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School Trustees Approve Budget
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It was a light agenda, packed full of consent items as the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees convened for their final meeting of the 2014-2015 school year on Monday night, June 9. Of the minimal items covered on the agenda, the biggest and most critical would be the passing of the 2015-2016 school year budget.

Chief Business Officer Susan Dyke addressed the board in relation to the budget, indicating a number of factors and decisions made by the state and the governor which both directly and indirectly affect the bottom line.

Dyke reported that the district has revenues of $51.2 million and expenditures of $52.0 million. This also includes a five percent reserve for economic uncertainties of $2.6 million.

“The majority of the income is LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula),” Dyke stated. “It’s typically 85 percent, but because we have the one time discretionary money in here it distorts the percentages just a little bit.”

Dyke touched on a new requirement. An education code which requires that all the unassigned and assigned unrestricted dollars, anything that is in that total above 3 percent must be publicly reviewed and discussed as to what it’s set aside for.

“You can see that a 3 percent reserve is $1.5 million,” she explained. “Our payroll we’ve discussed in the past is $2.5 million in one month. So, I’m not sure what $1.5 million is supposed to cover in an economic uncertainty, but that’s the state’s reserve for our size district.”

In further discussion Dyke indicated that while it is not forbidden to have a reserved over the 3 percent the state favors, it is just noted that the overage must be transparent and addressed publicly in regards to what it is assigned to or for.

Trustees ultimately gave approval for the budget.

Closed session was hosted prior to the public portion of the meeting, at which time OJUSD Superintendent Marc Malone was given his Public Performance Evaluation.

All but four of the listed consent items on Monday night’s agenda were addressed without discussion. Board member Tina Shatswell made note to Consent item 9.4.4 Student Conduct Code.

“I pulled out the dress code section,” she said. “I get asked often as a school board member, by parents regarding things that are too short and that they’re feeling that it’s not enforced, especially at the high school.

“How is it enforced, especially if you see someone in really short shorts or the strappy things?”

Addressing the question was Assistant Superintendent Larry Mendonca.

“The expectation is that if the teacher sees a violation of dress code, they send the student to the office,” Mendonca stated. “At that point the Administrator assesses the student’s attire. Generally there’s a first offense or they may need to contact home for a clothing change in that regard. We want to educate the students and the parent on what’s appropriate, so clothing changes may occur. I’m not going to say it happens every time.”

Also, pulling from the Consent items, OJUSD Board President Diane Gilbert chose to address item 9.6.2 Accept Certified Resignations.

“I removed 9.6.2,” Gilbert stated. “I particularly wanted to comment on the resignation of John Simons, the Principal of Oakdale Junior High School. As we all know Mr. Simons was offered and he accepted a highly coveted position as Principal of South Tahoe Middle School.

“I worked very closely with Mr. Simons over the course of the last year when my son was going through seventh grade at Oakdale Junior High. I just wanted to share, I found him respectful, responsive and I really thought more than anything he really had the interest of our students, all the students at heart. So I wanted to thank him for his service to the district.”

Superintendent of Schools Marc Malone echoed Gilbert’s sentiments stating, “John has served us very well. Being a junior high principal is really a difficult job. The age of the kids that are at that site, they are in a real transition period and you see them sometimes transition in at four foot tall and in two years they are six foot tall. There are a lot of things that take place with the children as well as the parents as they progress through this time of maturity at the junior high. It really takes a special person. It really takes a talented person, to be able to navigate that fine line. John over the course of time has demonstrated that he is very talented in that area. We wish him the best in South Tahoe. He will be missed and he needs to be commended for a job well done for our school and out community.”

All consent items were then approved.

OJUSD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Kristi Rapinchuk presented the board with the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), noting that the LCAP along with the aligning budget had been brought forward on the May agenda. No public comments or suggested revisions were made by the public or the board at that time. The board was asked for approval so that it could be submitted to the County Office for review. The LCAP, as well as the LCAP for Oakdale Charter was approved by the board.

OJUSD will host its next meeting on Monday, Aug. 10 after taking a summer break. Open session will begin at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be conducted at Oakdale City Council Chambers, 277 N. Second Ave., Oakdale.