August 21 Meeting Highlights

August 21 Meeting Highlights

The minutes from the August 21, 2023 meeting will be reviewed and approved by the School District 197 School Board at the Wednesday, September 6, 2023 meeting. For more information about meeting agendas and minutes, please CLICK HERE.

Action Item - Approval of the Agenda

The motion carried (4-0).

Action Item - Approval of the Consent Agenda

The motion carried (4-0).

Comments to the School Board
No one was in attendance to provide comments to the School Board.

Action Item – Approval of Resolution
Superintendent Olson-Skog stated that new legislation allows School Boards to adopt a resolution governing the counting of write-in votes for local elective office. The current write-in counting process is overly time consuming and unnecessary during the election process. It does not result in a change in election results unless a single write-in candidate receives more votes than, at least, the balloted candidate with the fewest number of votes.

The motion carried (4-0).

Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD) Legislative Platform Discussion Superintendent Olson-Skog stated that annually, in late summer, as a preliminary step to creating its legislative platform, the Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD) collects preliminary input from its members
on their top priorities for the upcoming legislative session. District administration presented their input to the school board. The board concurred with the administration’s preliminary priorities which fell under two broad categories as follows.

  • Funding
    • Full implementation of the READ ACT will require much more funding than is currently allocated.
    • Unemployment Insurance should be fully funded.
    • The formula – To account for inflation, the legislation set a minimum increase of 2% per year to the basic pupil funding formula. This was needed and appreciated. Unfortunately, inflation (as measured by changes to the Consumer Price Index or CPI) rarely drops below 2%.  Recent forecasts from the federal reserve suggest that "core CPI inflation is likely to remain above 3 1/2 percent through 2024"; Specifically, some models forecast inflation rates at 4-5% through 2026.
    • Cross subsidy – while progress was made to reduce the cross subsidy, there remains a long way to go before it is eliminated.
  • Policy-The full implications and impact of many of the new legislation that passed in last session are yet to be known. As such, the administration may modify their preliminary legislative priorities once more is known. In the meantime, the administration prioritizes the following policy issues.
    •  School board should be given the same authority to renew capital levies (one-time only, through a public vote of the school board) as school districts have to renew operating levies.
    • Unless there is a compelling reason, the legislation should delay the implementation of new policies by at least three (if not six) months. When new policies must immediately implement, organizations like the Minnesota Department of Education lack the time to develop sufficient and proper guidance until after school districts are required to implement the change.

Later this school year, the input from all member districts will be combined into a draft legislative platform, along with draft position papers. Member districts will have additional opportunities to review, revise and vote on the platform and position papers.

2023 School Board Goals Mid-Year Update
Board member Brenda Corbett led a discussion on the mid-year update of the 2023 School Board Goals. The goals were approved by the School Board at their meeting on January 9, 2023. The goals are as follows with a summary update for each:

  • Engage in an ongoing book study – The board will meet for an hour in September, October and November to continue this discussion.
  • Attend a minimum of 10 school district events during the year – Board members are documenting their own events and will discuss again towards the end of the calendar year.
  • Record a short video summary and post it on social media – This goal is achieved as the practice is established.
  • Implement more inclusive recognitions of student accomplishments – Board members Larsen and Corbett will create some guidelines for the administration to review.
  • Adopt and equity policy – This goal is accomplished.
  • Engage in regular development sessions – With new board members beginning in January, this goal will carry over into 2024.
  • Explore the establishment of a Legislative Action Committee (LAC) – This goal is accomplished. After researching practices in other districts and discussing local options, it was decided that the tasks typically associated a LAC this should be assigned to an existing committee (the School Board Planning Committee) rather than create a new one.

    2023-2024 School Board Building and Committee Assignments
    Vice-Chair Sarah Larsen led a discussion on the 2023-2024 School Board building and committee assignments. Board members agreed to bring this back for a discussion in January as there will be new board members beginning their term at that time. In the meantime, the assignments from 2022-23 should continue as is.


The motion carried (4-0).