6/9 Meeting Recap

The Board participated in a workshop to review new allocations and briefly touched on the school food service transition prior to the regular business meeting.

In Superintendent Puletti’s absence, Deputy Superintendent Gordon Swaggerty reviewed the Superintendent’s recommendation to spend $710,694 in unrestricted funds on new allocations for the 2015/16 school year.  You can see details of the recommendations on pages 6-15 of the 6/9 board packet located here.

Figures quoted include salary and benefits. An overview of the allocations are as follows:

LaBelle Middle School: Guidance, $57,815; Teacher, $57,815

Clewiston Middle School: Guidance, $57,815; Teacher, $76,460; Paraprofessional 1, $23,452; Paraprofessional 2, $23,452; Paraprofessional 3, $23,452.

Eastside Elementary School: Change Assistant Principal title and compensation to Dean; -$11,620

District: Network Technician, $49,922; Director of Professional Development & Evaluation, $118,633; 1/2 salary for ESE Specialist, $28,908; Nurse, $36,032; 1/4 salary for Reading Specialist, $19,730. Change Administrator of Facilities, Maintenance, and Transportation title and compensation to Director of Facilities, Maintenance, and Transportation; $17,446 ($107,774 total). Change IT Trainee title and compensation to IT Specialist; $1,789 ($49,922 total).

Director of Finance Michael Yanosik told the Board to expect an increase in health insurance rates and explained why he budgeted an estimated 4.03% increase for a total of $129,233 included in the $710,694 total price tag for the new allocation recommendation.

Mr. Yanosik also took the opportunity to give the board an update on the food service management transition and introduce the board to the new General District Manager, Mark Turner. Mr. Turner reported a successful employee sign-up process for the current food service employees and advised the Board that job seekers outside of the District showed up to apply for positions with Sodexo too. Yanosik also advised the Board of the progress on the District’s Community Eligibility Program application. We should hear something back from the Dept of Agriculture relatively soon.

The regular business meeting began immediately following the workshop by recognizing the following Clewiston-area retirees for their dedicated service to the District:

Ana Marrero, CHS Teacher, 8 years

Beatriz Hechavarria, CHS Custodian, 14 years

Horace Mixon, Clewiston Transportation Master Mechanic, 32 years

Under Old Business: After tabling the allocations from last meeting after I expressed concerns regarding changes in job titles, and resulting increases/decreases in compensation, equitable applications of steps, and whether these were sustainable positions and salaries for the district to fund in the event of an economic downturn like there was in 2008, the board ultimately approved the superintendent’s recommended allocation requests.

Under New Business: The Board approved additional allocations to the tune of $235,940.20.  One position totaling $57,815 is funded through unrestricted general funds. The remainder are funded through restricted funding sources. You can see details of the recommendations on pages 27-32 of the 6/9 board packet located here.

Figures quoted include salary and benefits. An overview of the allocations are as follows:

LaBelle Middle School: Music Teacher, $57,815; ESE Teacher, $49,654.60

LaBelle High School: ESE Teacher, $49,654.60; ESE Self-Care Assistant, $22,959.40

District: Migrant Literacy Specialist, $78,816

The following changes in allocations were board approved:

LaBelle Middle School: Change Reading Teacher Allocation to Agriculture Teacher

Clewiston Middle: Change Migrant VPK Paraprofessional to Title 1/School-wide Paraprofessional and move position from Central Elementary to CMS.

Country Oaks Elementary School: Move Migrant Resource Teacher from Central Elementary to Country Oaks Elementary.

I’m extremely pleased to report that the Board approved a contract with Neola, Inc. and will begin the process of updating and revising District policies. This is a suggestion I brought to the Board several months ago.  Participation by the Board will be a great educational experience especially since three of us are new to our positions. Policy update/revision is our opportunity as board members to have an influence over the processes and guidelines the district operates under.

During discussion over the Consent Agenda, I requested from the District regarding the price tag for the Contract for Services for First Baptist Preschool and RCMA to provide daycare services for children of teen parents attending school in Hendry. The request piggy backs onto the request from the last board meeting for expenditures associated with the on-campus infant care centers provided at both high schools.

I want to disclose that the funding from these programs doesn’t come from the unrestricted funds the Board controls but is paid through federal and state monies. The subject of teen pregnancy/parenting is very complex one but one which can’t be ignored because of it’s complexity. According to 2014 data from the National Vital Statistics System, Hendry County’s teen birth rate is 75, the fifth highest in the State. That means that for every 1,000 female students ages 15-19 in Hendry County, 75 have given birth. It was my observation while reviewing this data that districts with high teen birth rates also had low academic performance. Considering the continuing challenges teen parents face after high school, finding ways to partner with health providers and be proactive in reducing these numbers through education should be a priority in my humble opinion.

The remainder of the agenda was approvals of agreements for ESE-based student services. Please feel free to consult the board packet if you’re interested in reviewing those agreements.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for the privilege of serving as your board member.  I hope all our teachers are enjoying their summer break and I’d like to say thank you to our administrators who are working extra hard to compensate for the shorter-than-usual summer.

~ Stephanie

About Stephanie Busin

Mother. Wife. Rural Education Activist. Status Quo Challenger. Hendry County School Board Member, District 4. Born for the Storm. Saved by Grace.

Posted on June 10, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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