MEETING OF THE
MONTPELIER BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS
January 11, 2017
Minutes Approved: February 1, 2017
Board: Bridget Asay, Michele Braun, Steve Hingtgen, Ken Jones, Tina Muncy, Jim Murphy, Peter Sterling
Administration: Superintendent Brian Ricca, Principals Pam Arnold, Chris Hennessey and Mike McRaith, Curriculum and Technology Director Michael Martin, Facilities Director Thom Wood, Support Services Director Mary Lundeen, Business Manager Grant Geisler
Student: Brynn Bushey
Public: Matt Koucky, Heather McLane, January Simpson, Nathan Suter
Absent: Theresa Noonan
Item I – Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m.
Item II – Executive Session
Motion for Approval for Executive Session for the Purpose of Contract Negotiations
Mr. Jones moved that the Board find that discussing contract negotiations in open session would put the Board at a substantial disadvantage. Ms. Muncy seconded and the motion carried unanimously at 6:30 p.m.
Motion to Move to Executive Session for the Purpose of Contract Negotiations
Mr. Jones moved that the Board enter into Executive Session in accordance with 1 VSA §313 to discuss contract negotiations. Ms. Muncy seconded and the motion carried unanimously at 6:40 p.m. On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to leave Executive Session at 7:05 p.m.
Item III – Return to Open Session 7:07 p.m.
Item IV – Public Comment Three MHS students shared information and summarized their findings from a survey completed as part of a social studies project indicating the District’s need for increased health education, specifically sexuality.
Ms. Asay moved, seconded by Mr. Murphy, that the Board add to the agenda review of a letter in regard to a U.S. Supreme Court case addressing the rights of transgender students. Motion carried unanimously.
Item V – Consent Agenda
Approval of Minutes of December 7, 2016 School Board Meeting
Approval of Minutes of December 14, 2016 School Board Meeting
Approval of Warrants for Payroll & Accounts Payable for January 20, 2017 (Limitations Policy 2.4)
Approval of Financial Management Questionnaire
Approval of AFL-CIO Local 1369 FY17 Negotiated Agreement
Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Ms. Asay, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the December 7, 2016 and December 14, 2016 regular meetings, Warrant 15 dated January 19, 2017 in the amount of $992,128.77, a financial management questionnaire, and the FY17 AFL-CIO Local 1369 Negotiated Agreement. Motion carried unanimously.
Item VI – Approve Letter Re: U.S. Supreme Court Case
Board members reviewed the proposed letter prepared by Ms. Asay. Ms. Asay moved, seconded by Mr. Murphy, that the Board direct the Chair to send the letter drafted in regard to the Gloucester School Board v. G.G.case. Motion carried unanimously. This letter will be copied to the local press.
Item VII – Limitations Policy 2.4 – Financial Planning and Budgeting
Review Draft 2 FY18 Budget
Before Dr. Ricca’s budget presentation, Ms. Muncy requested time for a statement explaining why she votes how she votes on budget matters. She said in order for her to support a budget that proposes to raise taxes at all she needs two things, the first being a vision detailing where the District is going and how much it’s going to cost to get there, and the second thing being longitudinal data in order to assess what the District is doing and if it is doing it well.
Superintendent Ricca presented the second draft of the proposed FY18 budget. The second draft of the budget reduces per-pupil spending from 7% to 5.5%. A summary of changes from the December 14th budget presentation was reviewed. Due to a number of factors, i.e., increased equalized pupils, better report on special education revenue, unused iRead money, better than expected tech. tuition, there was no need to remove anything from the proposed original budget to meet the reduced 5.5% per-pupil spending target.
Mr. Hingtgen inquired about identified areas of efficiencies in the schools. Mr. Murphy asked which of this year’s budget additions were reflective of restorations from previous years or additions that were not made in prior years because of constraints. There was discussion about available resources for the follow through of collection and analysis of longitudinal data. Although not reflected in the proposed budget, Mr. Hingtgen requested that the community priorities of food systems, foreign language, and after-school programming be kept in mind and on the schedule for the future. It was suggested that the Board schedule a visit with the Community Connections representative in the near future.
Mr. Jones shared that he does not believe the proposed budget meets the heard community values in terms of additional educational opportunities or price effectiveness. Therefore, he moved. seconded by Ms. Muncy, that the Board direct the superintendent to come back with a budget reflecting a 3% increase in per-pupil spending. Mr. Jones reviewed the items from the proposed budget that he would not fund or fund differently. Mr. Hingtgen said he believes there is a well thought, professional proposal to justify the original budget number. He believes the Leadership Team is on track with what the Board asked for and the proposal is affordable. Mr. Sterling said he has heard no negative comments about the budget proposal. Mr. Murphy agreed, saying the expenditures seem justified in terms of the goals of the District. Ms. Asay indicated the budget came as no surprise to her and she was happy to support it. The motion failed 2-4, Ms. Muncy and Mr. Jones voting in favor, Ms. Asay and Messrs. Hingtgen, Murphy and Sterling voting against.
Approve FY18 Budget
Mr. Murphy moved, seconded by Ms. Asay, to approve the proposed FY18 general fund budget in the amount of $19,405,000. Mr. Hingtgen questioned the timing of the Board’s decision to approve the budget and suggested maybe waiting until after obtaining some information about the City’s budget. Mr. Sterling and Mr. Murphy said the City’s actions on their budget would have no impact on their votes for the school district’s budget. Ms. Asay said she would not mind waiting until next week to approve the budget if it meant having more accurate equalized pupil figures. Mr. Jones expressed surprise about the lack of community attendance at tonight’s meeting to discuss the budget. Therefore, he moved, seconded by Ms. Muncy, to table the vote on the budget until next week for the purpose of allowing one last chance to participate. Following discussion, the motion failed 2-4, Ms. Muncy and Mr. Jones voting in favor, Ms. Asay and Messrs. Hingtgen, Murphy and Sterling voting against. The motion to approve the budget passed 4-2, Ms. Asay and Messrs. Hingtgen, Murphy and Sterling voting in favor, Ms. Muncy and Mr. Jones opposed.
Item VIII – Limitations Policy 2.4 – Financial Planning and Budgeting (if approved above)
Review Articles for City Vote
There was discussion about the equalized pupil figures and the possibility of those numbers changing before next week.
Approval Articles for City Vote
Mr. Hingtgen moved, seconded by Ms. Asay, to reschedule the Board’s discussion of the articles and any action until next week. Motion carried unanimously.
Item IX – Adjourn
On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:06 p.m.