Tuesday's regular meeting was much shorter than usual and was missing two board members, but the remaining three voted on significant plans for the next school year, most significantly, the board approved its preliminary budget, featuring a couple of items worth calling out:
1) No planned increase in spending on maintenance and operations, despite repeated discussions and plans for a probable referendum request to spend millions of dollars on facilities and maintenance improvements across the district. The board's next meeting is supposed to feature some in-depth discussion of facilities maintenance and operations, as described in its Operating Expectations.
2) A 3.88% pay raise for teachers, along with a 3% increase in health insurance premiums (worth noting that the board is blocked from paying more than inflation-level increases in salary and cannot pay employee portions of health benefits, per Act 10).
3) A new consulting contract, following the end of the board's $50,000 per year agreement with the Aspen Group, which was tasked with implementing the district's coherent governance policy. It seems that despite the tens of thousands of dollars spend developing results policy and operating expectations for the district, district leadership still needs "executive coaching" and support for a new goal-setting and scorecard for whether they achieve their goals. So they will pay $30,000 a year, potentially for the next three years, for those services from Studer Group. Click here to view the contract.
4) $188,555 in salary and benefits for two new Deans of Students -- one at each elementary school, beginning next year. These two new staff members will take over some counseling-type tasks and some disciplinary duties to free up time for both the elementary school principals and counselors.
You can read the full preliminary budget document, including other highlights that Business Manager Patrick Miller lists, at this link: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicAgenda.aspx?ak=1000450&mk=50270605
The board spent much of Tuesday's meeting listening to a report on the district's Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, including plans to try to address some areas where Shorewood seems to be doing worse than the rest of the state -- areas like vaping, and feeling safe at school. I'll dive into that in a future post, but you can read the report to the board here.