MOUNTAIN VIEW-WHISMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT
Parcel Tax Oversight Committee
Meeting Minutes January 22, 2007
Committee Members: Mike Cobb, Greg Fowler, David Greene, Kevin Stone
Staff: Rebecca Wright, Maurice Ghysels
Ex Officio: Gloria Higgins
Public: No members of the public were present
Absent: Carmen Bryant, Karen Leonard
1. Call to Order and Review of Agenda
Meeting called to order at 6:45 PM.
2. Welcome and New Member Introductions
Committee welcomed new Ex Officio member Gloria Higgins.
3. Public Comment
No members of the public addressed the committee at this time.
4. Review of Minutes
Committee reviewed minutes for the May 1, 2006 and September 18, 2006 meetings.
Motion: Approve minutes for May 1 and September 18, 2006 minutes as submitted (Cobb/Fowler). Motion carries 4/0/0.
5. Review of 2005 / 06 Actuals
Rebecca Wright reviewed the audited actuals for parcel tax spending during the 2005/2006 school year.
Motion: Committee finds that for the 2004/2005 school year actual spending of Parcel Tax funds was consistent with planned spending. (Greene Cobb) Motion carries 4/0/0.
Motion: Adopt report of 2005/2006 Actual Spending as discussed. (Stone/Fowler) Motion carries 4/0/0.
In general, for the 2005/2006 school year the District did not track expenses at the level of specific parcel tax programs. Going forward, program-based accounting will simplify tracking of parcel tax spending.
Variances on specific programs were as follows:
- Academic at Risk Programs: Reflects change in program structure over course of school year.
- After School Sports. Funding primarily used to support transportation and busing. Variance reflects timing of when expenses will be incurred. Expenses will be recorded in 2006/2007 budget.
- CHAC – Community Health Awareness Council. Reflects annual increase in contract.
- Clerical Office Staff. Variances reflect actual costs based on assigned staff. As benefits and compensations differ significantly between individuals, costs are difficult to predict precisely.
- CSMA – Community School of Music and Arts. Reflects annual increase in contract.
- Custodial. As with Clerical Office Staff, variance reflects.
- English Learner Development. Variance reflects difficulty in properly tracking English Learner Development across different program implementations. Program is partially funded by Parcel Tax Funds, partially by General Fund.
- Keep an Elementary School Open. On target.
- Leadership and Activity Programs. Expenses are shared with Education Foundation.
- Legal Costs. Under budget! Some legal costs are expected going forward.
- Library Secretaries. On target.
- Parcel Tax Support. Variance reflects higher than anticipated expenses associated with ongoing communications of the Parcel Tax Committee.
- Science Support. Allocated funds used to support science camp rather than science kits.
- Student Information Systems. A larger than expected portion of the project was covered as part of the 2004/2005 budget, resulting in lower costs for 2005/2006.
- Zero Period Electives. Funding used primary for teacher stipends. Variance reflects differences in actual electives offered vs. planned electives.
- Total Expenditures
- 3% Reserves
- Planned Carry Forward
Update on the Katz Case. Court has found that Mr. Katz has no basis for filing his case against the District. Case is being appealed to the Supreme Court. Only 3% of cases are accepted by the Supreme Court. Trustees are also exploring options for recovering legal costs.
Committee reviewed communications of report findings.
David Greene presented the draft report of actual spending. Report will include:
- Summary of how funds were spent compared to overall proposed spending.
- Detail of proposed vs. actual spending.
- Comments on variances between planned/actual where variances exceed 15%.
Committee agreed to adopt report for communications.
Results of the 2005/2006 spending will be communicated as follows:
- Full report on District web site
- Notice of report availability in Principals’ Newsletter
- E-Board notice with pointer to report on district web site
- Ad in the Voice
- Report copies at District Office
- Available in translation at the District Office
- Presentation by Committee members at February 15 Board Meeting
6. 2006/07 Financial Update
Rebecca Wright provided the Committee with an update on the First Interim Budget and the Parcel Tax Program.
FIRST ITERIM BUDGET REVIEW
First interim budget reflects actuals and assumptions as of October 31, 2006. This includes finalized state and federal budget and start-of-year student population. Key points from the review:
- Overall district revenues increased by approximately $1 million.
- Higher than normal reserves of 6.16% reflects uncertainty over contract terms. Contract terms were not final as of first interim budget.
- Parcel tax carryover is expected to be $73,764.
- District has higher than typical local revenue. This reflects Parcel Tax revenue (5%) and lease revenues (6%).
- Parcel tax expenditures are projected to be higher than revenue. This is consistent with planned draw down of carry-forward reserves.
- New employee contracts may result in higher costs for some parcel tax funded programs. This could accelerate spending of parcel tax reserves. If reserves are depleted too quickly changes will be required in parcel tax spending.
MULTI YEAR PROJECTION
- Looking forward, expect average daily attendance will be flat.
- Annual cost of living increase of 4% required to “stay even.”
- Staff levels expected to be similar to 2006/2007.
- Expect higher levels of spending from “Routine Restricted Maintenance Sub Fund.” This results in higher reserve requirements.
- Multi-year projection does not reflect new labor contract negotiations. Will need to be adjusted going forward.
- Projection of new labor costs shows a roughly $600,000 deficit for the District.
- District “Cabinet” team is already looking at opportunities for cost savings.
2006/2007 PARCEL TAX PROGRAM UPDATE
Rebecca Wright gave an update on current spending of parcel tax funds.
- Lower Class Size. Having difficulty identifying teachers for this program. Still getting started.
- Newcomers Class. Up and running – going well.
- Academic At-Risk. Three different programs underway.
More detailed review will be available for the May Committee meeting.
Second interim report will be presented in March.
7. Discuss Appropriate Use of Parcel Tax Funds vs. Site Council Funded Programs
The Committee opened discussion of Site Council spending.
Mike Cobb expressed concern that centrally funded parcel tax programs may be less appropriate than more local spending driven by Site Councils.
Rebecca Wright noted challenge for the District is to ensure some level of consistency of programs, opportunities across schools.
Site Funds are made up of PTA funding, categorical funding, and Title 1 funding. As example, Site Council budget for Bubb is approximately $125,000.
By consensus of committee, this agenda topic has been moved to next meeting with a specific focus on Lower Class size spending.
8. Discuss Priorities for Parcel Tax Expenditures Going Forward
The Committee discussed priorities going forward. How can the last two years of the Parcel Tax spending best reflect the objectives of the voters?
David Greene suggested as the Parcel Tax proposal for 2007/2008 is proposed special attention should be paid to selecting programs for funding that best reflect objectives of the parcel tax.
Mike Cobb suggested that funds best be used for “start up costs” – one-time expenditures to start new programs or new activities rather than ongoing operating costs; for example, purchase of musical instruments.
Maurice Ghysels suggested reviewing collective contribution of Parcel Tax, MVEF, and other sources to confirm that funding is appropriately allocated.
Kevin Stone asked for updates on the current concerns of the community. Maurice Ghysels commented that it is difficult to assess due to diversity of community perspective. Even more difficult to get input from population who do not have students in the District. For example, in Campbell District Libraries were particularly important. Gloria Higgins noted that Science and Technology are particularly popular in the area, but most taxes are not used for Administrator salaries.
9. Review Process for Bringing on New PTOC Members
Two members of the Committee have resigned their positions:
- Philip Palmer has joined the Board of Trustees.
- Chris Kuszmaul resigned from his position.
Rebecca Wright reviewed the process for identifying new Committee members.
Committee reviewed suggestions for additional outreach. This may include:
- Advertising for new members in the Mountain View Voice. May be combined with report on 2005/2006 spending.
- E-mail to neighborhood association
- E-mail to Committee members that can be forwarded to potential candidates.
- Contact Chamber of Commerce
- Review past applications
- Backpack mail
- Specific effort to reach under-represented communities.
Target is to recruit 3 new members. By consensus, Committee endorsed process and timeline.
10. Agenda for April 30, 2007
Date for next meeting moved from May 21 to APRIL 30, 2007.
- Election of officers
- Review of proposed 2007/2008 Parcel Tax Spending
- Second Interim report of 2006/2007 Parcel Tax programs
- Detailed update on Lower Class Size program spending
- General review of Categorical expenditures by site, etc.
Board of Trustees Study Session on 2007/2008 Budget will be on May 17, 2007 at 6:30 PM Committee members will present results of review of proposed 2007/2008 spending.
Following meeting of the Parcel Tax Committee will be Monday, September 17, 2007 at 6:30 PM.
Meeting adjourned at 8:46 PM.