04-18-2017 Board Workshop (Budget Priorities)

The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met for a Board Workshop on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Eagle newspaper on Thursday, April 6, 2017. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Opening Exercises

Minutes: Chairperson Belford called the meeting to order at 2:03 p.m.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Minutes: Members present:  Misty Belford, John Craig, Matt Susin, Tina Descovich and Andy Ziegler

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes: Chairperson Belford led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Order of Business
4. Updated Budget Priorities
Attachment: Budget Priorities Workshop Materials.pdf

Pennie Zuercher, Chief Financial Officer, explained the process and went through the presentation.

Mr. Ziegler asked if it would make more sense to institute part time clerks  rather than just extending the primary clerk a month.  Ms. Cline, assistant superintendent of Elementary Leading & Learning would need more time to research and find out if it is more impactful in other areas.

Mr. Craig asked about reinstating media specialists. Ms. Zuercher said that it didn't bubble to the surface.

Mr. Susin asked about the stipends for football coaches for spring games. Ms. Zuercher thought that had gotten eliminated.

Mr. Ziegler had questions about the energy savings. Mr. Theodore, assistant superintendent of Facilities Services, provided some explanation. He spoke in depth about the cost of lowering the set point for the air conditioners.   Mr. Ziegler felt there needed to be more detail to explain the benefits of what is being proposed. Dr. Blackburn offered a suggestion to look forward instead of backwards and show  expanding our options to see what happens.  Mr. Craig expressed to Mr. Theodore that he would like to see Mr. Theodore's recommended plan for what is best for the employees and the students. Dr. Blackburn said he would add that thinking to many of the items on the priorities and would like to see a tiered approach. In reference to the energy conservation plan,  Mrs. Belford would like to know how many people are impacted.

Mrs. Zuercher asked the Board if they wished to table the energy conservation issue to a later time and not include in the prioritization since they want more information to be brought back. Mrs. Zuercher did mark this item as tabled.


5. Board Discussion/Prioritization


They moved on to the "Previously Unranked" items.

  • There was discussion of what the expansion of the gifted program would look like. Dr. Soliven mentioned that they were re-writing the Title II grant to include providing the cost of the training for teachers to become certified so teachers would not have to incur that cost. Mrs. Belford would like it added to the prioritization list and said she would like for it include gifted as well as accelerated.
  • Mr. Susin said that the item regarding providing a Robotics Program at every middle and high school could be deleted as other companies have all come in on the project.
  • The request to have school resource officers in every school has been modified to have five school security officers at the cost of $250,000.  This was in discussion with Sheriff Ivey. It has not been decided where these officers would go.  Mrs. Descovich asked about sharing the cost with municipalities. This item was added to the prioritization.
  • Mr. Susin addressed the item for SMART/PAR evaluation program. He said it recruits and trains teachers.  It also prevents arbitration.  He said that we currently do not have funds.  He said that it can be crossed off the list.  He provided it for information to the Board.
  • Mrs. Zuercher said that just the day before an item was added regarding suicide prevention.  Mrs. Desovich explained what she thought it would look like in the form of an assembly for high school students. Mr. Susin said he knows that TWLOHR works.  Ms. Zuercher said that that organization takes donations only so we would have to have a contract with them. Mr. Ziegler suggested that we budget money to perhaps do a share with organizations that can work with identified students. This items was moved to the prioritizations.
  • Mr. Susin asked about the stipends for spring football coaches.   Dr. Blackburn said this is handled during negotiations.

The Board asked for options for the prior year reductions.

Recurring Requests:

  • Ms. Zuercher asked which they wanted to discuss.  Mr. Ziegler wanted to discuss bussing and he did not feel the expense shown is accurate. Ms. Archer addressed the cost which included purchasing new busses. There was more discussion and explanation between Board and staff.
  • Questions ensued about various items including the use of armored cars for picking up funds for deposit at schools/centralized internal accounts.
  • Ms. Zuercher asked about the prioritization as listed.
    • Mr. Ziegler suggested moving the suicide prevention ahead due to being a small amount.
    • Dr. Blackburn said they are at a place to discuss how the board ranks them.
    • Mrs. Zuercher said they are giving board members the opportunity to have input. 
      • The priorities may change according to dollars we have.
      • Mrs. Descovich said she appreciates the opportunity for input.
      • Mrs. Belford asked the board members to bring their rankings to the Board Retreat on April 21. 
      • Mrs. Zuercher said that they might prioritize in a high, medium and low category.

Closing Remarks
6. Closing Remarks

Minutes: Mrs. Zuercher went over the next steps in the process.

7. Adjournment

Minutes: Chairperson Belford adjourned the meeting at: 3:41 p.m.

For further details pertaining to this meeting, please refer to the published video on the School Board of Brevard County's website (www.brevardschools.org).