Regular Board Meeting December 18th, 2013
NOTE: This web site is provided as a courtesy for those interested in following along with the happenings in our district, especially those that live in Corbett. This site and these board notes are not meant to replace official CSD board meeting minutes, which will likely be online in about 3-4 months from each meeting. The below dialogue and comments are notes taken directly from the audio of this meeting and they do include opinion as they are provided by those who attend these meetings regularly. Thank you to Karina Lande for the time you spend allowing our community to follow along with the decisions in our district!
Audio from this meeting
Regular Board Meeting 12/18/2013
Robyn requests Oct & Nov & Dec meeting notes be tabled as they’re not ready yet. Board approves Sept meeting minutes.
Email from Gary Purvine is mentioned. Select here to read that letter.
Annette announces the sale of Corbett Cheer Clubs anti bullying calendar and requests the efforts be supported to help bring Rachel’s Challenge anti bullying program to Corbett Schools.
Requests meetings have a 2 hour time limit. No exceptions and hold additional meetings if more time is needed. Would you do that?
Why is that?
This isn’t a back & forth, go ahead and make your comment.
It would certainly be nice if you’d consider it. Thank You
I’d just like to say that I certainly appreciate all of you and your time as a volunteer. I appreciate that you show up to these meetings, it’s a lot of work and a lot of time.
With that being said, every one of you has been elected by community members within Corbett and when we elected you, and I was very involved with this last election, with the 4 of you. I was involved because I believed in the 4 of you and I believed that you would absolutely represent our community. At the time it seemed like that went easy and that went well. We had people and a lot of people that supported that.
Now we have had a school bond and things flipped and it seems like we have a lot of people that are now not supportive and not happy with how things are going and I think what is frustrating to me is that it seems likes many things are being presented at this time that are being voted on without stopping to hear what the community has to say I think that it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the bond or issues about the charter or issues about graduation requirements or issues about number of students in the school. These are common issues. I continue talking to people that did not vote for that bond to understand why. I feel like we voted for all of you because we trusted you to be leaders and sometimes when your a leader you have to stand up and even stand against others that you possibly ran with and vote no or disagree. I am asking each of you individually that if you feel that this community does not support what we are doing right now I would ask that you not continue to vote for some of these things and give it the tone & the space for the community to be heard if we put together community meetings which I am more than happy to do and I think it’s a time to step away from what I personally want or maybe what you personally want but we look at this community as a whole. Thank you.
Kristy gives financial report. We’re in the middle of our audit so numbers will be updated in the near future. Notes: we did receive a grant for iPads at CAPS. We received CAPS payment of 1.1 million to the general fund.
Randy’s superintendent report
Corbett charter schools application of renewal was received. It says that application for renewal will be governed by state law. He reads pertaining law regarding the process saying a public hearing must be held. Law also states within 30 days of hearing the sponsoring district must approve or deny the renewal. If renewed, there’s 90 days to negotiate a new charter renewal. If it is denied the charter may submit a revised request.
At first glance the recommendations of our legal council will be that we do renew the charter agreement. That would lead through our time line where we’d have 90 days to re-negotiate that renewal. That would be where we would formally address rental agreement, pass through dollars, things that have come up, like how are you going to handle your English language learner kids, there’s lots and lots of things that would be renegotiated.
If you go through the reasons why you would deny a charter, there’s 5, and Corbett charter school probably has met all of those legal requirements. So the charter itself can be renewed which will be independent of any rental agreement or the actual terms within the charter.
What this doesn’t address is you have 90 days to renegotiate this, I can’t find any language what happens if you can’t come to an agreement? I don’t know. I haven’t been able to find that out, I guess it’s just assumed that you will come to an agreement within the 90 days.
Have you talked to the state and asked? Somebody has to have some guidance I would think.
Yes, I mean it’s brand new language so it’s not crystal clear what it means to everybody. There’s lots of arguments over interpretations with OSBA & ODE.
Copies of policies have had blacked out unreadable sections so Victoria asks for these items to be tabled until fully legible copies can be provided by OSBA in order to vote. Robin states it comes that way from OSBA & they are not able to help, but she lightens it as much as she can.
Resolution proposed to recognize it is necessary to enroll 1200 or more students in order to sustain the current educational opportunities of Corbett students.
This is meant to build consensus that Corbett school district is not sustainable with our resident students. There’s an important part maintain “current educational opportunities” the counter point would be that we “could not maintain current educational opportunities” which is the nice way of saying we could cut stuff. If you cut stuff then you don’t need the revenue. I’m not advocating we cut anything I’m just trying to describe the situation the way it stands.
Randy has many graphs showing dollars per student at varying districts, and state funding. Also our expenses and expenditures, and our budget shortfalls. See copies in pictures for all of his handouts.
He goes on to say we’ve sold things, operating levies have failed, so we added students. By his model without remaining at current student numbers we will be short 1.3 million dollars, equivalent to 13 high school teachers.
EVEN IF CHARTER IS GONE HE INTENDS TO KEEP THE SAME AMOUNT OF KIDS AND POSSIBLY ADD MORE ANNUALLY TO HELP COVER ROLL UP COSTS.
**(Note we currently have 1334 students, he is not suggesting we get rid of any, even with 500 charter gone, they would be replaced by transfer students.)**
Victoria states if we add more kids we risk losing small school funding. You guys keep talking 400 in the high school which is too many to keep the funding.
Yes we would lose our small high school for Corbett high school if we added more kids to Corbett high school BUT if the district opens up a separate school, like we have now & it’s calked Corbett charter school, that doesn’t impact our small school high school funding at all.
There’s several ways you could maintain the population of the 400+ kids in the high school without jeopardizing that. One would be a charter school or the other would be the district could open up another school, like you’ve heard me talk about a STEM school, because your right it’s important, that’s $500,000. We’d lose.
Victoria states Legislation may notice this situation and stop that.
They might do that and let’s just say they did, our problem still exists and it would make it even harder for us to operate if that was taken away from us. We’d be faced with the same decisions that we’re facing now just an extra $500, 000 more.
Last year we had the same discussion we are now and we agreed that we WOULDN’T HAVE MORE THAN 1200 students in the district.
There has to be flexibility in this. PERS is going up, there’s other parts of this equation we just can’t control.
I don’t really think this is something the board should be voting on.
In the last bond we heard a lot if feedback from the community about the charter school and the number of students. So without regards for the charter school, if we just focus on number of students I think it’s critical people understand to maintain our current educational opportunities at these funding levels this is about the number of students it takes. (Referring to his 1257 number on handout.)
I think it’s definitely something the school board needs to discuss because starting rate about now is our budget process and the administration works off the anticipated number of students to develop the budget and I think it’s inherent that the school board give them direction on where we’re going on this.
This doesn’t mean this is what we’re doing, 1257 students, it’s just saying we recognize the number we need to maintain at current funding. This isn’t saying it’s forever, we can change it. We have to be flexible.
The way I understand it from talking to people with the state of Oregon is formula is very simple, it’s the same for all school districts. You get money depending on your challenges like special ed, pregnant teens, English learners, on and on and that’s why it differs from school district to school district. We can’t compare ourselves to Reynolds, Portland public, they have more challenges but they pay more to educate those kids. We spend it differently too, we choose to spend our money on a ton of AP tests, other districts don’t. There’s a lot of things but we’re not underfunded we just spend it differently.
We continually try to fix a problem by growing. If that was the simple solution every district would just pack them in. It’s not an answer, we can’t keep growing to fix our problems. At the end of the day tough choices have to be made, other districts have made them. They’re not pretty, nobody wants to do them but you have to look at other areas sometimes besides continually maintaining an educational system that some of us don’t think is up to par as it is. I believe part of that is having too many kids.
It doesn’t matter what the state of Oregon says on this, we know what the funding is, so my question to you is: where would you like to cut?
There are things to cut, there are days sometimes to cut. Unfortunately cut AP for all that’s where I’d start first. We are also dinged by the state for green teachers.
My point is it’s a wash because the salaries cost more. Randy agrees.
Audience: “But it might be worth it for the kids”
We’re not going to talk about the difference in quality or anything. We’re just talking about the straight dollars. It would be a wash.
My point is that other districts are paying more for their teachers and you keep saying we’re underfunded compared to them. Although I do think it would come out educationally better for our children too.
Randy goes over more info and the cuts he has made, many teachers & secretaries etc.. States over the last 12 years it’s been cut & cut & cut. We have gotten rid of everything except instruction that we possibly can.
Board approves minimum of 1200 students: 5 in support (Charlie, Bob, Mark, Todd, David) to 2 opposed (Victoria, Annette).
Resolution to support GO bond planning committee authorized to select a firm to plan for a GO Bond.
Gives out estimates regarding interest rates. Historic lows and update of current rates that are going up. Speaks to urgency of rates & urgency of building condition.
He goes on to discuss structural seismic and what our liability is. Also points out fire safety & ADA code issues.
Gives timeline schedule to proceed with project based on going out in May and assuming it passes.
It will be a 12 month process to go through land use process. Break ground in June 2015, this will take 12-14 months for completion, set to open fall of 2016. If we push bond out 6 months for November this would put school not opening until fall of 2017. Suggests continue with planning process and get architectural firm to start planning process. The process needs to get moving.
States in March of every year we can open enrollment to students, so we need to decide our number of students and if we’re leaving the building empty or not so we know how many kids to bring in this, and the following years. If we wait until November we have potentially 4 years of running with fewer students creating a financially unsustainable level.
You don’t have to build a new building and you don’t have to start replacing things immediately. The reasonable plan can be that we start a time line there’s no reason to shut down the school. The other thing is we seem to be assuming that the charter is going to be gone because we’re not including them into these numbers. I don’t think that’s an assumption we should have because that’s not a given yet.
Yes we can decide we’re going to use the building next year because we have created a plan and protected ourselves from the liability, once we decide to go for a bond and have a reasonable plan.
I think we also need to find out what the voters of Corbett are willing to do & what they want and engage them with some discussion instead of continuing to tell them what we’re going to do. I’m not sure why we’re voting on this with a May bond when I didn’t think we decided to go in May, I think it’s too much of a rush. To me it makes more sense to talk the community first before we hire an architect to draw plans, it just seems backwards.
We talk about liability and I’m not going to get behind any kind of scare tactics. We knew there was liability when we put 2 million into an uninhabited building so there’s a lot of liability, we should have been maintaining better. Most importantly we need to go to the community. The seven of us can vote to put something on but at the end of the day if they don’t support it. What do we do if their is no new building? What if there is no bond that passes? You’ve got a bigger problem so you want to do it correctly which is what I wish we would’ve done in November. Slow it down, do just what we need, not what we want and get it passed.
This isn’t saying we’re going out for a bond, it says that we are supporting a bond planning committee. I think that should start. We still have time to get with the community. The planning committee to select the firm is not deciding what will be done. I would like an amendment to say that we support committee to “recommend” a firm for the board to select, not for the committee to select the firm. I think that is on us to select the architect. We should be the end all deciding factor, but have them recommend to us.
The problem with that is the timeline to get the language down & get information to the board it’s gotta be quicker then that. For them to have to come back to the board and have more meetings takes too long.
Well we can add meetings, if we’re going to do it, it’s on us. We’re the ones that were elected, we’re the ones who have to deal with the liability. The committee has no repercussions on them.
Yeah but is the board willing to sit in on the interview process of all the firms? They all agree yes they would.
Clarify this deal, to me it means that we’re going out for a bond in May & we’re going to pay people money to do the planning for us. So if your not gonna do it why would you pay people money. So this says if we vote in favor of this we’re going out for the bond in may.
Randy basically states we’re going out for a bond at sometime so to start this is good and the information will be valuable regardless of when we put it on the ballot.
I think we have enough information between the 7 of us and the community in order to decide what we want & prioritize those things before we ever engage an architectural firm to the tune of 30 to 40 thousand dollars. We know enough architects who have worked on projects here to get some price sheets and to get something better drawn up you can just order that at 2-3 thousand instead, and we can start organizing that and get with the community to see what they’re willing to do and then at that point we could hire an architect.
I think there’s been a lot of talk about saving that building or the front of it and we need an architect to guide us through that process.
I think we have enough information. We know how much a new building will cost and we know that saving it can be done & will cost more. To pay somebody to tell us all that again, I don’t see the merit for that. Once you have a bond amount then you have your team start on that as soon as the bond passes. You make the school fit with what the people want after you have a budget to work with.
The architectural firm that the committee would decide on would be a group that would keep the ball rolling. The way your suggesting I think we’d get bogged down. I think they’d keep the process moving quickly.
See that’s where we disagree I’m not going to stamp $30-$40,000 so some people here can come up with some kind of a plan.
We spent $25,000 on Rommel already, $25,000 on Bob Lawrence already and $8,000 on the survey and another $10,000 on the mailings plus peoples time, I mean we’ve probably got $100,000 already out there. We ignored what we were told by the survey when we went out last time.
We haven’t turned in for a cultural review with the county to even see what we can or can’t do with the building, I would think that should be our first step. When I talked to the county they said all it takes is your superintendent coming down and starting the process. I just don’t think with the amount of money we’ve spent already on this…. and your talking about the possibility of making cuts and I’m thinking that’s a teacher that we’ve already spent so let’s look at what can we do before we agree to spend more money.
The money your talking about is things we had to do. It’s community outreach, we had to facilitate our open forums and the committee. People still didn’t think we gave them detailed enough plans and enough information.
I’m saying don’t spend it again, we already spent it once.
Yes don’t spend it again. Try to come to priorities and a dollar amount we can agree on for the bond first. If it takes four months then it takes four months.
Interest rates aren’t going down and the time line for getting kids out of the school. Also if we go in may we can tell people there’s going to be a tax benefit and if we wait there’s going to be a tax increase.
They go back to discussing amending the resolution that the board select the firm instead of the committee. (Note, my understanding is this was to be a committee hand selected solely by Charlie alone).
Charlie feels the committee should select the firm to speed up the process. The majority of the board feels they should select the architect.
Charlie feels we should spend money and hire a new architect immediately and the majority of the board feels they should not.
Feels we shouldn’t go out for a bond in may. It’s too rushed, we need to get our act together and decide what it is we want and what we think the community will support. There’s a lot of other things that we’re going to be dealing with in the next 6 months, we really don’t know how that’s all gonna shake out.
Another reason is we have to decide how much to use the MS now and if we put off the ballot we’ve got 4 years before we get the new building.
Why don’t we table this and set up a meeting to try to prioritize our list and come to a consensus, then come back to this.
We could try that again I just think we want to make sure we have the opportunity to go in May so we should do this sooner rather than later.
Board votes to table the matter. 6 to 1, Charlie is only one in favor of starting a committee and spending $40k on a new architectural firm.
Board approves graduation requirements with language change to include approval for other paths by admin as seen fit.
This requires admittance to college, vocational, or military to graduate. Vote is 5 to 2.