BUSD Board Meeting: Tuesday, March 24th - Summary

My summary:

  1. The district recognized district spelling bee champion Alice Bello. For more information read Alice Bello wins Beaumont spelling bee

  2. The district recognized scholar athlete, Shane Mitchell, for his recent induction into the College Football Hall of Fame by the 2009 National Football Foundation, Riverside County Chapter National Football Foundation, Riverside County Chapter

  3. A Banning HS parent expressed her concern over the amount of time the Banning swimmers were allowed access to the pool at Beaumont HS. She stated that before the pool was built, both schools shared the Banning community pool equally but now Beaumont HS swimmers and water polo players were getting substantially more hours in the pool.

  4. I asked the board to respond to my issues at the next board meeting.

    • Where and when was a public announcement of the application process for Measure Z Oversight Committee posted/published?

    • Missing Agendas and Minutes on the District Website

    • Make Agendas and notice of public hearings available on the District Website when they are posted at the district office

    • SCC scheduled meetings missing from the District Calendar

    • Availability of 2009-2010 Bus schedules in a more user friendly format

  5. Daryl Brown presented a report on the re-designation progress of the district's English language learners.

  6. A request was made by the alumni association to name a building after a long time Beaumont school science teacher, Jack Lamb. Mr. Greenwood warned the district has a limited number of buildings for naming after teachers and thought a wall of fame for teachers might be a better solution. Mr. Sanchez asked the board bring back an action item to name the high school's science building after Mr. Lamb.

  7. A presentation was made by Bob Roy to have defibrillators installed at each school site and at the district office. The estimated cost for the district was estimated to be about $30,000. Mr. Roy presented some convincing figures supporting his recommendation. See his website http://thetravisfund.org/ for more information. The board instructed the administration to look into financing options and bring back an action item to be considered.

  8. School counselors asked the board to reconsider a rule used for determining seniority for layoffs of counselors. The rule gave priority to counselors who had High School counseling experience over other, equally qualified, counselors who did not. They indicated they were hoping for board action tonight that would eliminate the need to go to an administrative hearing.

    • This agenda item gave Mr. Sanchez the opportunity to open the issue of district layoffs. It was a little off subject but was probably the most interesting part of the 3-hour board meeting. It turns out at the last Budget Review Committee meeting (unfortunately my work obligations prevented me from attending) Mays Kakish revealed that the district's budget may not be "certified" because of the reliance on the Federal stimulus funds. She indicated the district may need to reconsider its assumptions and may have to issue more layoffs.

    • Mr. Sanchez wanted to get feedback from the rest of the board on their feelings about when additional pink slips should be sent out. He thought it would be better to notify employees who may be laid off sooner rather than later. Mays Kakish recommended waiting until after the May 19th special statewide election before making any decisions.

    • There are six statewide ballot propositions on the May ballot. These propositions are also known as the Budget Stabilizing Act. The district is hoping all six will pass and eliminate the need for any additional cuts or layoffs. For more details, click on a Proposition:

    • Once the board got back on subject, the counselors' request for reconsideration of seniority rules, board members Dr, Vaccarello and Mr. Orozco expressed that they agreed with the counselors and wanted to know what they could do to reverse their decisions. Steve Hovey strongly recommended against taking any action until the administrative hearing scheduled for April 17th. He suggested a decision made by the board or the administrative judge may invalidate the approved budget resolution and call into question the validity of pink slips that have already been issued. Mr. Hovey said this might put the district in the position of having 29 more teachers than they could afford. No action was taken.

  9. Another agenda item, the completion of the high school's performing arts center, led to a discussion about funding sources. We learned that the district will wait until September to issue the bonds authorized by Measure Z. Mays Kakish explained that they had informed voters the property tax payers' cost of the bonds to be issued would be less than $25 per $100,000 of assessed value. She indicated it was more likely they would be able fulfill this "promise" by waiting.