School District 885
St. Michael – Albertville Independent School
School Board Minutes
St. Michael-Albertville Middle School West Board Room – Door A
Dr. Jim Behle, Superintendent of Schools
Douglas Birk, Chair; Gayle Weber, Vice-Chair; Carol Steffens, Clerk; Drew Scherber, Treasurer; Jeanne Holland, Director; Jeffery Lindquist, Director
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Meet and Confer at 5:30 p.m.
Superintendent Behle, Board Members Birk, Steffens, and Weber met with representatives of the local Education Minnesota group for a meet and confer session.
Regular Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
The St. Michael-Albertville School Board held a regular meeting in the Middle School West board room. Original minutes and documents referred to below are retained in the district policy book.
1. Approval of Agenda Items
Superintendent Behle amended item 6.e from .4 FTE to .375 FTE.
Steffens/Weber. Motion to approve agenda as amended. Motion carried.
2. Correction and Approval of Previous Minutes
a. Regular Meeting on January 7, 2013
Lindquist/Steffens. Motion to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes from January 7, 2013 as presented. Motion carried.
a. Persons not on the agenda wishing to address the school board, 5 minutes per individual
a. Principal Report: Middle School West – Andy Merfeld
Principal Merfeld updated the board on the school year for Middle School West. In addition, representatives from student council, WEB, teachers, a special education paraprofessional, and Vice Principal Jennissen informed the board of their activities, programs and successes this school year. Highlights include WEB orientation, student council 5th through 8th grade leadership conference, educational and curriculum changes with the addition of a reading specialist, and student safety.
5. Old Business
a. Action on second reading of 2013-14 and 2014-15 School Calendar
Dr. Behle met with a parent group regarding the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school calendars. Additionally, he met with the calendar committee to review the input and comments from the parent group.
Holland/Steffens. Motion to approve the 2013-14 and 2014-15 St. Michael-Albertville ISD 885 School Calendars as presented. Motion carried.
b. Action on second reading of Policy #522 – Student Sex Nondiscrimination Policy
c. Action on second reading of Policy #528 – Student Parental, Family, and Marital Status Nondiscrimination Policy
Weber/Holland. Motion to approve Item 5.b. Policy #522-Student Sex Nondiscrimination Policy and Item 5.c. Policy #528 – Student Parental, Family, and Marital Status Nondiscrimination Policy as presented. Motion carried
6. New Business
a. Analysis and discussion of Governor’s Education Finance Group Recommendations
Guest: Representative FitzSimmons
Dr. Behle presented an Analysis of Education Finance Task Force Recommendations presentation with the board. Dr. Behle explained that under current and proposed school funding, Minnesota is failing its Constitutional duty to establish a “general and uniform….thorough and efficient system” to fund public education, as demonstrated by a growing disparity in school funding in Minnesota between affluent school districts and school districts with low property wealth.
Dr. Behle, Representative FitzSimmons and the board discussed the disparity which is caused by a flawed state school funding formula and reliance on voter-approved tax levies. STMA receives $6,721, per pupil $2,000 below the state average of $8,804 per pupil, compared to $12,568 for Minneapolis, $8,758 for Minnetonka as examples. The bottom line is educational opportunities for students in school districts with more revenue per pupil are greater than those in STMA. STMA and others like it have larger class sizes, fewer music and arts programs, outdated technology, less help for struggling learners, and fewer AP and rigorous classes.
1. Taxpayers in low property wealth school districts pay two to three times more than taxpayers in high property wealth school districts for voter approved referendums, debt service and other education related levies to support the same level of funding for their schools. A student’s zip code determines educational opportunity.
a) The annual cost to a taxpayer for a $1,633 per pupil school levy per $100,000 assessed value in Hopkins is $153 compared to $497 in STMA.
b) This unfair tax disadvantage means levies are smaller in lower property wealth districts than in high property wealth districts resulting in a widening educational opportunity gap for students in different parts of the state. Or, property tax payers have a greater tax burden in lower property wealth school districts for the same levy per pupil.
1. Minnesota needs to increase property tax equalization and ensure that taxpayers throughout the state are treated equally.
a) Increase the equalizing factors for referendums, debt service and other education-related levies
b) The Governor’s Education Finance Task Force recommends an equalization formula that would result in reducing school property taxes in STMA by $131 per $150,000 assessed valuation.
2. Increase the general education revenue basic formula which has lagged behind inflation for twenty years. The current level of $5,224 per pupil unit would need to increase by over $2,000 per pupil to provide the same buying power it had in 1991-92.
a) STMA will be forced to seek revenue through voter-approved referendum levy if state funding is not sufficient. This results in the inequitable treatment of students and taxpayers in low property wealth school districts such as STMA.
3. Study the impact of the regional cost adjustment levy on the disparity in per pupil funding. If the regional cost adjustment levy from the Governor’s Education Finance Task Force is approved, increase the amount ($400) for STMA and similar underfunded schools as is recommended for districts in the 7 county metro area. Currently, the Governor’s proposal increases the regional cost adjustment levy only $200 for district outside the seven county metro area. The current proposal not only fails to recognize the current disparity in school funding but increase it.
4. Provide additional funding to reduce the amount districts must take from their general fund to subsidize excess special education costs.
5. Roll Health and Safety funding into the Deferred Maintenance formula and increase the maximum to $230 per pupil unit.
a) The largest 25 districts have access to unlimited deferred maintenance funding under the alternative facilities program while districts such as STMA are limited to a maximum of $60 per pupil.
b) Health and Safety funding is limited to narrowly defined statutory purposes and requires excess paperwork. Security related projects are not allowed.
c) Districts will need to add security features to schools because of increased concerns by parents, staff and community which will require additional funding.
6. Fund all-day kindergarten
7. Fully fund new mandates such as principal/teacher evaluations and bullying prevention and mental health
a) The peer coaching requirement for teacher evaluations will require additional personnel expenditures. Some school districts estimate over $100,000 for this component.
b) Mental health services for children are being shifted from the state and county to schools and we do not have adequate staff to address all the mental health issues.
8. STMA does not have elementary counselors. Each middle school counselor has 800 to 900 students. The ratio of social workers to students is approximately one social worker per 1000 students.
The Board thanked Representative FitzSimmons for the time he has spent learning about school finances and reinforced their position that all Minnesota students deserve a high quality education with equal educational opportunities and all Minnesota taxpayers deserve to be treated fairly.
b. Update on 2012-13 Budget and Policy Discussion on Reserve Balance (Policy 714)
Dr. Behle provided the board an updated 2012-13 school budget since negotiations have been completed. In addition, prior to starting work on the 2013-14 budget, he told the school board that they will need to decide upon an undesignated balance. Currently, it is 1.5 months of operating expenditures. The school board decided to keep the undesignated balance at 1.5 months.
c. Action on Pay Equity Report
Director Human Resources, Jennifer Claseman shared the Pay Equity Implementation Report and process with the board. The Pay Equity report is submitted every three years. The report has been filed and is available to employees upon request.
Holland/Lindquist. Motion to approve the Pay Equity Implementation Report as presented. Motion carried.
d. Action on Custodian Handbook
Director Human Resources, Jennifer Claseman shared the process and reviewed the Custodian Handbook with the board. Claseman worked in conjunction with Director Building and Grounds Terry Zerwas to compile the handbook. They used other district models and best practices; the handbook is reflective of the contract and district policies.
Holland/Weber. Motion to approve the Custodian Handbook as presented. Motion carried.
e. Action on .4 FTE .375 FTE Elementary Special Education position
Dr. Behle informed the board that there was a need for an additional .375 FTE Elementary Teacher.
Holland/Weber. Motion to approve .375 FTE Elementary Teacher position as presented. Motion carried.
f. Action on Addition of Third Girls Lacrosse Team
Dr. Behle told the board the Girls Lacrosse Team approached Activities Director, Benson and said they could have up to 60 girls out for lacrosse. They requested to add a third team as warranted by the numbers. The booster club will pay for the coach, uniforms and safety equipment. This district would pay for transportation for four games and officials for a total additional cost of $950. If the district keeps the current two levels, players will need to be cut. Dr. Behle recommended approval to add a third Girls Lacrosse Team with booster club paid coach, uniforms and safety equipment.
Holland/Lindquist. Motion to approve a third girls lacrosse team with the coach, uniforms and safety equipment to be paid for by the Booster Club. Motion carried.
g. Discussion of Band and Choir Ensemble Tour 2014 San Diego Field Trip
Dr. Behle told the board that this trip would take place in March 2014 and will be a combined High School Choir and Band trip. The cost is estimated at $1,100 per pupil and approval at this time would allow for fundraising. The trip will be chaperoned and includes performances and some side trips.
h. Action on Contributing $10,000 to Hockey Arena Capital Projects
The City of St. Michael and City of Albertville have each contributed $10,000 to the Hockey Arena Capital Projects fund. Director Buildings and Grounds, Terry Zerwas met with the arena manager to identify needs for equipment or projects. Dr. Behle recommended that the board contribute $10,000 to the Hockey Arena Capital fund instead of identifying a specific project.
Weber/Lindquist. Motion to approve a contribution of $10,000 to the Hockey Arena Capital Projects Fund. Motion carried.
7. Consent Agenda
Board Secretary Gallagher noted that the effective date for Items 7.e.4, 7.e.6, and 7.e.7 should be corrected from 2-14-2013 to 1-14-2013.
Lindquist/Holland. Motion to approve the board agenda with the effective date for Items 7.e.4, 7.e.6, and 7.e.7 amended to 1-14-2013. Motion carried.
a. Claims and Accounts
Food Service (02) $87,810.27
Trust Fund (08) $6,200.00
Agency Fund (09) $623.38
b. Treasurer’s Report
c. Trip Requests
1) Machamer, Andrew (HS) – STMA Marching Band, STMA Marching Knights Summer Trip to Washington D.C., Fairfax VA, and Ocean City, MD, 07-02-2013 to 07-08-2013
2) Osowski, Joseph / Sroka, Adam (HS) – Band and Choir Ensemble Tour to San Diego, CA, 3-06-2014 to 3-10-2014
d. Resignations, Retirements, Terminations, Layoffs
1) Poitra, Amy (AP) – Kindergarten Climbers, resignation, effective 1-15-2013
1) Cornell, Keith (HS) – Weight and Strength Coach, new shared position, effective 01-10-2013
2) Duncanson, Gavin (HS) – Weight and Strength Coach, new shared position, effective 01-10-2013
3) Essler, Jared (HS) – Weight and Strength Coach, new shared position, effective 01-10-2013
4) Huggins, Blair (ME) – Assistant Middle School Boys Basketball Coach, new position, effective 2-14-2013 effective 1-14-2013
5) Krueger-Raiche, Katie (ME) – Long Term Substitute, 7th Grade Math, 1.0 FTE, BA+1, replacing Heidi Swanson, on or about 2-14-2013 to 5-10-2013
6) Landwehr, Ann (AP) – Kindergarten Climbers Teacher, .75 FTE, BA+2, replacing Amy Poitra, effective 2-14-2013 effective 1-14-2013
7) Pieterick, Justin (ME) – Assistant Middle School Boys Basketball Coach, new position, effective 2-14-2013 effective 1-14-2013
8) Rust, Rachel (CE) – Kids Play Paraprofessional, replacing Crystal Christensen, 5 days per week and 3.75 hours per day, effective 1-14-2013
9) Wiese, Michael (CE) – Kids Play Paraprofessional, replacing Emily Hackenmueller, 5 days per week and 3.75 hours per day, effective 1-11-2013
f. Leave of Absence
1) Abrahamson, Daniel (HS) – Science Teacher, Medical – Employee-Family Medical Leave Act, 3-7-2013 to 3-22-2013
2) Anderson, Jayne (AP) – Special Education Paraprofessional, Medical-Employee Medical Leave (non-FMLA), effective 1-30-2013 to 3-18-2013
3) Lajko, Tina (ME) – 5th to 8th Grade Vocal Music Teacher, Maternity – Family Medical Leave Act on or about 5-6-2013 to 6-7-2013
4) Spencer, Debra (CE) – ECFE School Readiness Coordinator, Medical-Employee Family Medical Leave Act, effective 2-12-2013 to 5-12-2013
Donations recently made to the schools in the district were recognized by the board. A list of donations is available in the district office.
9. Information Items
a. Update on 2013 MSBA Leadership Conference January 17-18, 2013
Board members attended the Minnesota School Board Association Leadership Conference on January 17th and 18th. Member Weber was presented with a certificate for 20 years of services as a school board member during an awards luncheon. The board thanked Member Weber for her service and many contributions to the board over the past 20 years.
b. Minnesota Department of Education and St. Michael-Albertville Middle School East are hosting, “Your Choice Your Future”, 8th Grade Student Forum, Thursday, January 24, 2013 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Middle School East Gymnasium
c. Special Education Law and Funding for School Board Members, Thursday, February 7, 2013 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monticello Board Room
11. Future Meeting Dates
Monday, February 4, 2013 – Regular Meeting
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 – Regular Meeting
Monday, March 4, 2013 – Regular Meeting
Monday, March 18, 2013 – Strategic Plan Work Session at 6:00 p.m.
Monday, March 18, 2013 – Regular Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Steffens/Lindquist. Motion to adjourn regular board meeting at 9:55 p.m. Motion carried.
(Feb. 14, 2013) NC-Jan22RegMin
School District 885