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MUSD Board: A BIG agenda
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
With a three-page, single-spaced line agenda, and a 284-page supporting informational document, the Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) Governing Board had a three hour meeting on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. The Board covered everything from outside installation at Maricopa High School (MHS) of tandem team pole triangles to discussion of another tax override attempt. Add ministers and church leaders of several religious groups in Maricopa ready to protest the proposed raising of usage fees for renting of MUSD facilities, a proposed revision of over 160 MUSD personnel jobs, plus the possible results of the latest AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards) test scores, and you have all the ingredients necessary for an interesting but lengthy Governing Board meeting. The meeting seemed to cover everything but the kitchen sinks in the MUSD facilities (and one shouldn't be surprised if the kitchen sinks were somewhere in the 284-page supporting informational document).
Call to the Public
There were nine people who spoke to the MUSD Governing Board. Several people were members of churches in the Maricopa community. Pastor Clint Augustyn of the Living Water Church of the Nazarene said, "The increase in fees for renting the MUSD facilities will put us out, it is just so incredibly high." Ms. Pariscilla Santi, the Religious Education Director of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, told the Governing Board that a recommended increase from $2 an hour to $20 an hour could force them to look elsewhere for other places to have their services. Additionally, many people complained of the short notice they received about the increase discussion and possible action tonight. The agenda was not available until a few hours before the Governing Board meeting, instead of 24 hours as required by the State of Arizona.
NOTE: For the last two meetings, the last item listed on the agenda has been “Future Board Items -- Review Policy -- Public Participation at Board Meetings.” There has been no discussion on this item yet, but one wonders what Governing Board President Scott Bartle is planning. One former Governing Board member suggested he might be thinking of doing away with the Call to the Public section. Is this possible? Surely the public will continue to be allowed to address the Board.
Summary of current events by Superintendent
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ember Conley thanked the leadership team and coaches for their tireless work on the budget. Dr. Conley also stated there is an embargo on releasing the AIMS scores until June 27, 2012. Dr. Conley added, “There will be some pleasant surprises concerning the scores.”
Information Items/Work Study
Dr. Conley told the Governing Board the principals are still working on the Bullying Policy and Discipline Guidelines for students.
Dr. Conley had added a calendar of events action timeline in the 284-page informational page documents, should the MUSD Governing Board decide to attempt another tax override. The tax override would allow the MUSD to overspend its maintenance and operation budget by a percentage approved by the voters. She said, “We cannot do it without the backing of the Maricopa community. MUSD does not have the energy or manpower to try to get the community to support it again.”
Governing Board member Patti Coutre said, “This is not the time for another override attempt.” Torri Anderson added, “I would like to see parents at the Governing Board meeting, supporting this override.” President Bartle stated, “The community needs to give us a reason, to let us know why they want the tax override. Everyone wins when we have good schools.”
Joe Veres, Principal of Desert Wind Middle School, and Rick Abel, Principal of Maricopa Wells Middle School, gave an updated report on the Blended Learning program at Maricopa Wells Middle School. Veres stated 185 students have applied to be in the Blended Learning program, and there are only 100 spaces available. “By July ninth, we will have the final lottery drawing and know the names of the students that will be participating in the program.”
At the April 25, 2012 MUSD Governing Board meeting, MUSD Business Director Aron Rausch reported $1,400,000 is left over from the 2006 voter approved bonds. (See the article at http://www.copanews.com/Article.aspx?ID=3706.) The money has to be spent on new construction or construction that would add on to something. A committee was appointed to recommend several ways to use the remaining amount of the bond money. There were 46 pages of recommendations (from the 284-page document) for capital projects to be implemented to spend the bond money. Rausch said, “These projects need to be researched as a group and research takes time, such as just getting companies to make a bid on one item. We can do only one at a time.” Governing Board member Patti Coutre suggested the MUSD try a pilot program first to see if the capital projects work. (Note: Suggested projects range from installing tandem team triangles with two platforms and one common pole on the MHS grounds to replacing some carpet at Pima Butte Elementary school, which is currently a safety issue.) Rausch reminded the Board that the Maricopa Police Department and Fire Department have both, in past years, used the rope course as a training program. The MUSD Governing Board decided to put priority items number two, four, five, seven, and eight on the action item list. (You can receive detailed information on these items at the District Office upon request for the “Priority List for Capital Projects.”)
Dr. Conley said there are three possible uses for the Rancho El Dorado Lakes Parcels. “We can either sell it to a municipality, use it in some way for MUSD, or approve to place on election ballot for voters to give approval to sell to a non-municipality.” Rausch said the problem with the Ranch El Dorado Lakes Parcels is complex. Torri Anderson, vice president of the Governing Board stated, “We need clarification from the board attorney Ms. Obsorne, if we can go to voters just to ask for approval to sell not to a specific person.” This item will be discussed at a future MUSD Governing Board meeting.
Closing Consent Agenda - Action Items
After discussion of the personnel schedule, which includes Resignations, Reclassifications, Terminations, Non-renewals, Stipends, New Position Requests, Employment/Ratifications, Leave of Absence/FLMA requests and other administrative actions, a motion to approve was made by Anderson and seconded by Bartle. The vote was 2-2, a tie vote, and a tie vote constitutes a failed vote. The motion failed. (Information about the personnel schedule is available at the District Office upon request.)
After discussion, the MUSD Governing Board decided to table instructing the District's official legislative delegate in voting for the proposed action agenda items to be considered by the ASBA (Arizona School Boards Association) for fiscal year 2012-2013. (There were 84 pages of proposed action agenda items.)
MHS Music Director Ivan Pour presented a summary of proposed band instrument rental fees for the fiscal year 2012-13. Also discussed were proposed athletic fees and extra-curricular activity fees. A motion was not presented and the Governing Board decided to bring the proposed fees schedule back at the next meeting of the Governing Board for discussion and possible action.
Expense voucher #1252 for $3,054 for work done by a local publishing company was approved by a vote of 3-0. President Bartle, who is the publisher and owner of the company, did not vote.
It would not be an MUSD Governing Board meeting if the Governing Board members did not vote to go into executive session behind closed doors for consideration of employment, assignment, appointment, demotion, dismissal, or disciplining of support staff employees.
Future Board Items:
The next meeting of the MUSD Governing Board will be Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at 6:00 P.M. in the boardroom of the District Office Administration Office. It is located at 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in Maricopa. You can call the District Office at (520) 568-5100 for further information.
- Approve 2012-2013 Budget –July
- Review Policy - Public Participation at Board Meetings
Marilyn Netoskie / CopaNews.com
MUSD Governing Board Vice President Torri Anderson.