren't they already in order by Ms. Blumsack
  • Abell - No
  • Pedersen - Re-number keeping in mind to be optimistic with the current financial situation
  • Cook - Then what? are we actually going to act on these?
  • Abell - Sned your list in to Ms. Stubblefield during the next week for action at the next meeting

Action Items

Wise motioned; 2nd by Pedersen to accept the Superintendents Recommendation
to award to the low bid, John Mattingly



  • Wade - BOE member requests board approves relocateables
  • Bailey - Approved addition at Barnhart; request commissioner approval, but odd that we didn't vote on $2M trailers at North Point
  • Wineland - history of relocateables never brought before the board. Committee reviews and considered daily operations

Bailey motioned; 2nd by Abell for the board to approve
all budget items pertaining to the CIP


Anonymous said...

What a joke! Get the administration and teachers over at the CC Government offices, demanding these "in your face" commissioners return those SUV's and their ability to spend the county taxpayer money on gasoline. They don't need these vehicles!

I am a teacher and have a lousy $300 budget for the year for incidentals that are extremely needed for day to day classroom activities.
And we have to keep on hiring these wet behind the ear new teachers as "expert instructionalists" that should be spending 15 years in the classroom to prove that they actually like working with students.

What crap is this? Why don't we cut back on the number of employees that do not have the responsibility of teaching a classroom of students on a day to day basis? We don't need these "specialists" input, when they have no idea what goes on in the classroom on a day to day basis.

Let's move the thermostat to 80 degrees in the central office, cut administrative salaries by 15 to 20%, and get rid of 60 to 70 % of these unneeded specialists positions and top-heavy administration, both at the board level and county government level.

With stagnant scores, they obviously are not earning their money.
Large corporations cut ineffective employees, not keep promoting them.
People in the trenches are the ones having the greatest effect on students, not people sitting over on Radio Station Road, and eating up gas and taxpayer money on take-home vehicles.

Get with it. Quit the rubber-stamping of these contracts being renewed. Let's pretend that taxpayers will hold each and all accountable with flagrant spending on people and programs that are obviously a huge waste of money.

Don in Hughesville said...

What a novel Ideal! Actually running the system like a business where there is accountability. More of us in the community need to rise up and DEMAND better.
The reason the system does what it does is because we allow them to do it.

Anonymous's comments are right on. I'd like to see some leadership from our school board that speaks to the issues you have raised.