District 9 continues financial review

District 9 held their meeting at Eagle Point High School on Jan. 18. The date was one week later than normal because mediation had been scheduled on Jan. 11 and was cancelled by the mediator due to a conflict.

The session included the workshop, a community meeting to update patrons on the budgeting process followed by the regular board meeting.

Business Manager Scott Whitman provided financial data during the work session, which showed a projected operating loss of $1,195,963. by June 30. That is about $45,000 more than the current loss and would leave an ending fund balance of $3,563,768. The ending balance for the 09-10 school year was $5,910,980 or about $2,400,000 more than projected for the current year.

Whitman presented a sheet showing daily operating costs. Student contact days the figure is $104,000 and for non-student contact days the figure would be $90,000 a day. These figures include all staff and utilities.

While several districts have cut the number of school days, thus far District 9 has not taken that path. Whitman said if the district went to a four day week it appeared it would cut about 20 percent in salaries and benefits, but there was a lack of evidence in cost savings. The learning impact is an unknown but Oregon is a state with fewer student days than many of the 50 states.

In addressing the budget gap anticipated by June 30 ($1,195,000 previously mentioned), Whitman said school consolidation as discussed in the Oct. 12 work session could save $234,000; bargaining impacts as noted in the Nov. 9 session could save $129,000 and staffing levels, from the Dec. 14 session would  be another $311,000. These three items would bring the deficit down to $512,000. Other options have yet to be addressed.

Eagle Point Middle School Principal Joni Parsons presented two students for recognition. They were Myra Rademacher and Ryan Lorenz.

Myra is a 4.0 student, president of the National Junior High Honor society, very active in several 4-H clubs and in her church. She also participates in sports.

Ryan also involved with the Honor Society is an athlete and never shies  from a task. He is an avid Duck fan.

Parsons had high praise for both students and for the teacher, Jim Janousek, whom she described as “science extraordinaire.”

District 9 Board of Directors dealt with seven new or revised policies at the regular portion of the evening meeting. Of those, five were unanimously approved.
Briefly, the policies approved were:
• Equal employment opportunity (GBA) revision.
• Expanded option program (GBHE)
• Revision in graduation requirements (IKF)
• Use of restraint and seclusion (JGAB)
• Pest management (EBB)

The policy with a split vote was JFCHA, concerning use of alcohol for cooking. The vote was 3-2 with Ted Dole, Scott Grissom and Mary Ann Olsen supporting it and Mark Bateman and Jim Mannenbach opposed.  In reporting on the proposed policy, it was reported that any alcohol would be under lock and key and that the instructor would have the key. Those opposed said there were wonderful recipes available without the use of alcohol.

House bill 3681 deals with open enrollment. The board passed on a vote of 4-1 with Bateman voting no, a resolution that said based on staffing and available resources District 9 has established that no nonresident students shall receive written consent for admission under ORS 330.133 for the 2012-13 school year.

The board had the first reading on JEFB which deals with admission of nonresident students. Superintendent Rickert is recommending the district stay with their current policy, which she said is working well. She said there were a number of unknowns in the proposed revision. The board will address the second reading at the next regular board meeting.

On a vote of 3-2 the audit was approved. Bateman and Mannenbach voted no.

There will be another community meeting Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. in White City at the middle school gym. 
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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