On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, the Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) Governing Board unanimously approved a two percent raise to be added to the base pay for all certified teachers, a $31 million budget, and a continuation of the all day kindergarten program. During the two weeks between the June 13, 2012 meeting and the June 27, 2012 meeting, the district was informed
it would receive $696,154 in Proposition 301 money. This money could be used for raises for certified teachers. MUSD Business Manager Aron Rausch told the board members the funding should be enough to provide raises for certified teachers for the next two years.
Call to the Public
After calling the roll, (all Governing Board members were present), Scott Bartle, the MUSD governing board president, did the usual changing of the agenda and then issued the Call to the Public.
Kindergarten and the 2012-2013 budget
- Clinton Justin, was the first to speak and wanted to discuss a possible override tax vote in the fall of 2012. He asked the public to come forward at the next meeting and make their concerns known to the governing board. He added, “I have talked with many members of the community, and all but one person told me they would support a three or four percent override vote.”
- Elizabeth Zimpleman spoke to the governing board members about her concern the MUSD would charge a fee for students to attend a full day kindergarten. Zimpleman read a letter from Steve McMullen, who was on vacation. McMullen stated in his letter how upset he is about the possibility of the governing board changing their policy of a free all day kindergarten to a tuition based program, and doing this less than six weeks before the 2012-2013 school year begins.
- Lorna Hawley spoke next. She said she is concerned about the timing of the discussion by the governing board members. Hawley said, “I support all day kindergarten and I believe any discussion of changes should be done for future school years, not the 2012 upcoming school year. My son greatly benefitted by being in all day kindergarten, and my daughter is looking forward to starting in the same program in just a few weeks.”
MUSD Governing Board member Jim Irving said, “The discussion on kindergarten was confusing to parents. The timing, to me, is just awful. We can't be changing the program around five or six weeks before school starts. I want to make sure the community understands the Governing Board was not voting on changing the kindergarten.”
MUSD Business Manager Aron Rausch presented the 2012-2013 budget to the Governing Board. Included in the proposed budget is the loss of $950,000 from the failed 15% tax override vote in November of 2011, the loss of more than $2.7 million in enrollment money (from students going to out of district schools), and loss of grant money not continuing past June 30, 2012. Rausch added, “This budget does include coverage of increased medical benefits. Some districts are not picking up all the medical benefit increases like we are.”
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ember Conley discussed some of the attachments in the informational support data for the Governing Board members’ consideration of full day kindergarten. Documents included in this report were:
The MUSD Governing Board unanimously approved the proposed $31 million budget for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. A final budget must be approved by the MUSD Governing Board on or before July 15, 2012.
- District Administration's Position -- Advantage of full day kindergarten
- History of full day kindergarten
- Student Counts -- May 2011 until 2012
- Average Class Sizes K-5
- Kindergarten Sibling Report
- Enrollment Numbers for Kindergarten -- School years 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012
- Cross-Year Box Plot Report -- Kindergarten Student Achievement
- Neighboring School Districts and Area Charter School Kindergarten Options
Possible Tax Override Vote
The Board members discussed and agreed to work together with community members to decide on calling for a tax override in November 2012. Governing Board Member Leslie Carlyle-Burnett asked if the board had considered taking a survey. Rausch replied that a survey had been discussed. Any decision about placing the override on the ballot needs to be made by August 8, 2012.
Priority List for Capital Projects
There is almost $600,000 of bond money that has already been approved by the voters, to be spent on MUSD facilities needing to be upgraded and/or improved. The Board gave approval to four items on the list needing to be completed by the end of the year. They are:
- Install energy enhancement controls at Maricopa Wells Middle School(MWMS), and finish project at Maricopa High School (MHS).
- Install shade structures at MWMS, Santa Rosa, and Pima Butte Elementary Schools.
- Replace carpeting at Pima Butte. It is currently a safety issue.
- Renovate the classrooms and restrooms at Maricopa Elementary School (MES) to accommodate the Independent Life Skills Program.
- The Governing Board voted to add or upgrade restrooms at the Career Technical Educational at MHS if the work can be done by the end of the year.
It wouldn't be an MUSD Governing Board meeting if the board didn't vote to convene to a behind-closed-doors executive session. There were two items listed on the agenda to be decided in executive session, and Governing Board President Bartle wanted to go into executive session over the Priority List for Capital Projects. Bartle made the motion and Irving seconded the motion. The motion carried and the Governing Board left the boardroom at 7:35 P.M. The Board does not discuss or inform the public what is decided in executive session.
There will be a work/study session of the MUSD Governing Board at 5:00 P.M. prior to the regular meeting at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in the Board Room at the District Office Administration Building. It is located at 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in Maricopa. You may want to call the District office at (520) 568-5100 for further information and to make sure the work/study session has not been canceled.