With the end of the school year around the corner for , it was only appropriate that much of Wednesday night's meeting—the last before school's out for summer—was about celebrating the efforts and achievements of district students.
The evening began with an outdoor performance in front of the district's administrative offices by the band before the start of the meeting. Once the meeting was under way, principals and teachers from each school recognized their exemplary students in an emotional ceremony. Finally, the Summit Hill track team, , and winners at the various levels of the district, regional and state science fairs.
But the board also handled district affairs, chief among them approving the amended budget for the 2012 fiscal year with a 4-2 vote. Board members Sean William Doyle and Stacey Borgens voted against the amended budget, albeit for different reasons. (Board member Denise Wildeveld was absent from the meeting.) A public hearing was held before the vote, but no one offered up any comments.
Although not required, an amended budget helps the district more accurately measure where district finances will be at the end of fiscal year, which is June 30. , but the .
While the income bump was encouraging, the fact that the district spent an additional $300,000 over what was budgeted was not, Doyle said, adding that he voted against the original budget in September.
"So (the "no" vote) wasn't inconsistent," he said during the time in the meeting for board members' comments.
Borgens, however, had issues with the idea of doing an amended budget, not the actual details within the budget. "Context vs. content," as she put it after the meeting. It's important for the board to be transparent with its finances, and an amended budget that doesn't reflect the board's original allocations muddies that, she said.
While the amended budget becomes the district's offical budget for the 2012 fiscal year, the original budget is still kept in the district records that residents have access to.
Other items discussed at the meeting included:
- Although the school year was ending, Doyle asked Supt. Barb Rains and board members to keep three things on their radars: 1) making sure the board receives a comparative breakdown of cost savings for closing individual schools; 2) looking at the past year's legal fees, which were recently asked for in a Freedom of Information Act, to find some savings; and 3) receiving a status update on leasing , .
- Assistant Supt. Jim Martin gave an update of the changes to the district's student-parent handbook suggested by his committee. The biggest change will be to make the handbook universal instead of individualized to each school. Parents also will be able to view a Power Point presentation to see what student attire is appropriate in the district. The new handbook is receiving a legal review before it goes before the board for approval.
- The board approved its new meeting schedule for next school year. In a philosophical change of sorts, the board will look to discuss action items in a meeting, then voting on them in during the next one. Currently, board members typically discuss and vote on items during the same meeting.
Read the transcript from the live blog of Wednesday's meeting above. Unfortunately, a bad Internet connection cut things short, but Frankfort Patch editor Joe Vince will answer questions from the blog in this article's comment section Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25. Readers can ask additional questions in the comments section, as well. To check out what happened at past meetings head to the D161 live blog section for live blog transcripts of meetings as far back as January 2012.
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