The Board of Education opened its meeting on a high note Tuesday,, both of which recently won their respective Class LL state championships.
Just over two hours later the meeting came to a close with allegations from several people of bullying on the boys’ high school basketball team. Board members heard from a 15-year-old sophomore, his parents, and a couple of supporters about an alleged culture of verbal and physical abuse on the team.
Sandwiched between the high and low sports news, board members discussed the need for technology equipment updates, unanimously passed policy changes related to immunization requirements for school enrollment and student medical records, discussed the process for the upcoming superintendent’s evaluation, and added wording to clarify a policy on budget procedures and major object code transfers over $10,000.
They also listened to students from , who shared details of their Project Eagle community service projects and efforts to encourage participation from their families.
At one point during the meeting BOE Chairman Debbie Leidlein announced the news that the Legislative Council’s education sub-committee voted 4 to 2 Tuesday to approve the 2012-13 education budget as recommended by the Board of Finance. The Council is expected to act on the full budget at its meeting tonight.
The Board of Finance recommendation represents a slight increase over last year’s education budget. “That’s moving in a positive direction and we hope that the Legislative Council embraces that recommendation,” Leidlein said.
On January 31 the Board of Education adopted a budget of $70,055,794 for the 2012-13 school year, which represented a 3.07% (or $2,084,367) increase over the 2011-12 budget.
Leidlein said the board trimmed $1.5 million from Superintendent Janet Robinson’s proposed budget to arrive at that figure. The Board of Finance reduced it by another $700,000 after education officials were able to renegotiate existing contracts and rates for electricity and fuel.
Board member John Vouros said someone needs to mount a campaign to get people out to vote for the budget because they tend to be re-active rather than pro-active. Robinson said board members and PTA presidents can advocate people to get out and vote. In her position as superintendent, Robinson said she cannot advocate but can only alert people to the date and place of the vote.
Board member Cody McCubbin said that reminder might be important considering the Republican primary will be held the same day and could be confusing because both activities will require some voters to go to two different locations.
The primary and the budget referendum are scheduled for April 24.