Click to listen to or download an mp3 audio file of this 7/28/2008 meeting.

Arlene Silveira: Good evening everyone welcome to the board of education special meeting and open session for Monday July 28, 2008.

First on the agenda this evening is approval of minutes dated July 21, 2008... A motion?...Motion in a second. Any discussion?... All those in favor? Aye[ from speaker and crowd.]

Arlene Silveira: Opposed?.. And that passes seven to nothing. Next on the agenda we will be addressing the projected future mmsd budget gaps and before I turn the meeting over to the Superintendent Dan Nerad, I liked to take a moment to introduce someone in our viewing audience, sitting next to Superintendent Dan Nerad is Eric Kass. Eric is our new assistant Superintendent Dan Nerad for business services and will be doing part of the presentation this evening. And you will be seeing a lot of Eric in the next few meetings and again welcome and we are very happy you've joined us.

Eric Kass: Thank you.

Arlene Silveira: I'll turn it over to Superintendent Dan Nerad.

Superintendent Dan Nerad: Well thank you very much and I began with thanking you as a board for setting aside the time to create an important conversation for our community. And that is around the current budget, the current fiscal situation for the Madison Metropolitan School District. Before I get into our what I am hoping is a fairly brief presentation this evening, I wanna layout a perspective around schedule meetings as we have thought through them in terms of our goals to provide information to ensure we know what your questions are and to in fact provide you with information to answer those questions. The meeting schedule for this evening is basically with a goal to frame up what that problem is. While there may be some mention of what has been done in the past, our goal is to not talk about a plan this evening, its not to present to you a set of recommendations this evening but its to have us all come to some understanding about the nature of what this problem is in terms of the fiscal status of the school district.

We are looking at the August 4th meeting as a presentation of options for your consideration. With the understanding that we are not asking that action be taken in the second meeting either. But to give you a chance to look at some recommendations, options in dealing with fiscal issues involving the school district.

Later on this evening we'll talk about two public forums that we're proposing would take place between the second and the third meeting where we'll be able to present the overall information briefly to the public and to give the public a chance to ask questions and to share concerns. With the idea that the meeting on August 18th is a presentation of recommendations for your consideration. And, again, I want to underscore through this, it is our intent to be responsive to your question so if that has to modify the timeline as a result of that, we are prepare to work with that but I just wanted to give you a sense of how we, as staff, are thinking about the ordering of these meetings. Another way to say this is we are not making recommendations tonight, we're not asking the board to consider any action tonight. We're asking for an opportunity to develop an understanding amongst us as well as the people in the community watching this; developing and understanding of what these problems and issues are.

So I begin with an overview of the material we put together and reminding us that our anchoring really comes to what the Wisconsin Constitution exerts as a guarantee for children which was reiterated in the Vincent D. Voight case which is that 2000 case, most recent state Supreme Court case affecting the funding of schools. Wisconsin students have the fundamental right to an equal opportunity for a solemn basic education; one that will equip students for the role as citizens and enable them to succeed economically and personally. Yes we educate children but there are purposes behind that education and obviously we know that there are resource commitments that need to be made in order to address this type of legal commitment which I also believe has ethical and moral assertion behind it as well.

We begin the presentation by focusing on why is there a problem. And we wanna first and foremost point out that the issues affecting this school district are issues that are also occurring in other school districts in the state. While there may be some circumstances, and there are circumstances that are unique to one place or another, we know that this funding dilemma and the gap that exists between what the current state funding formula provides and how expenses are being dealt with in school district is not unique to this school district. Although we have our story here that is certainly unique. And again I want to emphasize that it really lies at the heart of it is the constraint between the current formula that was put into place in 1993 which basically asserted that the state provide more resources to schools through the two thirds funding if, in turn, school districts would control their costs in two ways. One was through the revenue cap and the second was through the qualified economic offer. And so that was the kind of exchange or the quid pro quo that was made at that time in public policy; to be able to provide more state funding for schools at the same time to place limitations on how much a school district could spend.

In the document we point out examples of this dilemma as it is affecting some of the top ten school districts in the state. Ranging in, for example Waukesha school district of 2.6 million dollar program and service reduction for the 08/09 school year. The district that I am most recently familiar with, Greenbay with a 6.5 million program and service reduction. And just to point out the difference we mentioned we seen there, we use a wording increase revenue authority that represents their gap but that's also, its described that way because of having more authority through a successfully passed referendum to exceed the revenue cap within that community. So that is what's meant by an increase revenue of authority.

Now the funding formula is one that school districts across the state are wrestling with. You know the history that this school district has had in terms of the types of decisions that have been made which we are going to underscore in just a minute to accommodate that funding formula but as I turn this over to Eric for the bulk of the rest of the presentation, I'll conclude its all with the idea yes there is a need to have school funded but its around the assertion that our kids have to have a high quality education to be successful in the world that they are growing into. And yes we do have a fiscal responsibility to use community resources in the most cost effective manner and the reality of it is there are constraints in meeting that proposition. So with that, and I will return for the conclusion, I'll turn it to Eric who will provide us with more detail of the nature of the problem.
Eric: Thank you very much Dan. And thank you for the warm welcome. Once again, I am very excited to be here talking to you. Unfortunately it is not my favorite topic even though I presented and talked about what we're doing this evening. As Dan eluded to, where I come from in Waukesha, problems are all the same throughout the state of Wisconsin. And it really does hint around what we are going to go over this evening.

Dan alluded to two terms that I am going to try to get a little more in depth on. This is meant to be a skeleton and hopefully I can fill in the holes. Please feel free if you do have questions to jump in at any point in time so I can clarify or answer those for you.

Many limits were state imposed during the 1993/94 school year. Basically what they are, are controls that were meant to limit property tax scrolls in the state of Wisconsin.

Lady in audience: We're having a hard time, you're a little muffled. Maybe if you could, the microphone can go a little higher.
Eric: I'm sorry. Is that better?

Lady: Can you hear?

Eric: I bet. One of those limits, as I was saying, were state imposed legislation in 1993 that was really meant to curtail property tax increases in the state of Wisconsin. And really what it did was limit the amount of money a school district could receive in three main area; number one property taxes, number two equalization aid which is the state's commitment to funding in the state of Wisconsin and also something called the computer aid or the computer aid levy... property tax levy. And what that really does is that property tax relief pass for computers that are tax exempt.

End of type.

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99862 min:9.26-19.22 Grade 9.00/9--------------------

And this is something called the Computer Aid Levy or Computer Aid Levy, Property Tax Levy and what that really does is it's Property Tax Relief passed along by the State of Wisconsin for computers that are tax exempt within our Tax & Authority, so there's three main areas that really made up this revenue limit. Since 1993, there have been tweaks and things done to the revenue limit, but overall the formula has been pretty much staying intact.

Every Wisconsin school district in 1993 was frozen after people found out what they were spending, so truly in 1993, '94 no two school districts were created equal. School districts that were very conservative remained at the lower level and districts that were overspending and more liberal in their spending at that point and time were locked into the higher rate. And then what happened every year is on the revenue limit, there was a per pupil increase and what that did is, it increased every schools district per pupil allocation by the same exact amount.

In 1994, that was a $194.37 now [?] in 7/08 that has risen to $264.12 over that 15 year span there's been an average increase of 2.2% per year. Now that's going to be an important point as we talk about in the next couple of pages in how our revenues have increased by 2.2% per year since 1993. When we talk a little bit further about the qualified economical offer.

What happens is that per people allocation then multiplied by a three year rolling average and a three year rolling average is important because it helps districts that are declining in enrollment are pretty stable, but there's a negative to it if you do increase enrollment, It takes you three years to catch up to that per people increase, because again it's the three year average so the three previous years divided by three, so truly it's an average that tries to level out the impact the major decline or a major increase in enrollment would have in any given schools district.

Moving further to the qualified economic offer to what Dan eluded to, the opposite of the house the expenditures, that was another piece of legislation that came about in 1993. What the legislator said was that was to avoid binding arbitration a school district must offer a compensation package of salary and benefits that would be 3.8% over the prior years expenditure line items.

And when we think about that and what I talked about with the revenue we'll get into in the next couple of slides, but that 3.8% is on 85% of many school districts in the State of Wisconsin, so almost 85% of the budget here in Madison increases annually by minimum of 3.8%. Now, that is a blend of salary increases and benefit increases, so a lot of times when districts are proactive, do make changes there is a requirement that a lot of those savings would be past along to the bargaining unit for the teacher's unit.

The teacher's unit is the only unit that is under the qualified economic offer and there's other's rules around what other units could get based upon that. But teachers are our main employee here in our school district and that's one of the major expenses.

Since 1993, it's important to know that on average the school district here in Madison has averaged about 4% and remember that 3.8% is a minimum that needs to be offered, so kind of what's that's done in an essence here in the State of Wisconsin is set the floor that you start negotiating around and a lot of times, in order to keep labor at peace, you do go a little bit above and beyond compensation packages.

Flipping to the next page, this is the budget breakdown that is part of our annual budget that I'm sure the board has seen many times before and that's talking about 84% of the school district's budget is tied up in salary and benefits. We are meant to educate children and we do that through the use of employees. Now, that's the beginning when you talk about fix costs, you talk about utilities, we're no different than any home owner or any of us that has to pay our utility bills.

We see natural gas increases from WE [sp] energies and providers that we use, student transportation increases on an annual basis around 4.3% here for the school district. Maintenance of our facilities are all within that 2% increase annually and districts insurances such as worker's compensation, liability things that we need to protect our school districts and the people we educate that work for us are all increasing at rates well above that 2.2%.

Going to the next page, this is a historical graph that we put together that looks at a 1992, 1993 school year the last year that boards had the authority to levy up to what they thought they needed for the education and to meet their expenditures demands on an annual basis. So what we did is, we base lined that at a balanced budge without any reductions and then the bottom line follows the trend of revenue limit increases that our school district has seen since 1993.

Then on top of that, the top line listed as expenditure increases is the actual expenditures this school district annually if there was never any budget reduction done by the school district and that's also balanced by the board's ability over that timeframe to use what's called equity or fund balanced to offset annual expenditures, so the school district has done a pretty decent job litigating that dollar amount that could be more than $60 million total over the life since 1993 - 1994.

So they've done many things that we'll talk about not only in the facet of reductions, but also efficiencies gained and the use of equity on an annual basis. So looking at this graph, what the Board of Education does on an annual basis is to balance the budget is that it takes that budget and it flattens it out to meet the revenue and the requirement, so we really truly do things that we will talk about on the next page to bring our expenditures line item down to their state required revenue limit.

Then getting into what has been done for the last 15 years, and again this is not meant to be comprehensive. This is a lot of the major initiatives and things at this school district is undertaken in order to gain efficiencies and meet that state mandated revenue limit. I think overall every school district from what I've seen here in Madison over the last two weeks have been very proactive in financial management and decisions that the board has made over that 15 year period to delay many of the major programs reduction that a lot of school district around the state has already seen.

The district is always looking to create efficiencies in some of those efficiencies I'll get into in a moment. Unfortunately since 1993, the board has had to reduce programs and services well over $60 million and you can see in that second bullet point those are grouped by five year increments for the beginning of revenue limits and a little bit after 2000, the board had used equity to mitigate reductions, but you can see that in those five year increments, we went from a little over $10 million to over $14 million into now almost $36 million over the last five fiscal year of school years here at Madison.

Then from 2000 to 2005, the district received the authority through a referendum to exceed the revenue limit authority for maintenance of facilities, so the community thought it was important to maintain those facilities, which we would normally pay for under revenue limits. We received the authority from $20 million over that five-year period.

Again in '03, the community approved a revenue overwrite authority of $12.3 million and the school district levied a little over $3 million that was balanced by almost $4 million of reductions that the board of education approved at that time to balance the '03, '04 budget. Then again in '05, the community renewed the maintenance tour facility referendum amount to a little over $26 million, that's set to expire in 2009-2010 school year.

It could be that some of the main efficiencies created, energy conservation in which is huge all over the State of Wisconsin, Madison has done an excellent job in saving almost over $2 million annually through a lot of the good work that Doug Pearson and his folks do over in the Maintenance Department and initiatives that they bring forward at the board has seen a lot of those implementation of the Lasing [sp] software, which will garner about $4.5 million in efficiency savings through implementation of that software.

Transportation savings over $600, 000 annually, that's two head of two pieces first there was private school partnership that was negotiated a little while back that saves around $250, 000 annually for the private schools manipulating some of their bell times and that's piggybacked on the school manipulating their bell times around 2001 to stable the bus routes creating two tiers, which eliminates some routes and creates those efficiencies.

The next one is the use of Tif monies to pay off district debt early. We all know that for 8/09, there was a Tif defacement of left $5.7 million here in Madison that the board took action to, not only fill the gap for the reduction, but utilize the remaining $1.3 million to pay off debt early that will save quite a bit of money in future interest that would be paid on those binds.

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Eric: ...took action to not only to fill the gap for the reduction, but utilized the remaining 1.3 million dollars to pay off debt early. That will save quite a bit of money in future interest that would be paid on those bonds. Then, also in the recent past the board changed health insurance plans from PPOs to HMOs for most of our employee groups and retained about 15% of the total savings that was garnered from that change. And in an annual review of [xx] is part of the approval processes also created efficiencies and looked at the way that we spend the community service tax levee here for the Madison school district.
Man 2: Eric, Thank you. We have provided back up material on the lengthy history of decisions that you have made as a board of education, both in the areas of reductions as well in the areas of efficiencies, and I think that's, that's an important part of the story and it certainly provides more detail then what we've provided here this evening.

The fact of the matter is, under the current funding formula, districts have to have these kind of conversations and boards of education, like you, have had to face, you know, from year to year, how do we manage that constraint between the revenue cap and the expenses of the school district. In terms of the picture for 2009/10, I think it's important to point out that a conscious decision to use those, that [xx], district completion, avoided only for a one year period of time, further reductions.

I think you can see, especially using Eric's five year chunking, in these past five years, you know, that representing over double that, what was done in any of those other two previous five year groupings of time. And so, being able to use that and retire some debt at the same time, my feeling has given us an opportunity to say, well long term, you know, what's the next step? But I think what's important to point out is that, that represented, you know, a one year solution that doesn't represent the solution going forward, because the gap remains.

I do want you to know that when the budget was originally provided to you, the information regarding the forecast assumptions had a projection of a 9.2 million dollar gap for next school year. I want you to know that that has been reduced to 8.2 million dollars. And I want you to, and I'll share with you in a minute about what we're doing to fine tune that on all of our behalves, but I wanted, just to have Eric take a second to explain what allowed us to go from 9.2 to 8.2.
Eric: (concurs) It really hinged around revenues that were budgeted into the forecast of about a million dollars for heat and other things that, unfortunately when we were doing some looking at the data over the last week, we found that they weren't accurately reported correctly. So, when we found that error and then began to carry those forward correctly there was a reduction of about a million dollars from that 9.2 to 8.2 million dollars.
Man 2: Now having said that and then having had numerous discussions with Eric, and others about that, what we've decided to do is to go back on all of our behalves and reformulate all the assumptions, to look at them, you know, anew. And so, our goal is, obviously by the full meeting that's scheduled, is to let you know if there's any adjustment beyond this one million dollar adjustment.

I also have to say that we, if there is an adjustment, we don't know which direction it would go in. You know obviously, our hope would be it, you know, can there be some other things that would legitimately reduce that gap amount. Our goal is to be really comfortable as staff at presenting, you know, we want to be more comfortable then what we are right now.

And so, what Eric is doing, is he has gone back to the organization that did that forecast and we're having it redone, just to make sure that there aren't any other lines on there that cast something different in... Again my hope is that it won't go in the other direction, but I think it's more important that at the end of the day, when you're making those decisions based on recommendations that we'll bring to you, that all of us know what that final number is.

So, this is what we are comfortable forecasting for you today and that is that there has been a reduction from 9.2 million in the gap to 8.2 million and then there's more to come once those assumptions are completely redone. So, we'll keep you updated as that work is done, and we are projecting around August 13th to have that done on all of our behalves. So, again our goal is in that, by that last meeting, is to present to you the most accurate dollar amount that that gap consists of.

Our additional goal, in terms of going forward, what's next and obviously it's a commitment to working with you to insure that we remain fiscally prudent and in our recommendations. And that we are also examining whether or not there are any additional reductions and efficiencies that we can bring to you. If part of the package with the final recommendations, you know, and I am not able to project yet that there are, but I want you to know that that's part of the journey that we are on, is to say, is there anything else, once we know what the gap is, is there anything else not effecting programs for next year because we've made commitments to programs for next year and obviously contracts are in place.

But I also feel that it's part of our responsibility working with you, as a board, to make sure that we've done that due diligence. That we've looked, opened it back up, and say, is there anything else? Once we know what that gap is that we can legitimately recommend for further reduction or additional efficiencies. So that obviously has to be part of our commitment between now and that final meeting that's scheduled. And so we do intend to identify any areas in that, potential reductions and efficiencies.

We also intend is to present to you at the next meeting what the potential options are. Including, presenting revenue generation plan that would be tied to a referendum. You know, while we, we know, we're not presenting you that recommendation, we know that that gap is of sufficient size that given the reductions that have been made that it's quite likely that one of those options has to be the conversation around a referendum.

And then I felt it was important that we stayed here, that beyond this we have an obligation to work with you and others in the community to create at some point in time a discussion about the funding formula itself. I mean, because none of what we're recommending ultimately to you, or I should say it this way; all of what we're recommending to you is within the current funding formula because we have no choice but to work within that context.

But I guess what I'm saying is that this also requires some advocacy strategies that are more long term then this discussion, and certainly I'm committed to having that kind of discussion and seeing what direction we can go on with that.

I mentioned to you that our target right now is 8.2 million dollars. But our goal is to see if our number can be less then that in the final analysis. And I don't know yet, if we are going to be able to meet that. I hope we can, but also that, in doing so, our goal is to have the least amount of impact on children and the services that they need to be educated around what the state constitution calls for.

We do want to have a discussion with you about the forums that are upcoming, but that can evolve as part of our discussion next. We also want to present to you, around that referendum concept next time, ideas on recurring or non-recurring referendum. And here's the obligation that I feel, and that is, eventually we'll make a recommendation to you for the third meeting.

But I think it's important that we get on the table for you, all of the plusses and the minuses that go with one type of referendum or another type of referendum, knowing that in the end, some judgments will have to be made. So we'll be prepared to speak to that concept next week. And to give you the pros and cons as we would see them, which will inform your discussion as a board.

We also, as staff, want to have a conversation about; are there any other needs that we can't meet in any other way? And I want to let you know that this is not urging our, we are not urging ourselves to go into any exorbitant kind of direction. But I just feel an obligation to make sure that we're at least examining minimal things like school safety kinds of considerations. And again that obviously needs some more complete plan tied to it and I'm not predicting that we are going to come with anything in that area. I want that understood very definitively.

But I at least feel an obligation that we at least, as staff, have that conversation around any of those types of needs that we cannot address in any other manner. We may choose not to recommend anything to you, but at least I'm wanting you to know that we want to be able to have that type of conversation as well. So with that said what we tried to provide you with an understanding of the current state of funding formula to make sure that we provided you and our...

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99878 min:28.49-33.47 Grade 8/9--------------------

Superintendent Dan Nerad: I am wanting you to know that we want to be able to have that type of conversation as well.

With that said, what we tried to provide you is an understanding with the current state of the funding formula. Make sure that we have provided you and our community an understanding of what historically has been done, both in the way of reductions and in efficiencies and our hope is that we captured as much of it in one of those two supplemental documents, but we are not going to take any exception. If there is something that we have missed we certainly want be able we want to have those documents to be accurate, but we tried to capture those things.

We are forecasting that the current gap given the current formula is 8.2 million dollars. And we are going to review those entire sets of assumptions, Eric is doing that work, to see if in the end that is what were going to recommend as the gap. I just feel that it is important that we feel on solid ground with whatever that gap is. I'll tell you what it came down to is that if we discovered that one place we had to look at all of it, is what it came down to. We're in that process right now and will have that data by the 13th in order to inform the discussion at the last meeting.

. So with that both Eric and I thank you for the opportunity to present that information and we would welcome any questions you may have.
Woman 1: A comment and a question. First of all thank you both for the presentation, I think it helped get everyone on the same page I really appreciate the effort you are taking to go back and look at all the forecast assumptions. I thank you very much for doing that.

A question for the Superintendent Dan Nerad;. We here good questions from the community on the concept of same service budget or cost to continue budget. What does that really mean? How do we know as a community as a school district, that we are doing the right thing to support a vision, that we are staffing appropriately? That the programs we have in place are working, and are the right programs? I was hoping you could share in general terms your thoughts for approaching this as we move through the year.

Superintendent Dan Nerad: Sure Now I think that an important place to have as well. Now we know that we have made commitments for next year. The short term is just this next year. But what I want us to and I referred to it at my first meeting with you as well as we got to know each other in the search process, is I want and I will be recommending to you near the end of the first semester, second semester beginning, a process whereby we will reexamine our entire strategic plan as a school district.

We have a plan in place and in no way is my comment to suggest that any of those elements are the wrong elements, but I am strongly biased by the view that any healthy organization does a snap shot of itself through good planning and identifies the priority directions to be taken through that plan .

Which will have well very well defined action plans, that both need to be made explicit. In terms of what those priorities are, which really can help inform budget discussions, forth coming in terms of once we proclaim something in my experience usually it is to categorize things although it doesn't have to be in term of priority ones, priority twos, priority threes, but it allows us to think about the priorities of the strategic plan in more that we have to get this done tomorrow, because we know we don't have that type of capacity to do that. And in no way am I saying it is changing everything we do, in fact I hope it doesn't, but it re grounds us in knowing that because we have had the conversation with a large committee of internal and external stake holders with some board involvement. We've had the conversation about are these thing still important to us or are there other things given our data that are more important now.

So I am an opponent of getting at that vision through that type of planning process. Which really should help already with the kind of decisions, well need to make, you'll need to make the year after this new year that will start with Sept two. With that plan that will be in place if you have accepted the process and I am going to bring you the whole package about how, what I am recommending.

Because this cannot be the Superintendent Dan Nerad strategic plan it has to be the districts, all of ours strategic plan. It is important that you accept the parameters of that planning if you have other ideas. We know what those are and we shape that together. So I'll bring you that planning process near the end of the first semester.

I believe that document will reitere(sp) will help us at least.

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Male 1: It's important that you accept the parameters of that planning and if you have other ideas that we know what those are and we shape that together.

So I'll bring you that planning process near the end of the first system, but I believe that document will help us create those priorities starting the year after the one that begins on September 2.

Is that what you're looking for?
Female 1: Yes. Thank you. I appreciate that.
Female 2: Mr. Williamson.
Mr. Williamson: Yes. I have a question here. Thank you Superintendent Dan Nerad and Mr. Kass [?], as well, for the presentation.

One of the things that I wanted to ask you about... and obviously, you have laid out dates of when things are going to occur. In terms of a referendum, I'll be preaching to the choir here, but it's a community decision to make and, obviously, as members of the board of education we should be trying to represent the communities views. On the 18th when you give, in essence, the recommendations to the board for whatever it is you are going to recommend, the pros and the cons,
Male 1: Right.
Mr. Williamson: ...in the past the thing that we have done is instead of voting on that particular night we have waited a week, in essence, to allow ourselves to read material, gather community in put, just kind of think about what it is we are about to embark on, if we embark on anything. With a week delay in terms of a actual vote from the board of education, would that delay any decisions that the administrative staff would be making?
Male 1: Absolutely not. I do want to check with Steve.
Female 2: OK. He wants more time.
Male 1: In fact, that is one of the prerogatives that I hope you would consider taking. So your presentations will be in three, unless you have more questions that what we have answered then we are prepared to do whatever is needed to make sure that we answer those questions for you. But there is that time built in that could occur.

I mean, let me also be very clear, as well. If there was a vote tonight Interviewer: would be prepared to make a vote tonight. Sure. OK. And that's because I have lived this, as all of us have lived this, for a long period of time. We hve discussed it and tonight is a good opportunity again as the President said to get on the same page.

But as we move forward, I think it will be very imperative that...Again, a referendum is a community decision and it's a community discussion, as well.

I hope I am not speaking out of turn. I am not speaking for anyone on the board. Hopefully, other people will be able to share how they feel as well.

But I do believe that as much information as we can give to this community it will be for the better. I just really believe that this is where we are right now. There is no secrets. The information tonight has been laid out. And, obviously, more information as we move forward will be needed. But I do believe, again, that its part of a community process to, again, get the information, pull back, and then we need to move forward. If we move forward, it will be quickly.

I guess, again, I am not saying anything that anyone doesn't know.

But, last week when we discussed about calendars, times and things like that, a referendum would put a lot of things, kind of, ....We, probably, would have to reprioritize a lot of things as a board because the time will becoming very quickly and we'll be inundated with a lot of questions, issues, and things like that. And so I just wanted to put that out there.
Female 2: Miss. McKiak [?]
Female 3: First of all, I also would like to thank you for your presentation. I appreciate the time and thought that has gone into the information and the fact that it was easily digestible as opposed to causing indigestion. So I thank you for that. My stomach thanks you for that. The viewing audience is probably thanking you from their Barcaloungers.

What I really like about the way that we are proceeding is that we aren't being asked to make a decision tonight or next week or the week after. I think some of the places where we said, "I don't want to make a decision this week." was when we had things that came to us that the...

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99955 min:38.30-43.28 Grade 9/9--------------------
Woman 1: ...perceiving is that we aren't being asked to make a decision tonight or next week or the week after. I think some of the places where we said, "I don't want to make a decision this week", was when we had things that came to us that day or three days earlier. They were big questions, and we weren't prepared to choose.

I am hoping that we will all be talking with various communities and community members in the coming days and weeks to get a feel for what people are thinking and feedback on the referendum. Part of me says, "Absolutely, I can wait until the 25th to make a decision", but part of me also says, "How many days do we have between now and the November elections?" That's the part where the 18th doesn't feel too bad to me.

I think there is going to be a balance, and I appreciate having the luxury of having the thoughts of a deliberative process as a group and with administration as partners in working through some of the questions so that we can, at the earliest date that we're prepared to do so, take a vote so we know where we are going and what we are going to be doing this fall.

Thank you for everything.
Man 1: You're welcome.
Woman 2: Thank you also for this information and it's also been presented in a way that I think is very understandable to the public. I hope that a lot of people will download this and take a look at it because it explains especially the revenue limits and the qualified economic offer very well.

I had some specific questions, and I'm not sure now is the time to ask then. But, they are questions that I think will come up from the public. I am wondering if there's some kind of a Q & A blog or something that we could put together for people in the community so that they can ask questions.

For example, fuel costs; for example, special ed money that came in last year; these sorts of questions that people may have. Also, maybe, the board could also write their comments or their questions, and then you guys could answer those for everyone to hear.

I am also interested in knowing how we do plan to engage the public in this process. I'm not sure if you're thinking about the sorts of public hearings that we had before or something more open. Have you had time to think about those yet?
Man 1: Surely, first in terms of having something on our website, we can immediately have that conversation as a staff in terms of what can we set up that would allow people to ask questions and provide answers and just keep letting that grow and grow. While we may have thought through a lot of the questions, I know we haven't thought through all of them that are going to be on people's minds. We can look at that right away.

One of the things that we've looked at is obviously--well, I guess I'll comment on two things. In terms of the more immediate public hearings, we want them in some place other than this building. We've talked about one on the west side, one on the east side, the extent to which, although there may be some problems with this. If we can find a community location, although it seems we're just in kind of a--with preliminary checking, things aren't as available as I had hoped. What's most important is we find a way to connect with members of the community through these forums.

Then, we need to construct for you which we have not done yet, and part of it is we're just not being presumptuous as staff as we do this, is what will that information providing plan look like? That has to be put together in a defined way in terms of communiqué with parent groups, in reaching out to other organizations.

I can assure you that it will be our intent to describe that in a much clearer way. I know that needs to happen. We're not doing it quite yet, although we will need to do it very soon if that's your judgment because we're not presuming the solution at this point. We know that time is of the essence, too. We'll put that together for you.
Woman 1: Mr. Paulson [sp]?

Mr. Paulson: I want to thank you, too, for putting together this historical [xx]. I've always wanted to see one of those. It's really rather incredible if you go through it.

I would like to take it one step further, if we could.

[audio ends]

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99956 min:43.13-48.27 Grade 8.00/9--------------------
Man 1: I want to thank you two[??] for putting together this historical reduction because I've always wanted to see one of these. And its really rather incredible if you go through it. I would like to take it one step futher if we could. For example I'd like a breakdown exactly of how many cuts were made to adminstration and the cost savings, how many cuts to direct services to children with the cost savings, the total clerical staff reductions and the cuts we've made in our facilities and reductions there. That I think would be very important for us to have and present to the public. And also there's this figure out there that seems to change every time you ask a different group of people of how much money we spend per child in this district. Do you have that number? Do you know what that exact number is?
Man 2: Not off the top of my head. Its a little bit over $10, 000 I think.
Man 1: Yeah, that's what I thought too. Sometimes it goes as high as $12, 000 according one group or $11, 000 to the other. I would love to know if we could break down that money. Lets say its $12, 000 how many thousand go to staff, how much of it goes to materials and cirriculum, how much of it goes to planning and so on. So we could show what we do with that money, that would be very useful as well. The other thing I'm interested in knowing, and I don't know this because I wasn't on the board when it was presented to them. And that is: How does Lawson save us so much money? Because we know that people out there go and look at our budget and look at these big, big money items and I don't have an explanation.
Man 3: If I may we can provide you a breakdown by category because the report can simply be done that way. My question is when we do that have we sufficiently addressed your categories. So let us provide that to you and then you'll look at it and say if something needs to be broken down further, and we'll provide you a more accurate figure on the cost per child, and then we'll get more defined relative to the Lawson savings.
Man 1: I want to thank you very much for this because what we're pledging to the public is this honest approach: everything's out in open, everything's there, nothing's going to be hidden. And I think when they hear this they're going to accept a lot of things that we have to say to them because of our honesty. So I appreciate that very much.
Man 3: We will get that as a part of the next cut of information to give you.
Woman 1: Mr. Hughes.
Mr. Hughes: I had a couple points. First, in terms of scheduling if we were choose to go to a referendum and if we want to get it on the November ballot because that is the largest participation rate and we get the fullest sense of the community. What is the requirement in terms of certifying questions to the state and when would we have to get that done?
Man 3: Right, We have all of that information and I can make that available to you for next week's presentation as part of that. We'll give you all those dates.
Man 4: [xx] September [xx] Friday, September First is when we elect the canidates for city clerks. Excuse me.
Woman 2: We have plotted all of that information backwards from the November election to when it needs to go to the city clerk's office and I'm going to say it's Friday, September First and that gives them the 90 days they want to be able to certify everything to make sure that its correct for the November election.
Man 3: But understand we'll make sure that we will provide you that full calendar.

Man 5: Thank you. I also found interesting, striking the list of all the cuts that have been made over the years. I suspect that some of those cuts were later restored to some extent or another because some things seem to be cut several times. What would be interesting to me is to see how the district differed in 1993 before the cuts were started and exist today. For example what sort of student ratios that we had that we no longer have, what kind of services were available, I assume the tag programming was greater then than it is now and a whole list of that sort of stuff I think would be useful. Put it in your context.
Man 3: OK. We can work on that for you. We had a pretty lengthy discussion about that whole idea because the reality of it is that if a cut is made in a given year it is a cut and then two years later there may be a whole other conversation. So we wanted to cast it in the most accurate terms in terms of what happened that year. But yes, you're right. But I also would want to say is the great majority of that list represent things that were not brought back. There are some things of an incrremental nature I would describe. I don't know if you would want to add to that. Is that accurate?

Man 6: That is accurate.

Man 5: But that's what I'm trying [cuts off]

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99957 min:48.12-53.10 Grade 8.00/9--------------------
Man 1: ...is the great majority of that list represents things that were not bought back. There are some things of an incremental nature, I would decribe. I don't know if you want to add to that, is that an accurate?
Man 2: That is accurate.
Man 4: That's what I'm trying to get at. What actually have we lost?
Man 1: Right, OK. We can work on that.
Woman 1: Where are we in the three year cycle of reporting our enrollment to the state and therefore receiving money from them?

And is that total enrollment or is that also ELL, Special Education, Children in Poverty or is that just total enrollment? To that three year rolling...?
Man 1: Oh, from the three year rolling average? We report that annually.

So what that does is it takes... If you think about '08-'09, on September 19th, we go into every classroom and count every head that's in there, as required by the DPI. We fill out a report and it becomes part of our revenue limit, our full time equivalency. And then what they do is they take what we reported in '07-'08 and '06-'07, add it up, and divide it by three, and that's your three year rolling average.

So then when you get to '09-10, the 06-07 school year would drop off, and you'd have that three years. So that's how you build your three year rolling average of enrollment, and that's why I was saying...It helps in times of significant decline, or it hurts you in time of significant increases in enrollment.

It just levels out any increase or decrease in revenue that the state would allocate to any school district.
Man 2: And it does count, we do count every child.
Woman 1: Our enrollment is fairly flat, is that continuing to be the case?
Man 1: Correct.
Man 3: [xx]This is to ask of the administration, and also the Board of Officers. I'm sure you're going to have a meeting between the 18th and now. Could you also project out the calendar of what you may think... again, based on some of the recommendations or thoughts. Could you project out a calendar of events that could happen between the recommendation and a possible referrendum?
Man 1: And just so we're clear, do you mean in terms of going to that date when that vote would take place? Is that how far, into November?
Man 3: Into November, yes. And I guess when I see the recommendations I'd like to see as much as we possibly can of what you're beleiving...again, community forms, school forms, all those types of things.
Man 1: OK, OK.
Man 1: I do understand what you're asking for, and we will put that together for you.
Man 4: Yes, one more thing and that is telling our community what we will have to get rid of if we don't have a referrendum, if it doesn't pass. What are we going to be looking at? We're going to make some very very serious cuts in some very important programs that our parents consider important, that our students do, and that we do. And I think it's...let's get it out there! This is what's on the line now, and get that to them.
Man 3: Just real quick, I want to share the recommendations first, and I guess get a direction from administration.

Again, I guess it depends on what the Board wants, but before proceeding into finding out what could be lost, at least finding out what the recommendation is first. I understand where you're coming from, but at least to get hearing...getting the recommendation, and then moving forward.

And then we have to vote. I mean that's really the key thing, votes. We as the Board of Education have to vote, before we in essence ask the administration to do any more budgetary issues on a public scale, I believe. We at least have to tell them what to do next. But I understand what you're saying.

Well, I'm voting on a good school district. As we are going to be on September 2nd when we go to school. So looking further than that in terms of next year, or things like that. I don't know if that's a direction that the administration is...

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99958 min:52.55-58.08 Grade 9/9--------------------
Man 1: ... going to be on September 2nd, when we go to school.
Man 2: Right.
Man 1: So looking further than that in terms of next year or things like that, I don't know if that's a direction that the administration is going to go-- at least I want to hear the recommendation first.
Man 2: In terms of what the plan is to deal with the gap?
Man 1: Yes.
Man 2: OK. In that you will hear, but we cannot wait just because of how all the rest of the calendar works, as you well know. We have begun those conversations about; what is that affect if we don't come up with a workable solution? So that work is not final, and I want to be very clear on that, but we have that responsibility to have begun that discussion.

We spent the better part of a day a couple of weeks ago with the beginning of that discussion. At staff we need some more time as you can well understand, but we have begun that process as well. That to be clear to everyone, and that is what would be the nature of the types of cuts as examples, if nothing else that would have to be made if we don't find other ways to address this gap?

You're always balancing a very difficult thing here, because we have a responsibility. You just can't wait until June first to say, "Well, this is what we'd do if something else doesn't happen in the meantime." At the same time we don't want to create such worry and concern, until how we balance all of that. That's what we'll work to do, but we have to do both.

I mean, we have to make sure we know what those possible cuts could look like; reductions could look like, revenue enhancement ideas could look like. At the same time, those are hypothetical until they are made real in terms of your action, but we've begun that work.
Woman 1: That information will be available at--which of the meetings?
Man 2: My sense would be is that we would be in a better position to discuss that on the 18th meeting.
Woman 1: OK, thank you.
Man 2: If it's available earlier, we'll provide it earlier.
Woman 1: Thanks.
Woman 2: We've all gone around and thanked you, so I'm going to thank you also. But mostly because I think this is your second meeting, and you didn't give me a PowerPoint, so I'm really thankful-I'm serious.

I also wanted to thank the superintendant for reiterating that whole statement prior about the moral obligation that we have of equipping students to be good citizens, and to become personally and economically successful. I think sometimes that we need that reminder.

The other thing, I wanted to thank Mr. Kass about was this whole forecast. I appreciate your curiosity and tenacity to look under all the rocks and to go back through the entire forecast; I think that's very important.

The things that I got out of this, and that I would like to focus on were this whole idea toward the end where you talk about revenue. I would like to at some point have a discussion on how we can increase revenue, and perhaps have a discussion on bringing more students in as a long-term solution, even though we have this three year rolling enrollment.

I've noticed in working with the different school boards in Dane County, is that I believe there's only one that has seen increased enrollment. They have been saved from referendums, and everyone else is either flat or decreasing. I just think that it's good for the community to understand in the future, have that conversation.

The other thing I would like to see in the future is; I'm concerned about the referendum that was for the maintenance of facilities I need in 2010, and just kind of wondering what it's going to look like--if there is any way that we can guestimate what it would look like from 2010 on, especially given the increased costs in oil and petrochemicals and so forth, and also technology, just so that we kind of understand 5-10 years from now what those expenses are going to be?

Then finally, you had also mentioned continue to work with major state, education groups. From a policy perspective or from a board member perspective ...

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99959 min:57.53-62.51 Grade 8.00/9--------------------
Woman 1: And then finally you had also mentioned continued to work with major state education groups. From a policy perspective, or from a board member perspective, I found it really helpfuil to work with the Dane county school board consortion and ms. Moss's giving us information about ways and so forth that the different state grounps. I just wanted to say as an individual I didn't realize that our district pays close to 13, 000 dollars a year to WASP. Some of that is for dues and we do get a lot of things out of it, but I have been frustrated at times that when talking to board members thourhgout dane county sometimes what we would assume would be a little more tenacious tend to be more pragmatic. I have had representatives basically stay in public, well don't expect much to change. So as someone who has been trying to work on this. I know Marge has and others it's disappointing I hope that you can give us some new ideas on how we can work on that because I think that the board is trying in various ways to get a handle how we can effectively change things. I think what we don't have in here is the lack of corporate tax that has supported schools. I think that is it something that we should at least recognize.
Man 1: I will provide those kind of ideas as we look more long term because ultimately and the reason why we mentioned the other districit was in part some people understand that we are not unique but the presentation of the other district is to know that this is a statewide issue that is affecting schools and affecting education of children today. Surely we know there are constraints and it is always easier to talk about a different formula when circumstances of peoples lives are a little bit better than what they are, but I am also a believer we have to have a long term view because things will be different over time. At the same time we need to repeatedly say were going to work and I think that is in your history to be prudent with the resources that the state and local property tax payer provide us and the due diligence that you hold in your role as board members and you work very hard at insuring. So that is kind of our trust with the community is to ensure guarantee we are going to look at the same time. Looks to me that there is something fairly demic across the state right now at how schools are being constrained and having to to make decisions and having to make decisions about reductions of programs and it really calls for a solution idffernet thatn what we can do individually in a any one school board room in any one local area. It requires and open honest discussion. What are the investments we need to be making for children? What are the consequences if we don't make those kins of investements. That's the kind of conversation. There are some signs I would be first to share publicly that that conversation is beginning, but it needs more traction and it needs some sort of solution that are presented in legislative format at some point. Just to be very clear about a personal opnion is that Vincent cited Eric used in the presentation that I reviewed at the beginning, basically concluded as I understand it that the state funding formula was constitutional, but there was a but. And that is it was a recongnition in that decision that the education for some children is more expensive than other children. It specifically referenced three groups. It referenced children living below poverty, it referenced children with disabilities, and it referenced English language learners. I don't believe that there has been even a legislative response to that decision in hopefully over time. That's a leverage point, that's a place that the legislature could act. That needs to happen and it's all in agreement with what you've asserted here.

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99960 min:62.36-67.50 Grade 8.00/9--------------------

Superintendent Dan Nerad: ...it's a leverage point. That's a place that the legislature could add, and that needs to happen. It's all in agreement with what you've asserted here.
Woman 1: So, regarding the dates for the public forums will we have those sooner rather than later?

Superintendent Dan Nerad: Here's what i would suggest and I guess we would want your feedback on this specifically tonight. Originally, we where looking at August 3rd and then August 12th and it's our view right now that the August 3rd is too soon because we haven't even framed up the options yet for you to at least have a discussion about. So, I would ask for you to consider if Barbara could contact you tomorrow and get a read about availability that we look for two evenings the week of August 11th. Being able to know if we've accomplished that will come in her contact with you. If that's acceptable to you.
Woman 1: Great. Thanks. Johnny's earlier recommendation on moving the vote to the 25th and having the discussion on the 18th as you had purposed, Superintendent Dan Nerad, and then leaving a week to get further input on the specific proposal. Is that something that we want to discuss or do you want to?

Superintendent Dan Nerad: I'll offer a thought, and that is I would suggest you put it as a placeholder and then just takes these a step at a time and see where you are. I can tell you the calendar allows for that. So, there's no calendar problem but if a decision is made we want to use the remaining time to provide, as was asserted by you Lucy, we want to make sure we have the good time to provide the important information. That's what you're balancing here.

I think we have that August 25th date in the original calendar. So, my advice for your consideration is leave it there and see where you are the end of the next meeting. My thought would be that at the end of the next weeks meeting draw a conclusion as to whether you want that 4th meeting because you don't want to wait until that Monday before. My thought we be is that next Monday you could make a final decision. But again, you have the time in terms of the legal calendar of days that we'll need to be able to take that extra week and I don't see a problem with doing that.
Woman 1: Go ahead, Mr. Winston.

Mr. Winston: Superintendent Dan Nerad, about the budget... sorry, not the budget the public forums. Are you going to invite people to come? Let me preface this. One of the things about our community is that people want to meet you.

Superintendent Dan Nerad: Sure.

Mr. Winston: I don't know if they want to meet us, but they want to meet you.

Superintendent Dan Nerad: I don't think that's true. That part. [laughter]

Mr. Winston: Are you thinking you would invite people? The board would help get information out to the community? What I would hate to have happen is that you would get [xx] No offense to the people who are in this facility right now, but these are the people that will be there at the forum.

Superintendent Dan Nerad: Right. Right.

Mr. Winston: And we need more people. Again, no offense to the people who are out there, the thousands of people that are...

Superintendent Dan Nerad: Yeah.

Mr. Winston: But again, I'm sure you want to make these beneficial to you and the staff, and if there was any kind of way that we could ensure that happening. If you remember last spring when we had our budget forums, and there where four people there at one time. Obviously you want something that's more beneficial to everyone, and how that happens I think would be something that I hope you and your staff think about.

Superintendent Dan Nerad: You bet.

Mr. Winston: Because this information is good, but going back again to what Miss Passon [sp] says, it's what people are thinking about what they would loose. That's what would bring people in. However, that's not what this is all about in terms of what your expecting for these meetings here. So, I guess I would just think about how you wanted to structure and to invite or something along those lines.

Superintendent Dan Nerad: I certainly welcome your ideas because our goal should be to be inclusive and to get the word out in a real good manner. I tell you what we thought of so far is having looked at the list of groups that you worked with to receive input relative to the Superintendent Dan Nerad search. That's a very comprehensive list of people.

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99868 min:67.35-77.31 Grade 8/9--------------------
Man 1: A real good manner. I'll tell you what we've thought of so far is, having looked at the list of groups that you've worked with to receive input relative to the Superintendent Dan Nerad search. That's a very comprehensive list of people and groups that we should use as direct invitations and then certainly getting the word out in a variety of ways to the general public that it's available. My thinking is "yes this is for a specific purpose, " but we need to also think about this as that example of how we can engage with members of our community, provide information and allow people to meet us and to share what their worries and concern are. It has to be structured well and we'll work on that as well. But we'll start with that list because I've looked at it myself and feel that it's very comprehensive and yet I don't want to miss anybody either so one of the things that we can do to get that list to you and you could see if we've missed somebody as well, in terms of who we should make sure that we're inviting to the forums. So we'll do that in Friday's communication. Or Thursday's rather.
Woman 1: Miss Cole.
Woman 2: I just want to say that I think that's a really good place to start because when we went through the Superintendent Dan Nerad search it was very well attended and one way I would like to approach this, my approach is that we are looking long term and that a lot of the things that we're looking at, the budget cuts year to year. For this district I think what's even more important, because we're going to be working through that, as we go, through the year, is what the district looks like five, ten years from now. And that's where we got a lot of input from the public. And they wanted to share that. And it became everything from, there were cuts in the past and we want them back, to we're parents concerned about specific issues or ideas that they want their children to be exposed to. It's really like you said, it's a process where we engage the public and that we listen to them and I think that's very important. I whispered over to Johnny, but dunk tanks get a lot of people in. But everyone [xxx]
Man 1: I hope my reputation isn't preceding me too much. I'll share that story at a later date.
Woman 2: Later date.

Woman 1: Miss [xxx].
Woman 3: I have to say that, having been to forums in the past, I have really mixed feelings about the list of things that might get cut. Because I think there's an opportunity here to engage with the community as we did with the Superintendent Dan Nerad search on what our concerns are and what our aspirations are for the future of this school district. Which I think everybody here cares about or we wouldn't have gone through the things we went through to sit at this table. And the people who sit long hours out in the audience wouldn't be here if they didn't care. So I'm hoping that we can keep focused on what people want to see in the schools and what their concerns are. I'm a little leery of getting into why we cut this program and not another one, which is what we sometimes get into when we see the list. But that's what it often comes down to and I'd rather not go there. I'd rather be talking about, in general, what we have already given up, what we have done to be more proactive and at times entrepreneurial, to exercise due diligence on the budget. But to also share with people we've really run into some limits on what we really can do. And I know there are areas where people do have questions and I think it's fine to do things online and I sort of agree with that. And I would also, for [xxx], especially if you haven't looked at what's online, with board questions from past budget processes, some of the things that may come up are already there as documents. So let's not re-invent wheels. But it does seem to me that one of the ways that these forums could be used is to get questions from people. So if people want to know about transportation and fuel costs, we can talk about that. We know, for example, from last year that we lock in our gas prices with an escalator. So we've actually not been hammered as hard as some other government agencies because of the rise in gas prices. But that's for this year and when we negotiate that next contract, we are going to be dealing with higher prices. So I think that's the sort of thing that I also would hope we could include. I don't want to get into another round, my God, for the last 20 years I've been hearing the debates about cutting [xxx], special ed, strings, athletics, extracurriculars. I'd rather not, I'd rather have it be about other things if we can, to the best we can, because I don't think any of us are there.
Man 1: If I may, one of the things that we could look at doing, and I don't know, if its, until we would look at it, I don't know if it's a productive exercise or not, but you use the data that was provided to you for the Superintendent Dan Nerad's search but it may also be reflective of themes about what the community was wanting for our schools, that that same data pool could be used to say this is, during this window of time, this is what the community said was important for the school district. This is what has happened over the five year period of time, this is what we've tried to do to address that shortfall. And frame it up more around what the community has, in fact, asked of this school district but I have to look at that data now from that lens to know if that would, if it easily calls that out and if it easily speaks to what the community asked for from it's schools. That's something different than saying "this program yes, this program no." I mean that's not what I'm referring to but what are those things that people talk to about the quality that they wanted to see in the Madison Metropolitan School District. [xxx] you probably, you know that data better than I do at this point.
Woman 2: It might be more broad brushed than would be useful to the specific way that I think you're describing it.
Man 1: Sure. OK.
Woman 2: But there are certainly general themes.
Man 1: Yes.
Woman 2: Challenging education for all children.
Man 1: Right.
Woman 2: Those are the types of things that come out.
Man 1: Right.
Woman 2: Communication.
Man 1: Sure. OK.
Woman 2: A lot of those that could tie to many, many, many, many things that we do.
Man 1: Sure. Right.
Woman 2: So I don't know.
Man 1: It may not be.
Woman 2: But I think it would be worth looking through. But I don't know if it would be specific enough.
Man 1: Sure and it may not be but we could at least look at it . . .
Woman 2: Yes.
Man 1: through that lens to see if it calls out for a message about what the community has said about our schools. And if it doesn't yield that [xxx.]
Woman 2: There are certainly messages in there.
Man 1: Yes.
Woman 2: I don't know how they [xxx.]
Man 1: Yeah, I hear you.

Woman 1: Miss [xxx.]
Woman 4: I agree with Mrs. [xxx] about the, kind of the format, or the subject matter of the forum. I think that you're right about that. That would be a different way for us to do business and I think that it's a really good way for us to go, to figure out what, I think that it's more important for us to figure out what people's general priorities are and kind of take the pulse of what do people want. Because you're right, cutting strings, cutting Italian, those would be the people coming up one after another to talk at us basically with what our experience has been.
Man 1: I understand.
Woman 4: I'm with you. I don't think that that's really very productive. Also, when we were doing the Superintendent Dan Nerad's search, we had included a lot of organizations. But there was a whole group, there was the faith based organizations. We kind of, I talked about it with a few people but it was looked at as, there are just way too many. We can't, how can we find all of these people. If we invite one, and we don't invite another, then it's going to be a problem. So I would really like to start a list at least.
Man 1: Sure.
Woman 4: Because in looking online a church may have 16 people in it, but it's 16 people that are in a place where we never, our network never touches.
Man 1: Right.
Woman 4: And so I personally feel that that is the place where I would really like for us to start moving.
Man 1: OK.
Woman 4: I think that we should just take the plunge. I mean if we miss some people, we can say "we deeply apologize, thank you for contacting us.
Man 1: Sure.
Woman 4: I think that we can reach a lot of people that way.
Man 1: OK. Again I will provide you that list on Thursday and look for those other lists that you referred to. And if you see that there is something that we've missed, you know call us. You never lose by adding a group to the list, from my perspective.

--------------------SPLICE TCID:99876 min:77.16-82.14 Grade 9.00/9--------------------
Man 1: This other list that you referred to, if you see that there is something that we missed just let us know because you never lose by adding a group to the list, from my perspective.
Female 1: [xx] by Mr. Hues?
Man1: I think the way we set up these meeting and the structure, invitations themselves, that this is not t time, plus work we have done in the past, and critique any of those subjects you've just mentioned. But rather, what are we going to do in the future.

In addition to that and at the risk of sounding dramatic, our school district has spent the last 15 years living in a stimulus response way. How can we do something with the minimal amount given to us? How do we keep things the same? And we've given up on dreaming. We have given up on what would we like to do if given the right amount of money and support. What can we do beyond just what we need to do? That we want to give out children more and more and more, not just an adequate education, not just what we have money for. It's the dreams that sometimes keep you going more that anything else. So that's another part of it.
Female 1: Mr. Hues?
Mr. Hues: I certainly agree with the point that we don't want to have a discussion that pits program against program, but if there are folks who have ideas about how we could save money and say, "You don't really need 8.2 million, if you do this and this and this. There may be efficiencies in the district that we would be able to achieve." I would certainly like to hear that.

Now I hope that we have the forum set up in ways there can be back and forth. So that people can say, "No, that won't work for this reason or that reason." or "That may bear looking into." So I don't want it to be just a discussion of how much people value the schools, but if people do have ideas with how we grapple with the financial bind we are in, other than asking for it all in a referendum, I certainly would like to hear that.
Man 2: What I would eventually do to have the conversation back from you, I'll propose, I'll show you a process and then you react to it. I mean, if you see the kkind of elements in it that you want then that's what it will be and if not you'll add to it.

But, I appreciate very much: what you want to attend to; what your concerns are in terms of too much focus on things that...just to alarm people that we're talking about things that are a preferred future for children. And I think this was describe it has been a problem that has been managed for so some time, but at the same time it's hard to go to the next step without making some serious decisions.

So I will suggest a process for those forms and that will be part of the next meeting. We'll have to do that then because then they'll be in between and you'll say yes. Add to it. Cut and past on it.

Female1 [Announces next speaker]
Female 2: I just wanted to clarify. And I thank Ms. Moss for her comments because I think that it may not have been clear what I was trying to get at in my earlier comment. What I would, I guess, personally find valuable to get out of the form is a sense of priorities. Not a wish list, I want this program or that thing, but the priorities and the ideas that the community has for the district as we move forward together.
Male 3: OK.
Female 2: One more that I have been meaning to ask you. When your presenting us with the information about the amount for next year will you have an approximate amount for, 3year, five year, in case we decide to go to referendum so we can make an...
Male 3: Yes. We've talked about that. I'm sorry. I did not mention that, but our intention will be to project that amount in ensuing years.
Female 2: OK.
Male 3: The dollar amount is different because it creates a higher amount for this next year because of the....The good news is we had a resource that was in place through the TIF, but that doesn't follow for the following years. So the number is a different number in the second year and the third year. And we are working on that for you as well.
Female 2: OK. Great. Great.

Oh! And so the first vote will be whether or not we are going to referendum. There will be not specifics. Or what we decide to do, I should say. Not whether or not we will go to referendum. That will be our initial vote.
Male 3: Yep. What I intend to provide you ....

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Woman 1: The first vote will be just whether or not we're going to referendum. There will be no specifics, or what we decide to do, I should say, not whether or not we go to referendum. That will be our initial vote.
Man 1: What I intend to provide you, as we go now, as part of the second and third meeting, is that if there are any efficiencies that we can think of for the following year, that that would be at least acknowledged, and put on the table. And then, if it is our recommendation to proceed to a referendum, what that would consist of.

But, I don't want to get totally defined on that, because I think you need to have a conversation about this, even this issue of recurring, or non-recurring, and get the pros and cons of each on the table. And so, that's what will be next week's meeting, will be a focus on those kinds of things.

And that will inform the kind of recommendations we will make for the third meeting. Does that make sense? That's what we'll do. It will include recommendations in terms of managing the budget for the following year, any additional efficiencies that we can reasonably identify. If there are some reductions that don't affect programs that we've already committed to.

And then, if referendum is a part of this, and I think it's quite likely that that is going to be the case. I want to frame up a discussion for you next week. And then in the third meeting we'll come back with a recommendation for you to consider, based on what we hear from you next week.

And I guess what's important to know is, does that make sense in terms of how we're laying out the information?

Woman 1: We were just looking at the calendar, with September 1st day that Steve said had mentioned really being, or, sometime at the beginning of September...we really need to have a decision on August 25th. Otherwise we won't have a meeting the Labor Day holiday until after.
Man 1: Right. That makes sense.
Woman 1: Is that what you're thinking?
Man 2: Does that include language, as well? Does the language have to be in by September 1st, or...
Man 1: Here's what...
Man 2: Language has to be in by September 1st.
Man 1: That's what we believe. And, we're having preliminary discussions, just in the back on with Bond Council, that would help frame that up. But, we're not trying to get too far ahead, because you need to have those discussions. But, it's important that you know that we've made those contacts, so we know that that work can be provided to us.

You do have to act on a resolution that requires a specific language. So, our goal for that 25th, and if there's a problem with it that you see, or that we see, as staff, that'll come in the process, but that's our goal. The 25th. To present that to you.
Woman 1: Go ahead.
Man 2: Would packets go out on Thursday, the 21st? Would that language be in the packet on that?
Man 1: That would be our goal.
Man 2: OK.
Man 1: Again, we have to make some contacts, and work through what all the issues are. But, that would be our goal.
Man 2: Thank you.
Man 1: You're welcome.
Woman 1: The more we discuss it, it seems that we should consider next week, having all the information in your recommendations presented on the 18th, and then, being able to digest it, and vote on the 25th. So, knowing that that's a possibility is a good thing.
Man 1: Yes.
Woman 1: Mr. Hughes?
Mr. Hughes: Does this require a super majority, or just a simple...
Man 1: A majority rules.
Man 3: All right. I assume...
Man 1: Towards consensus and honest [xx]
Man 2: Right.
Man 1: That concludes information we want to provide. I would just simply invite, if there are questions that you have, between now and next week's presentation to you, that you simply call me. And that's a general invitation to the public as well. If there are questions that people have, we will make ourselves available.

I thank you for this beginning discussion. We'll go the next step in terms of discussing the options next week with you.
Woman 1: Thank you very much.
Man 1: You're welcome.
Woman 1: Do we have a motion to adjourn?
Man 4: So moved.
Woman 2: Second.
Woman 1: All those in favor?
Group: Aye!
Woman 1: And we are adjourned. Thank you again, very much.