Attachment: Budget Priorities (2) Workshop Docs.pdf
Chairman Craig turned the meeting over to Pennie Zuercher, Chief Financial Officer, to discuss further vetting of budget requests and follow-up to the budget workshop held on April 17, 2018.
Ms. Zuercher began with available funding options as of April 24, 2018. There was a brief clarification on what "school supply allocations" means: discretionary budget items other than substitutes.
At the last budget workshop, it was asked to determine what additional cost the district would incur should regional bussing be delayed. Ms. Zuercher explained that there would not be any additional cost. Currently approximately 600 students have signed up for regional bussing. According to Transportation Director Arby Creach, they estimated around 2400 students. There was concern that notification had not been sufficient to inform that regional bussing was an available option. Dr. Soliven said she would touch base with Equity, Innovation and Choice as well as school principals to make sure the messages were sent out.
Ms. Zuercher explained that they could change the funding for maintenance expenses and maintenance salaries and benefits from the operating budget to capital for a revenue option. There was discussion about what would happen if we shifted capital to operating. Ms. Zuercher told the board it could be short term. Mr. Ziegler expressed that this was not the right way to go.
Ms. Belford had some questions about expected reduction due to the new staffing formula and the impact. Ms. Cline explained that the district will continue to need to balance if enrollments increase.
Ms. Zuercher brought back information on the uncommitted fund balance. The school board contingency amount is $19,880,369 which is 3.69 percent of revenue. We are required to maintain the contingency funds at 3 percent. Ms. Zuercher would like for that amount to be 5 percent. Ms. Belford asked where the costs associated with shutdowns and paying employees for shelters comes from. Ms. Zuercher said it comes from unreserved fund balances. Ms. Zuercher also went over some funds that it is possible to take from which amount to $2,734,066, pending any new initiatives. She would prefer not to have to use, but it is possible and is non-recurring. These dollars are emergency reserves and have to be replaced.
They went over the Government and Community Relations request including mileage, hotel and Per diem estimates.
The Board had asked Ms. Zuercher to bring back the cost of proposed ESE supplements. She also brought them a listing of Florida counties ranked by population who had been contacted for information whether or not they provide an ESE stipend and the amount. Most counties do not provide an ESE supplement. There were some questions about that sheet. The dollar sign after the county name should not be there. The number stands for the population of the county.
They went over the calculation of the shared cost of athletic trainers and information on what schools are doing right now.
Next Ms. Zuercher went over the summary of superintendent ranked budget requests. She explained that if three or more board members selected the item as a high priority, it is shown as a high, three or more selected as a medium, shown as a medium and so on. A 'T" ranking indicates that there were not three or more of the same vote. It was suggested to place a numeral value in High, Medium, and Low to give a better idea of ranking. Ms. Zuercher will add the numbers as requested.
Lastly Ms. Zuercher presented the board member requests for budget priority consideration. These items will be added into the list of rankings, cost added and she will bring back to the June meeting.
Board members addressed the individual requests. In reference to Mr. Susin's request for student RFID badges, Ms. Zuercher said that she knows other districts that have tried it and have received push-back from parents. Mr. Susin said that he has gone to the PTOs of his schools saying that there are schools who would like to do it. Ms. Zuercher asked what the cost requested covers. Mr. Ziegler said he feels that this item holds a broader application.
Ms. Belford said the guidance counselors and office clerks feel they need to have additional hours to work with students over the summer. Discussion ensued between board and staff members. Mr. Craig said he felt the board would need to know the ripple effect of moving those two categories.
Ms. Descovich addressed funds for teachers to become gifted certified. Dr. Soliven said she is going to try to address this need through a Title II grant. The request from Ms. Descovich will be put on hold pending further information.
Mr. Craig said his request for passive security detection at high schools is a longer term plan that requires research. It can be added to the low ranking. In regards to security cameras, he wants to make sure we have a funded plan to address gaps. Dr. Mullins said that is already a component of the phase II security plan.
Mr. Craig said there needs to be a discussion of escalation costs and differential pay scales.