School Board Notes 4.17.2023

April 17 Meeting Highlights

The minutes from the April 17 2023 meeting will be reviewed and approved by the School District 197 School Board at the Monday, May 1, 2023 meeting. For more information about meeting agendas and minutes, please CLICK HERE.

Action Item - Approval of Agenda
The motion carried (6-0)

Action Item - Approval of Consent Agenda
The motion carried (6-0)

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

School Board Response to the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee
Peter Mau, Assistant Superintendent, shared information related to the School Board’s response to the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC) vote of non-concurrence. This vote was presented at the February 21, 2023 School Board meeting. A vote of non-concurrence requires a response from the school district that must be submitted to the Minnesota Department of Education.

In the letter of non-concurrence, AIPAC specified five goals:

  1. Make the American Indian Cultural Liaison a full-time position with benefits to make it more appealing and to help ensure a successful plan is executed.
  2. Use Achievement and Integration funds to help fund the other 50% of the position, leaving more dollars to be spent on the American Indian children and the proposed education plan.
  3. Put into action the district’s plan to attract, hire and retain BIPOC staff. Provide a list of where the job has been posted, how you are potentially reaching diverse audiences.
  4. Have a work plan for the first 6 months of the job that clearly lays out priorities of objectives, and metrics so onboarding can be more successful.
  5. Work with the AIPAC to create a plan to spend down all the funds so there are none left on the table again.

Dr. Mau provided information on how the school district is addressing these goals.

  1. The American Cultural Liaison position was posted as a full-time position with benefits in mid-February. A candidate was hired and began working on April 3rd.
  2. The Achievement and Integration 3-year plan and budget for FY24-26 allocates funding for the American Indian Cultural Liaison position to be full-time, supplementing the federal Title VI funding and State of Minnesota American Indian Education funding the school district receives.
  3. The position was posted in several places including EdPost, a top job-posting site in Minnesota for jobs in Education (based in the St. Cloud State University Career Center) and Indeed, a job site known worldwide. Additionally, the position was posted by local American Indian organizations including the Minnesota Indian Affairs Listserv and We Are Still Here MN. The posting was also shared through professional contacts in other metro area districts who run American Indian Education programming.
  4. An initial three-month plan (April-June) for the American Indian Cultural Liaison role has been created based on the timing of the hire with the end of the school year. A second three-month plan (late August-late November) will be made based on progress from the first three-month plan and in close collaboration with the new liaison and the AIPAC chair.
  5. A priority of the initial three-month plan (April-June) includes the new American Indian Cultural Liaison and the Educational Equity Coordinator partnering with the AIPAC to ensure federal funds and state funds are spent down by the end of the fiscal year.

Action Item - Approval of FY 2022-2023 Budget Amendments and Budget Update
Brian Schultz, Director of Finance, presented the FY 2022-2023 budget amendments for the General and Community Service funds. The general fund unassigned fund balance is being amended and will result in a decrease of $363,898. Revenues are projected to increase for special education aid and estimates have been updated. Expenditures are projected to increase due to adjustments/inflation for several items that occurred after the original budget was adopted. The main increases are for utilities, contracted special transportation and contracted services for substitutes. The portion of the general fund under “Federal and Other Grants” was adjusted based on updated grant entitlements and new grants received after the budget was adopted. The portion of the general fund under “Staff Development” was adjusted for carry over dollars that were not spent in FY22. There is no additional revenue as this amount is the unspent allocation from the previous year. The community service fund under “Community Education” was adjusted based on updated grant entitlements received after the budget was adopted.
The motion carried (6-0).

The district FY24 budgets will be presented at the June 5, 2023 regular School Board meeting. The state has a projected $17.5 billion surplus with an E-12 budget target of $2.5 billion with $300 million going towards early learning programs. At this time, the Governor and House have similar E-12 funding bills with the Senate differing slightly. Administration will continue to monitor legislative activity as it relates to education funding. The legislative session is due to end in May.

The motion carried (6-0).