A drunken sailor eventually runs out of money and wakes up sober. In our situation, there is no running out of other people’s money.
In the fiscal year just ended, the district spent $3 million dollars more than in the previous year with 150 fewer students to educate. Only one time in recent history has our spending increased that much in one year – and that was when we introduced kindergarten.
On July 8, I requested the school board chairman add to the July 16 agenda “discussion and action on a hiring freeze,” but that request was completely ignored by the chairman. Now we have learned that Dr. Metzler has hired 65 people – the vast majority of them over the summer while the board was on hiatus.
Well in advance of the August 28th agenda, I requested discussion of a spending cap, but that item, like every other agenda request that went before it, never made it to the agenda because, as you can see from the agenda below, it is more important for the board to discuss Eagle Scout projects and the PAC event calendar than to take a sideways glance at the financial issues facing the district.
Remember these thwarted agenda items when you open your tax bill this December and it ruins your Christmas.
Here’s the agenda for next week’s school board meeting:
THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2014 AGENDA
1. Call to Order – Chair
2. Roll Call – Clerk
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Approval of Minutes
a. June 19, 2014 meeting
b. July 16, 2014 meeting
5. Delegations or Individuals
6. Current Business
a. Letter of Censure – ACTION (5 minutes)
b. Eagle Scout Project* – ACTION (10 minutes)
c. Life of an Athlete Donation – ACTION (5 minutes)
d. Unified Basketball – ACTION (5 minutes)
e. Atkinson Academy Police Training Site – ACTION (10 minutes)
f. Summer Projects Update – INFORMATIONAL (10 minutes)
g. Summer Professional Development Update – INFORMATIONAL (10 minutes)
h. PAC Event Calendar – ACTION (5 minutes)
i. School Board Venue – ACTION (5 minutes)
j. Ratify Summer Hiring – ACTION (2 minutes)
k. TSSU Intent to Negotiate – ACTION (5 minutes)
7. Administrator’s Report
a. Update on School Activities – INFORMATIONAL
8. Personnel Report
9. Committee Report/Reports of the School Board
10. Correspondence Folder
11. Vendor and Payroll Registers
12. Other Business
a. Non-public (if needed)
These are other agenda items I’ve requested in the past be added to our regular agendas. Every single request has been denied, ignored, or voted down by the board.
March 13, 2014:
- Request for then Chairman, Mr. Collins to put 91-A concerns about emailing a quorum on the agenda.
March 27, 2014 to Mrs. Steenson:
- Request to discuss board receiving monthly expenditure reports
- Request to discuss $1.9 million surplus
- Request to learn status of Spanish program
- Request to discuss the deliverables of Mrs. Metzler’s consulting contract
April 1, 2014 to Mrs. Steenson:
- Request the ACLU issue with the School Board Rules be added to the agenda. Instead it was addressed under acceptance of minutes in a highly unorthodox move that kept it off the agenda and therefore much easier to conceal.
April 18, 2014 to Mrs . Steenson:
- Discussion of future assessment methods in light of Common Core changes
July 8, 2014 to Mrs. Steenson:
- Explanation of lateness of Auditor’s Report
- Update on budgeted line item overruns
- Discussion and action on a hiring freeze
- NESDEC enrollment projections for next 9 years (showing a 1000 student decrease)