Monday, June 12 was a night of projection as well as reflection as Oakdale Joint Unified School Board members wrapped up the final meeting of the 2016-2017 school year.
A Public Employee Performance Evaluation was administered to School District Superintendent Marc Malone in closed session, prior to the 6:30 p.m. start of the regular meeting.
“His evaluation sates: Mr. Malone’s professional commitment is valued by the board,” Board President Barbara Shook shared. “He continues to reinforce the district standards and maintains a positive association with the county and state education agencies. OJUSD is indeed fortunate to have the leadership of Superintendent Marc Malone.”
“Thank you for everything you do,” Shook added.
In general business Superintendent Malone brought to the board’s attention the need for approval of governing board members in the coming November election. Three of the five acting members are up for re-election, if they should so choose. Board President Barbara Shook, Diane Gilbert and Mike House are each serving terms through 2017.
As follow-up to past review to financial reports the board adopted the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan), as well as the 2017-18 Budget.
“The work between Kristi and Susan and Armida to make this LCAP is immense,” Superintendent Malone told the audience and board. “I would just say for the sake of the community, LCAP has tremendous county oversight as well. So this process goes through many eyes before it gets to the eyes of the board. Job well done to all.”
While there is no immediate concern in the way of the budget for the 2017-18 year, trend and lack of government funding projects a long term negative effect to the budget if changes are not implemented by the state.
“We continue to have basically flat funding for Special Education,” Chief Business Officer Susan Dyke shared.
Dyke noted that the district is under funded by 5.6 million dollars in this area. Money is used from unrestricted funds to cover this portion of the budget.
Dyke also reminded the board of the higher than state mandate reserve OJUSD maintains as a best practice.
“We let the public know we do require in house a minimum reserve level to exceed what the state requires for a district our size,” she said. “We, in board policy have a 5 percent minimum.
“Also within this disclosure, to let the public know we have an unrestricted fund called Fund 17,” Dyke continued, “and that’s where we keep money set aside for textbook adoption, or deferred maintenance and money set aside for equipment replacement.”
In addition to the lack of funding for Special Education, the State’s current lack of adjustment for STRS (State Teacher Retirement System) and PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) will also impact the district budget long term.
“I think the most promising thing for us, is that we aren’t in this alone,” Dyke stated, referring to other districts within the state. “Something is going to have to give.”
She said Oakdale is in better shape than many school districts.
“This district is very frugal,” she continued, “and very sound in our financial management. There’s going to have to be some movement by the government to assist the districts.”
The board approved adoption of both the LCAP as well as the 2017-18 budget unanimously.
Due to summer break, there will be no meeting for the month of July. The next OJUSD board meeting will be hosted on Monday, Aug. 14 at the Oakdale City Council Chambers. Public portion of the meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.