It was like old times week having Steve Herrington there. The best news was Michelle Plumtree's estimate of an 11.4% increase in state funding under Brown's proposed new budget.
The auditor presented on how:
· by being forced to monitor pension unfunded liabilities it will make a lot of districts look insolvent
· property tax valuations are going up, which is good for paying off new bonds or floating new ones
· he was able to issue a “clean’ audit report, but there were some problems with the lack of several purchase orders, or other Admin person (like a CBO) signing off on disbursements
· because of some irregularities, the next capital assets inventory may turn up some surprises in 2014
· Michelle Plumtree and Board members pointed out that new protocols are in the process of being implemented, so overall they are not worried that the next audit report (June 2014) will uncover any big surprises
Steve Herrington reported that the numbers suggest there will not be enough savings to justify any Golden Handshake options for teachers, although contractually they have to open the window. Steve said there might be some CALPERS members who would qualify, however.
Michelle Plumtree reported how passing Prop. 30 has turned around education funding, and how Brown is proposing an increase greater than we have seen since the 2001-2002 school year. Deferrals will end if his new budget passes, and Prop. 98 will provide a huge window of opportunity to restore and increase school funding higher than he originally hoped.
Funding proposed for 2014-2015: 11.4% increase over what was expected, and some 1-time funds for selected categorical programs. $5.5 billion will be available to buy down the deferrals. No state bonds for construction are planned.
Herrington also recommended some funds be put into credit recovery programs for high school seniors.
Steve introduced a suit from SCOE, Jeff Heller, who helps our districts select a superintendent. He reports that interest is high in this job. SCOE is only charging WUSD the actual costs of the search. They do training the new supe with a coach who continues to work with them, and has resulted in lower turnover of those who have been part of this program.
They presented a timeline of the process they will follow, with dates, but acknowledging there will be flexibility on them and opportunities for input by people who cannot make meeting dates. They envision advertising widely in March, and deciding on one in May.