Saturday Post – 6/19 BOE Meeting Agenda Review

Budget3D

JeffCo 2014/15 Budget Approval

Thursday night, June 19th,  is the last currently scheduled Board meeting for this school year.  This is the meeting where the final approval of the Budget is to be made, as well as several other items that need approval before the end of the June.  This is a Special Meeting, not a Regular Meeting, so this Board should be following their own guidelines, specifically that of GP-17 and it’s implementation in District policy BEDH and schedule public comment for any item on the agenda.  Instead, they have continued to restrict public comment and allotted only 45 minutes for one item – the budget (sign up to speak here and download budget presentation here).  Apparently while WNW is willing to ignore the Board and District’s own policies, apparently the thought of violating state law is still a bit more forbidding.

Below is the Agenda as published late Friday, June 13th.  With WNW, items somehow magically appear and disappear all the way up to the actual meeting, so be aware of possible changes.

One thing that does seem to be missing:  any agenda item announcing that McMinimee has accepted and signed WNWs contract….

BOE Meeting 2014-06-19
Date and Time:
 Thursday, June 19, 2014, at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Education Center 5th Floor Board Room,1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg. 27, Golden

Key Agenda Items

Public Agenda Item: 2.01 Final Public Hearing and Adoption, Appropriation of the 2014/2015 Budget (EL-5, EL-6)
Type:
 Action
Recommended Action: to conduct the final public hearing on the 2014/2015 Budget; to adopt the resolutions for adoption and appropriation of the 2014/2015 budget, use of fund balance, interfund borrowing; and, to discharge statutory obligations to adopt salary schedules for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, and ending June 30, 2015.
Goals: EL-6, Financial Administration, EL-5, Financial Planning/Budgeting
Estimated time: 5:35 p.m. (estimated duration:  30 minute presentation, 45 minute public hearing, 30 minute Board discussion)
PERTINENT FACTS:

  1. In accordance with Board executive limitation policyEL-5, Financial Planning/Budgeting, “Financial planning for any fiscal year shall not deviate materially from the Board’s Ends policies, risk fiscal jeopardy or fail to be derived from a multi-year plan.”
  2. On May 29, 2014, the proposed budget for the July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, fiscal year was submitted to the Board of Education for study in compliance with C.R.S. 22-44.108.
  3. The 2014/2015 proposed budget was publicly presented (first Public Hearing) at the regular Board of Education meeting on June 5, 2014.
  4. The district complied with C.R.S. 22-44-109 by providing legal notice of the proposed budget to the citizens of Jefferson County.
  5. Lorie Gillis, chief financial officer, will present an overview of the 2014/2015 Proposed Budget.
  6. At this time, the Board listens to concerns on the 2014/2015 Budget only for up to 45 minutes. Sign up online here to speak to the Board of Education.  Board members or staff will respond during this meeting or at a later time.  We listen with respect and ask those who address the Board to do the same. In order to respect all persons addressing the Board, we request that the audience not applaud individual speakers and that issues, rather than personalities, be addressed. Any resident or staff member of the district who has completed the requested information on the public comment roster may speak. There is a three minute time limit per person.

    If there are a number of speakers commenting on the same topic this evening, we ask that remarks be consolidated and ndw thoughts or concepts shared. It is not the number of people who address the Board that leads to better decision-making, rather the content of your presentation. So, we respectfully ask that you do not repeat the same message of an earlier speaker. If there are four or more people who wish to address the Board on the same side of the same topic, each person must sign up online and then the Board will allow 10 minutes for that group’s view to be heard. All those who sign up must accompany the speaker to the front of the Board room. We respectfully ask that uyou do not repeat the same message, but rather present varying concepts on the same theme.
    If more than 25 people sign up to speak to the Board under public comment, we will limit individual speakers to two minutes and groups to five minutes so that the Board can hear from as many citizens as possible.

  7. Final Board discussion/direction of the 2014/2015 Proposed Budget will follow the public hearing comments.
  8. Public hearings on the proposed budget were held at the regular Board of Education meetings of June 5 and June 19, 2014, to provide an opportunity for citizens to address the Board regarding the proposed budget.
  9. Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 22-44-105, school districts must pass a resolution specifically authorizing the use of a portion of the beginning fund balance in the district’s budget.
  10. Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 22-44-113 requires Board of Education approval for interfund borrowing in advance of borrowing.
  11. Colorado state statutes allow for changes to the budget to be made at any time prior to January 31, 2015.

Please open the attachments below to review additional background information.       Financial Reports for Board Docs.pdf (373 KB)
Budget Adoption and Approp 14-15 Resolution.pdf (89 KB)
Authorizing Use of Fund Bal 14-15 Resolution.pdf (79 KB)
Interfund Borrowing 14-15 Resolution.pdf (8 KB)
Resolution – Compensation.pdf (89 KB)
June 19 2014 Public Hearing Presentation.pdf (1,009 KB)

Our comments: Wow.  The second most important thing (next to hiring McMinimee) the Board will do all year, and one that has a lot of controversy in it, and WNW plans on restricting public comment to just 45 minutes!  Has anyone noticed that the more people want to give the Board their input, the less input the WNW wants to hear?  This seems to fly in the face of Board Policy GP-17, specifically the point where it says community engagement “Increases opportunities, both formal and informal, for meaningful dialogue and interaction between board members and the community”.  WNW seems to prefer to reduce those opportunities by any means available, such as limiting comment to 45 minutes, and if a lot of people want to comment, reducing how much comment they can give!

What are the items that are controversial?  How about refusing to fund free, full-day kindergarten to schools with 35% or more children on subsidized or free lunch?  It would only cost $600,000.  How about moving $3.7 million to charter schools with no explanations of how the money will be spent, no promises of improving student scores, and no accountability back to the District for the additional funds?  Maybe the $280,000 salary for a first time Superintendent is a tad controversial?  

Please go through the financial reports.  What puzzles you?  What do you want to know more about?  This is your school district spending your tax dollars.  You have a right to be heard, and an obligation to exercise that right!

Ends Discussion Item: 3.01 Choice Steering Committee Final Recomendations (GP-13, EL-11)
Type:
Discussion, Information
Goals: EL-11, Communication and Counsel to the Board
Estimated time: 7:20 p.m. (estimated duration: 30 minutes)
PERTINENT FACTS:

  1. At the January 16, 2014, Board of Education meeting, Jeffco’s Enrollment Planning and Services Consultant Shannon Fitzgerald provided an overview of the Choice Steering Committee purpose, membership and summary of work.
  2. By unanimous vote of the Board, the Choice Steering Committee was added to Board governance process policy GP-13, Committee Structure, as a Board committee to include an organizational charter and charge. Additional background information is available on the Choice Steering Committee web page.       
  3. An update on the work of the committee was provided at the March 6, 2014, Board of Education meeting. Initial recommendations were covered at the April 3, 2014, Board of Education meeting.
  4. The purpose of this presentation is to provide the Board, as directed, with final recommendations based on the committee’s work.
  5. Although nothing was brought forth to the Choice Steering Committee for discussion at either of the agreed-upon-meeting times allocated to discuss Minority Reports, a small group of committee members did circulate a Minority Report 11 days after the Choice Steering Committee’s final meeting; that report is attached. Please note that committee members have not had the opportunity to discuss this report or the ideas therein.

Please open the attachments below to review additional background information.
Presentation Final CSC Recommendations to the BOE 06 19 14.pdf (727 KB)
Choice Minority Report 06 07 2014 DRAFT v3 3.pdf (543 KB)

Our comments: The full CSC report has four recommendations:  1) a unified online choice enrollment process with a District-written lottery tool for each school to use. 2) get District processes to support ‘innovation’ more. 3) the District should try to improve transportation to all schools without increasing transportation costs. 4) the District should consistently enforce District Policy JFBA on District Choice Enrollment.  At the end, the report notes that despite there being two opportunities for those who disagreed with the report to voice their objections, none were made.  But then the draft of the attached ‘minority’ (5 of 26) report was sent in.  This report first complains that recommendation #1 could lead to “a centralized lottery system that generates take-it-or-leave-it offers for school assignments” although they do not explain what they mean by ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ and why that would be bad.  They are also unsure #2 really means anything (we tend to agree), and think #3 & #4 may be okay, but this is not what the Board asked for.  The minority report then goes on a long rip on the majority, using ‘data’ and ‘data-driven’ several times.  Finally, this minority say they want the Board to ignore the majority report and order a new ‘standing Choice Committee’ (headed up presumably by this minority) to do a new report.  

Our opinion?  If this ‘minority’ report recommendation is followed up by WNW, the effect could be to put five very partisan people in very non-transparent charge of the District’s Choice Policy.

4. Consent Agenda

4.01 Board Approval of Instructional Resources Recommended for Use in Jefferson County (EL-11)CAES Instructional Resources.pdf (129 KB),  List of Jeffco Textbooks for Review.pdf (55 KB), Responses to Ken Witt Questions.pdf (48 KB), Responses to Ken Witt Questions.pdf (48 KB) (the ‘Ken Witt’ document appears to have been added twice on BoardDocs by accident – jcsbw)

4.02 Resolution: Supplemental Appropriation FY 2013/2014 (EL-5)Supplemental Approp 13-14 Memo.pdf (68 KB), Supplemental Approp 13-14 Detail.pdf (7 KB), Supplemental Approp 13-14 Resolution.pdf (6 KB)

4.03 Resolution: Authorizing Use of FY 2013/2014 Fund Balance (EL-5) Authorizing Use of Fund Bal 13-14 Resolution.pdf (91 KB)

4.04 Resolution: Amending the 2014/2015 Proposed Budget (EL-5)Amending the Proposed Budget 14-15 Resolution.pdf (12 KB)

Our comments: 4.01 should have been approved earlier except Witt had questions about how the textbook approval process was run.  The District’s answer is one of the downloadable attachments.  Two copies of this attachment are on the BoardDocs site, and we presume is a simple error.  4.02 adjusts authorized fund allocations to the existing 2013/14 budget to reflect actual Board and District spending decisions.  4.03 is a Board resolution authorizing use of the Fund Balance to cover Board required expenditures and that the Board does not think doing so will cause a deficit in those Funds.  4.04 is another Board resolution allowing for the necessary budget changes required by the signing of the agreement with the CSEA, JCAA, and JCAP to the tune of $2.5 million.

Discussion Agenda Item: 5.01 Third Quarter Financial Report (EL-5, EL-6)
Type:
Discussion, Information
Goals: EL-6, Financial Administration, EL-5, Financial Planning/Budgeting
Estimated time:  7:50 p.m. (estimated duration: 40 minutes)
PERTINENT FACTS:

  1. Each quarter, the Board of Education monitors the district-wide condition in compliance with and as outlined in Board executive limitation policiesEL-5, Financial Planning and Budgeting andEL-6, Financial Administration.
  2. Staff including Lorie Gillis, chief financial officer, Kathleen Askelson, executive director of Finance, and the independent auditor from CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, will identify funds, departments and/or schools to monitor closely throughout the year.
  3. Members of the Financial Oversight Committee will also be present to address the Board of Education.

Please open the attachments below to review the transmittal letter, second quarter financial report, and Report on Agreed-Upon-Procedures which covers the period January 1 through March 31, 2014.

Mar 2014 Transmittal 031414.pdf (264 KB)
3rd QUARTER REPORT 031414.pdf (5,072 KB)
3rd Qtr 2014 Report on Applying Agreed-Upon Procedures – CLA.pdf (43 KB)
2014 06 19 Third Qtr Financial Rept 2013-2014 Presentation.pdf (415 KB)

Our comments: If nothing else, you should download and read Lori Gillis’ cover letter, the powerpoint presentation to the Board, and the audit firm’s four page report that summarize where the District stands as of the end of March this year.  As you do so, keep in mind that the soundness of the District’s finances are strictly the result of the previous Board and Superintendent.  WNW had little opportunity to impact spending in a major way the first part of the year.  One of the ways they could and did impact the District’s finances can be found in the fact that both Collegiate Academy and Mountain Phoenix charter schools borrowed just over $188,000 within a 45 days of being approved for credit lines equal to $650,000.  That is about 29% of their total authorized amounts for the next four to five years.  

There are a total of five yellow flags found by the audit firm and the District.  The first has to do with the fact that fewer meals are being served in the schools, so both the revenue and cost of the meal programs has shrunk.  The other four yellow flags all deal with charter schools, specifically Two Roads High School, Rocky Mountain Deaf School, Collegiate Academy, and Mountain Phoenix.  All four are yellow flagged and have open lines of credit (loans) from the District.  Additionally, both Two Roads and Collegiate Academy are experienced a loss of enrollment for the 2013/14 school year.

Final Comments:  WNW will most likely play ‘hardball’ again and severely restrict the ability of the public to comment, contrary to Board and District policies.  Budgets are never fun, but it is probably the most important thing any Board does.  “Follow the money” and you will learn what the real motives, intentions, and plans are for any person or group.  The dollar shifting WNW has managed to do in just eight months is pointing us down the path to DougCo.  Right now, we need to make sure that the two things are very clear:  First, this is NOT what WNW were elected to do.  Second, that we, the people of JeffCo, will NOT take this lying down.  So sign up, study up, and show up next Thursday and show WNW+Miller that we will…

Keep Fighting, JeffCo!

One thought on “Saturday Post – 6/19 BOE Meeting Agenda Review

  1. It is also rumored that one of the controversial agenda items that may appear Thursday night, is the imposition of a new compensation package for teachers! Watch out teachers. Keep your knees bent.

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