SPECIAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETING MINUTES
The regular school board meeting of the Board of Directors of Lane County School District #40, Creswell, Oregon, was held Wednesday February 5, 2003 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Creswell High School Library, 33390 Nieblock Lane, Creswell, Oregon, 97426, with Chair Connie Dersham presiding.
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT IN ADDITION TO CHAIR DERSHAM
BOARD MEMBERS NOT PRESENT:
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Stuber, Superintendent
Judy Hillman, Business Manager
Joel Higdon, District Technology Director
Ellen Adler, Special Education/Curriculum Director
Jacque Robertson, Creslane Elementary Principal
Shirley Burrus, CMS Principal
Bob George, CHS Principal
Marilyn Cruzan, Administrative Secretary
Wendy Locke, The Chronicle
Chair Dersham noted there was a quorum. She also stated that this is a special board meeting
and not a public hearing. She advised that if anyone wanted to address the board, she
has requested that a representative be chosen to speak from each school.
05. Discussion/Action Measure 28 Ramifications
Mrs. Hillman explained the revenue shortfalls using the overhead projector. State formula revenue has decreased $369,000 as a result of the defeat of Measure 28, the December shortfall and a loss for teacher experience. An additional $103,000 March shortfall and the May payment that will be deferred to July brings the total shortfall for the year to $772,513. If the district uses its entire $300,000 contingency and unappropriated balance, the district will have an expected shortfall of $472,513 and the board needs to decide how to cover that. Dr. Curry asked to clarify that the $472,000 assumes that the district will not receive the May deferred payment. Mrs. Hillman said it assumes we will not receive it as revenue for this current year. Dr. Curry asked to also clarify that a poll was taken of surrounding districts and it was found that about one-half were deferring the May payment and one-half were not and there was a whole range of different contingencies available to those districts. Mrs. Hillman explained that the 2002-2003 budged beginning cash balance is $580,000. That amount is part of our total district revenue. If we carry forward a zero ending balance, we will have to cut that amount from our 2003-
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2004 budget. The district could accrue the $432,000 payment and use it for a beginning balance on paper. If we do that we are only down $148,000 for 2003-2004 instead of $580,000. That funding is not a legal obligation for the state, so it is not certain if or how much we will receive. It would be very risky to accrue the payment, and use it for actual 2002-2003 expenditures.
Chair Dersham acknowledge that the Finance Committee has worked the last several months on this issue.
She asked Finance Committee chair Kim Meyers to present the committee’s recommendations. Ms. Meyers explained that the three scenarios presented to the board are the work of months of Finance Committee meetings. The Finance Committee was asked by the board to come up with possible scenarios of how to deal with the funding shortfall. Total cuts, including Measure 28, the December shortfall, a projected March shortfall and the May deferral totaled $772,513. Unappropriated/contingency brings the net shortfall to $472,513. Scenario 1 divides the cuts between the areas by percentage with an additional $45,000 at the elementary. Scenario 2 details non-personnel cuts, gives some relief to the elementary and additional cuts to be made or days cut. Scenario 3 detailed non-personnel cuts and an amount saved by a 15% pay cut across the board for all district employees, if the bargaining units choose to do that. Ms. Meyers explained that this would amount to about a $25,000 per day savings to the district.
Dr. Robertson stated that the decision the board makes tonight will be based on what they have control over. He asked the chair for direction on an idea he is considering that would involve a decision by the bargaining units. Mrs. Dersham stated that the board could direct Dr. Stuber to contact the bargaining units to see if they would be willing to discuss it. Mrs. Dersham reminded the board that they do not have the option of time.
Dr. Curry asked if the board has the ability to change and augment the Finance Committee recommendations and if the board had more time to gather information before they make a decision. Mr. Ehrich answered that each day they delay costs the district more money. Dr. Curry asked if there is time to consider alternatives before layoffs take effect. Dr. Stuber advised that there is time to consider other options after the board decision is made tonight.
Mrs. Freske advised that the Finance Committee has been meeting on a weekly basis since September and that the administrators and site councils did take part in this. She stated that the board needs to make a decision tonight.
Mr. Dave Nickelson , president of the Creswell Education Association, spoke to the board and advised that the teachers want to do whatever is less disruptive to the students. He also asked for a dollar amount to work with. High school teachers John Moran and Bill Martin, high school students Natalie Cardoza, Colin Lyons and Christie VanMatre spoke to the board regarding the budget cut ramifications.
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Ms. Robertson, Creslane Principal, reported that last Wednesday an envelope was left on the counter labeled “2 Help Save Teachers”. A note inside the envelope said “To Creslane 4 budget cuts. To Creslane, you’ve done so much for us and gave us great teachers. Now we want keep our schools. “ From 4 giving girls. There were 4 quarters and some change in the envelope. Ms. Robertson presented the envelope to Mrs. Hillman.
Dr. Curry stated that the district should give teachers some numbers to work with and say to the teachers and administrators that this is what we need and this is what we would like to see you do so we won’t have to make all these cuts. They should be given clear numbers and told what those numbers will buy. If Dr. Stuber contacts the administrators tomorrow and Mr. Nickelson meets with the teachers tomorrow afternoon then we should know by tomorrow night what the administrators and teachers and staff are willing to do. Dr. Curry said that before a decision is made she would like to see those meetings take place.
Mrs. Dersham restated that the board needs to make a decision tonight. Dr. Curry said we know what numbers we are working with tonight. Why can’t those numbers be given to the teachers to work with? Mr. Ehrich advised that would be dealing with a negotiated contract and he didn’t think it appropriate to discuss in a public meeting and also it is potentially illegal.
Mrs. Thompson asked Dr. Curry to clarify what she was saying about the administration and the dollar amount she is asking for.
Dr. Curry said the dollars are there but the distribution of those dollars is not.
Dr. Robertson stated that he didn’t see that Dr. Curry’s proposal changes anything. The unions understand that a decision needs to be made by the board to get the process started. The decision is not the final answer unless nothing comes back to the board.
Dr. Curry asked Dr. Stuber to speak to the district office staff issue. She said it appears there is no equity and she asked if the board could request equity across the board. Mr. Ehrich stated that he is certain there will be an equitable solution.
Mrs. Freske said that the Finance Committee recognized the option for the unions to come back with an alternative plan.
Mr. Honer would like to take a bold stance rather than a safe stance with the budget as a whole.
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Dr. Curry moved to adopt scenario two with the following changes: 1) to request that the district office and administrators commit to matching the union agreements percentage wise across the board whether it is days or dollars, 2) that the board adopt scenario two moving $200,000 of the $432,000 July payment into revenue for this year. Mr. Honer seconded. Mr. Honer asked about the lottery funds and whether or not they could be put into some of the columns the district has already spent. Mrs. Hillman answered that the lottery funds could not be used for salaries but that expenditures such as furniture, textbooks, staff development and other items listed on the lottery bond handout could be moved to the lottery bond fund. That would free up general fund dollars that could be used for salaries. Dr. Robertson suggested that the district look at those funds while the bargaining units are looking at their proposal. He stated that he is hesitant about scenario two because it puts an added burden on the high school and the middle school.
THE MOTION FAILED AS FOLLOWS:
DR. CURRY: YES
MRS. DERSHAM – NO
MR. EHRICH – NO
MRS. FRESKE – NO
MR. HONER – NO
DR. ROBERTSON- YES
MRS. THOMPSON - NO
Mr. Ehrich moved to adopt the Finance Committee’s recommended scenario two as proposed. Mrs. Thompson seconded. Dr. Curry asked for each building to state what the last configuration means to them in terms of cuts. Mrs. Dersham stated that the board has the information before them. Mrs. Dersham asked if the board wished to hear the administrators. Board consensus was that hearing from the administrators was not necessary.
Mr. Ehrich amended his motion to include the direction to Dr. Stuber to contact the bargaining units and seek to re-open negotiations. Mrs. Thompson stated that she wanted everyone to be aware that scenario two uses the entire $300,00 in contingency and will leave a zero balance. Mrs. Thompson seconded the amendment. Dr. Curry said she thought it was important to show good faith by writing their intent versus verbiage that says the intent is for cuts will be made across the board. Dr. Curry moved to amend the amendment to include that contract negotiations be reopened with the request that the cuts will be made across the board. Dr. Robertson seconded. Mr. Ehrich stated that you can’t amend an amendment.
The amendment failed unanimously.
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Mr. Ehrich moved to amend his motion to direct Dr. Stuber to contact the bargaining units and ask them to reopen negotiations and also to seek an across the board cut to include administrative and non-represented district employees. Dr. Robertson seconded. THE AMENDMENT CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mr. Honer stated that since there are so many open items that the board has not discussed, could the motion be postponed until the regular board meeting next week. Dr. Robertson said that a decision is necessary tonight to get the process in motion and by doing it this way there is still an opportunity to look at other options assuming there is a counter proposal. The board needs to take the first step. Mr. Honer said it doesn’t make sense to make a bad decision to wait for a good decision. Dr. Robertson said the problem is the good decision won’t happen until the bad decision is made. Dr. Curry stated that if this motion is passed all cuts would happen at the buildings. Dr. Ehrich said this motion is establishing the dollar amounts. Dr. Stuber said that the amounts are approximately $111,000 for the elementary, $61,000 for CMS, $87,000 at CHS, and $70,000 for the district office.
THE MOTION TO APPROVE SCENARIO TWO AS AMENDED CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mr. Nickelson and Mrs. Scaife will get in touch with Dr. Stuber tomorrow.
06. Discussion, Superintendent’s Evaluation.
The superintendent’s evaluation was deferred to next month.
The meeting adjourned at 9:30 P.M.
* Denotes written material attached.
Dr. Rick Stuber, Superintendent
Connie D. Dersham, Chair
EXECUTIVE SESSION MINUTES
February 5, 2003 Special Board Meeting
The executive session (As Per ORS 192.660 (1) (i) Superintendent Evaluation) of the special
board meeting of the District School Board of School District No. 40,
Lane County, Creswell, Oregon was held Wednesday, February 3, 2003
beginning at p.m. at the Creswell School High School Library, 33390 Nieblock Lane, Creswell, Oregon 97426 with Chair Connie Dersham presiding.
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT IN ADDITION TO CHAIR DERSHAM:
BOARD MEMBERS NOT PRESENT
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Stuber, Superintendent
Wendy Locke, The Chronicle
The board discussed the superintendent’s evaluation.
EXECUTIVE SESSION ADJOURNED AT P.M.
Dr. Rick Stuber, Superintendent
Connie D. Dersham, Chair