February 15, 2011 Minutes and Meeting Materials

District Budget Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes

Date: February 15, 2011
Place: Bainbridge High School Library
Time: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

State and Federal Budget Information Update
Superintendent Faith Chapel welcomed the committee members and noted the primary purpose of the meeting was a review of the subcommittee work completed over the past two years, followed by small group discussions. In addition, documents collating the budget adjustments for the last three years have been created to provide context for the conversation. One of the goals for the group discussion is to identify from the subcommittees' work, those items not yet implemented that need to be brought forward as options for further consideration. At the conclusion of the meeting, the group will talk about next steps and a timeline for the budget planning process.

Ms. Chapel had hoped to provide a report on the legislative decisions regarding the supplemental budget for the current year. Legislators had hoped to make decisions by February 6th, but as of this date, no action has taken place. Two possible scenarios related to state supplemental budget adjustments for this year were described by Ms. Chapel as follows: a) Alignment of the Governor's budget and the State House budget, both of which eliminated retroactively the K-4 enhancement funds ($350K district impact). b) Implementation of the State Senate budget, which only reduces the K-4 enhancement funds by approximately 75% retroactively this year. Both the House and the Senate budgets reinstate the Highly Capable funding of $37K. The Governor's budget eliminates this funding. For the next biennium, there is still a sizeable gap and information regarding the state budget is still forthcoming. Currently, moving forward with District budget planning for the next biennium, assumptions include the continued elimination of K-4 funds, elimination of Highly Capable funds, and a continuing rise in the cost of pensions, benefits, etc. Back in January, there was discussion regarding a reduction in school days, but those discussions have diminished.

District Budget Projection for 2011-13
Ms. Chapel distributed the Preliminary Estimate for the 2011-13 General Fund Budget Gap, which included anticipated changes from the 2010-11 General Fund budget to the 2011-13 budgets. She reviewed the projections, noting possible non-recurring 2010-11 revenue items including the pledge from the Bainbridge Schools Foundation for staffing ($500K). In addition, the group reviewed possible state and federal budget reductions for 2011-13, salary and benefit adjustments (staff not funded by state), and other adjustments including the increased cost of utilities, water/stormwater, and the reinstatement of curriculum funds. The subtotal of the reductions and increased costs was $2,060,000 for 2011-12, and $881,000 for 2012-13. Considering additional revenue from local levy changes and an increase in enrollment (2010-11) that totals $850K, the preliminary budget gap estimate is $1,210,000 in 2011-12, and $881,000 in 2012-13.

Review of 2008 - 2011 Budget Adjustments
Ms. Chapel distributed documents that provided an overview of the DBAC recommendations for General Fund budget adjustments made for the last three years. Total adjustments to revenue, expenditures and staffing for each year were noted as follows: 2008-2009 - $1,623,210, 2009 - 2010 - $2,143,000, 2010 - 2011 - $1,009,170. While most of the recommendations were implemented, the information will be vetted for actuals. Bainbridge Island Education Association President noted that certificated and classified representatives would offer perspective during conversations regarding the impact of any purposed reductions, but would recuse themselves from decisions that would impact a colleague's position. Following up on that thought, Ms. Chapel noted that it was important to align resources with the organization's primary values. The district is currently working on revising and updating its vision, mission and strategic plan within which priorities will be stated. One example given was related to curriculum, which has been deferred for the past two years. Continued deferral becomes untenable and impacts the level of student instruction. Feedback received from the community, parents and staff has indicated in the past that the core instruction in the classroom, and student learning, is of the highest priority. Ms. Chapel emphasized that the lens through which the District, DBAC and the Board look at budget decisions need to be in alignment with those priorities.

Review of 2009-10 Subcommittee Data
Ms. Chapel asked committee members to move into two groups in order to review the 2009-10 subcommittee reports and recommendations for budget reductions. Each group was tasked with reviewing those reports on the basis of three questions: a) Are there areas of greater efficiencies? b) Are there opportunities for additional revenue? c) Are there items not included in the subcommittee reports that are options to consider for reduction? Prior to moving into small groups, Ms. Chapel talked about the next steps in the budgeting process. At the school board meeting at the end of the month, the board will discuss the board direction and parameters regarding key priorities for the district. In addition, a survey for parents and community members will be developed regarding their priorities. Ms. Chapel also plans to provide staff presentations regarding the budget planning process. It was noted that by the April 5th DBAC meeting, the priorities and options for budget adjustments would need to be defined in order to meet statutory timelines.

Committee members divided into two groups, with facilitation of the discussion provided by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Peter Bang-Knudsen and Executive Director Betsy Minor-Reid. The two groups met for forty minutes, reviewing those budget adjustments already implemented and considering those items that had been at the lower "tier" levels that had not been implemented. Following the group review, Dr. Bang-Knudsen and Ms. Minor-Reid reported the small group draft findings. This information will be collated and sent out to committee members for further consideration.

Next Meetings:

March 8
March 22
April 5
April 19
May 3
May 24
June 7