By Sharon Snell
Four of the five Board members were present. In the absence of President Jeff Nevin, Clerk Dawn Miller conducted the meeting. After opening routines, Consent Items approved included paying warrants, Board meeting minutes for April 10th and minutes from a Board workshop held on May 8th. In a brief Budget Hearing, the Board reviewed the proposed 2019-2020 Budget and voted to approve it. Final funding figures will depend on legislative decisions and enrollment numbers for fall.
In early Public Comments, Dawn Miller recognized representatives from the Hillside Before and After School Program who thanked the Board for their support of the first year of this popular program. They reiterated their desire to continue the program. Sharon Snell spoke of the hope for a discussion of noted changes regarding Agenda Item #8 under New Business, a Review of the Jump Start contract.
Reports and Presentations
Both Superintendent Todd Hess and Board member Dawn Miller reported being very busy staying informed on proposed legislation affecting public school funding.
There is a very serious concern among 14 or the 17 rural counties that funding changes could decrease per-pupil spending eventually by as much as 25% overall. The larger populated counties showing greater financial need (at least on paper) would benefit at the expense of the smaller rurals. That certainly includes Storey County.
Todd Hess introduced Michelle Booth, representing Fund Our Future, a coalition of parent, student, teacher and education partners determined to ensure Nevada public schools have adequate, stable funding for all students. Ms. Booth’s presentation was powerful for anyone seriously interested in strong meaningful public education programs. For more detailed information, please visit www.FundOurFutureNV.com . (Some of what you learn may produce surprise and even anger. For example, did you know that Nevada uses a funding formula that is the oldest in the nation (1967) and that our State ranks 48th in the nation when it comes to school funding?)
All Board members thanked Ms. Booth for her presentation.
Supt. Hess introduced 2 high school Student Council representatives who reported on their latest activities. Colleen Conley congratulated the track teams on how well they did this year. She also reported being grateful to the Food Bank for visiting the Lockwood area once a month bringing fresh food. Gary Hames reported on the difficulty in getting lifeguards for the community pool in Miner’s Park. This problem will likely delay the opening of the pool and affect end-of-the-year school picnic activities.
Presenters for the Kindergarten, 5th Grade, 8th Grade, and High School Graduations were decided. Graduation dates, times, and places can be found on the School District website in the pulldown menu under Calendars clicking on “online calendars.”
The Board approved an updated list of members for the Safety Development Committee, a VCMS Leadership trip to Tahoe Tree Top Adventures, and the moving of specific monetary funds to gain interest and use for future Capital improvements, as suggested by auditor Jim Sciarani.
In the Review of the JumpStart contract, specific modifications were discussed and the JumpStart contract approval was tabled until the July agenda. In the later Public Comment section, Sharon Snell expressed gratitude for the discussion and the modifications suggested to the JumpStart contract.