RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Monday, December 19, 2005
Special Meeting
Middle School Library
7:30 p.m.

Board: Nelson, Pitts, Taylor, Caraway, Limmex, Anderson, Pronold, Roske
Absent: Peach
Admin: Benson, Hayek, Briehl, Hoffman, Kaukl
Others:  Todd Miller, Michael Langer, David Giffey (Home News), Paula Wedige (Secretary)

Anderson opened the meeting.  He noted that the meeting had been properly noticed and notice had been provided to the appropriate media and each School Board Member.  Pitts moved to proceed with the legal meeting.  Taylor seconded.  Motion carried.

Discussion of School District Budget Deficit (2006-07 and beyond)
The Board again reviewed budget-related documents distributed to the Board at its prior meeting, including results of the recent community survey, worksheets, and a fund balance spend down document.  Limmex noted that cuts decrease the deficit for the following year but spending fund balance only covers expenses for the current year and those expenses return again the following year.

It was noted that projected budget deficits do not reflect long term maintenance needs.  Michael Langer voiced his opinion that if a school is closed, the Board should look at closing Arena Elementary since there are maintenance needs and his opinion that a new road will be built right next to the property in coming years. 

The Board reviewed the fund balance spend down document and the cost to borrow money.  Hayek feels it is not fiscally prudent to erode fund balance and that fund balance should be used for capital improvement projects and not to cover ongoing expenses.  Todd Miller asked if borrowing costs fall under the revenue cap.  Hayek responded that they do.

Langer asked about the use of virtual schools as a way to save money on staffing and insurance costs.  Langer left the meeting at 8:00 p.m.  Benson noted that virtual schooling has associated start-up expenses in per course costs and technology costs.  Benson also stated that we do presently use a distance learning lab for some course offerings.

The QEO topic was discussed with Anderson explaining that savings in benefits are returned to staff in the form of salary and vice versa.  Miller voiced his opinion that the public doesn’t understand that administration has taken salary freezes in recent years and that the administrative team has been cut by 25% in recent years as well.

Miller voiced his desire for another referendum since the funding mechanism for public schools is not changing.  Anderson noted that the Board is heading in the direction of a referendum and that declining enrollment combined with the QEO is a statewide problem.  Anderson stated that the impact of a failed future referendum could mean more cuts which might cause families to move out of the district adding further to the budget deficit.  It was noted that $1.5 million in cuts have already been made over the last five years.  It was also noted that April 20 is the deadline for notifying teachers of lay off for the following year.

There was discussion on the specifics that might be included in a referendum question, and it was noted that a resolution must be passed by the Board 42 days prior to a referendum election.

Briehl commented on the uniqueness of the four elementaries in our district.  He pointed out that there would be ramifications to all district communities if one elementary were to be closed since the boundaries for all elementary attendance sites would be redistributed, causing movement of students not only from the closed school but from the remaining schools as well.

The Board directed the Budget Committee to prepare options for an April 4, 2006, referendum question and an alternative plan to address the 2006-07 deficit if the referendum fails.  The Budget Committee set meetings for January 4 at 6:00 p.m. and January 19 at 6:00 p.m. 

Consideration & Action on First Reading of New and Revised Policies
Pitts moved to approve the annual review of Policy #423 - Public School Open Enrollment with no changes.  Roske seconded.  Motion carried.

Pronold moved to approve the annual review of Policy #423-Rule - Public School Open Enrollment with no changes.  Pitts seconded.  Motion carried.

Roske moved to change the mileage allowance from 120 to 200 miles round trip for
non-conference athletic games.  Caraway seconded.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Resolutions Accepting Gifts
Taylor moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of $1,000 from Wal-Mart to the high school student council.  Pronold seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Pitts moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of $300 from Rod and Fran Eastlick for  high school weight room equipment.  Roske seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Roske moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of sand and hauling expenses valued at $96.00 from Nick Heiser Trucking for the soccer concession stand.  Caraway seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Pitts moved to adopt the Resolution Accepting Gifts of a microwave valued at $20.00 from Randy and Tammy Manning to the high school cafeteria.  Taylor seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

Consideration & Action on Special Meeting Date – Date to be Prior to January 10, 2006
No action taken.

The February Regular Board Meeting was moved to February 8 at 5:45 p.m. in the Middle School Library.

Consideration & Action to Adjourn to Closed Session Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for 2005-07 RVEA Collective Bargaining Update
Roske moved to adjourn to closed session at 9:26 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 19.85(1)(c) for 2005-07 RVEA Collective Bargaining Update.  Pronold seconded.  Polled vote was 8-0 in the affirmative with 1 absent.  Motion carried.

 

Submitted by Paula Wedige For Deborah Nelson, School District Clerk

 

 

03/10/08 pw