Prepared Text for Board Meeting – April 28,  2008

Marc A. Schare  614 791-0646 Home

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The Treasurer’s Advisory Committee met on April 23. We reviewed the monthly financial report that we will vote on tonight and we took a quick look at the budget reconciliation process. This process attempts to identify changes in the 2009 budget between what was forecasted and what will probably be needed. For example, fuel costs will probably go up. The community will get a look at the new five year forecast which encompasses the reconciliation process at our second meeting in May. The treasurer also spent some time explaining to the crowd how building budgets will be allocated moving forward. In a nutshell, building budgets will be based on enrollment with special weightings for different types of students. ELL students might carry a slightly higher weighting than typical students. A school with declining enrollment can expect fewer dollars and a school with increasing enrollment can expect more dollars. The new methodology for allocation of building budgets seemed so obvious that the only real question asked by the TAC was why we weren’t doing this before. The meeting continued with a discussion of the implications of current decisions on the May levy. Jeff’s main point, and one which I think we can all take to heart, is that the hiring of even a single teacher multiplied over the life of the next two levys could have a material effect on the millage requirements. There are many programs which I’m sure we would all like to fund, but we need to remember that whatever we do must be sustainable and affordable to the community.

 

The Personnel Committee met on April 25. David and I met with Jeanne to discuss hiring procedures for both certified staff and administrators. While this was more of an “how does this work” discussion, I wanted to share some personal insights which, while perhaps obvious to people who have spent a career in K-12 education, were not quite so obvious to me. Ohio law, for whatever reason, makes it extremely difficult to fire bad teachers. This increases by several orders of magnitude the importance of hiring. Tonight, we are approving the renewal of hundreds of teachers and just scanning the list, we have many, many excellent teachers who have been with us for decades. Any one of those teachers will have a material effect on the lives of hundreds or thousands of children. The hiring of those individuals is obviously of profound importance and I was pleased to see the checks, double checks and triple checks that go into the process. The hiring process is one of many processes that community members take for granted but the quality of the current staff is proof of the efficacy of the procedures employed. The process is complicated by the fact that it may be years or even decades before you know if you’ve made a mistake. This makes evaluating the process in real time a very different process than that employed by the HR department in other large organizations. Our next discussion will center around the certified staff evaluation process.