Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quick Overview of July 22, 2014 Fox C-6 Board Workshop

Last night's school board workshop was mainly about discussing the 2014-2015 budget as the board and the district work on eliminating our deficit spending. The board approved bill payments at last night's meeting and some of the board members just received the bill payments report at the meeting. The bill payments report should have been published on the district website ahead of time for the community to review as well. Transparency has improved and will continue to improve as that was commented on by the board last night. An audio recording of the school board meeting is posted below the meeting highlights.

Meeting Highlights
  • Public Comments were not listed on the original agenda for the workshop but did have them listed on the agenda on Monday July 21.
  • There was roughly 80 to 100 people in attendance at last night's meeting.
  • There were 3 Public Comments at last night's meeting.
  • Fox's CFO John Brazeal gave a presentation on the 2014-2015 proposed budget cuts.
  • Mr. Brazeal proposed $2.25 Million dollars in budget cuts for the current year which was approved by the school board.
  • Mr. Brazeal's presentation showed that Fox's salaries are around 90% of revenue which is too high compared to other districts that are in the 80% to 85%. Fox needs to be around 80% to maintain reserves.
  • It was announced that there is a pay freeze.
  • $50,000 in savings was from the CO Admins voluntarily taking a 5% pay cut. (People I spoke with after the meeting didn't think that 5% was enough. Fox had the 2nd highest average admin salary in the state in 2013 which doesn't match our demographics and budget. The public needs to know what the two pay increases were for last year for admins to give feedback on how much the community thinks should be voluntarily cut.)
  • I believe it was Mr. Crutchley that said that they hoped that the other admins such as principals and directors would voluntarily take the same pay cut.
  • Mr. Brazeal's presentation showed the savings through various items which totaled $2.25 million dollars. (Hopefully the district will post Mr. Brazeal's presentation on the website soon.)
  • The board went into closed session after comments from Cheryl Hermann, Dave Palmer, Dan Kroupa, Vern Sullivan and John Laughlin. I will post the audio in the next day or two so the public can listen to their comments. (Hopefully the district will begin recording meetings in the near future so they can be posted on the district website for those that can't attend.)
  • Mr. Laughlin explained that the board workshops were at 5:30pm rather than 7pm because a year ago when they started them they were meeting before board meetings. (I know that they were originally working on reviewing the board polices and regulations which took a lot of time for review. Our updated policies and regulations still haven't been adopted. At the moment there are issues that need more attention.)

Overall, the meetings have become more of what you expect from a school board meeting. The board is running the meeting and not the superintendent.

I believe the school board is working on doing the right thing. Without documentation, it's difficult for them to make the decisions that need to be made and that almost everyone in the community expects them to make. Providing the school board with documentation is critical towards implementing the changes that need to occur.

Many have feared speaking out in the past. That has now changed. Full and open communication is important to making improvements and rebuilding our school district. The school board is definitely listening and working on getting things moving in the right direction.

The board has been getting a lot of emails and they are working on responding to them. If you have information or suggestions that can help improve our school district, please contact the board.