The Boyne City Public Schools Board of Education meeting took place Feb. 9 to amend the budget while also discussing regular business items.
Other agenda items included the advisory committee discussing other technology options; Bob South, wrestling coach, asking for some support for the team, and Boyne City Public Schools Superintendent Peter Moss’s notes.
Morgan-Shaw School updates
Morgan-Shaw School Director Cody Wilcox presented the board with the statistics of the program increasing. The school has recently moved from Boyne Falls to Boyne City.
“The longer students are here, the more they are going to be involved more in the community,” said Wilcox. “Last year, compared to this year, are vastly different … I think our school climate, that’s something that is really important to us and that’s something that I think has increased dramatically from last year to this year.”
The Morgan-Shaw school utilizes facilities at the Boyne Public High School; which Wilcox said were better than the ones at their building. Compared to last years results, Wilcox told the board more students are passing more classes this year.
“The school climate will continue to grow, and I know that if you have a safe environment that students feel comfortable in, if they are not afraid to share opinions or answer questions in front of other students, they feel safe around their peers, then we will see academic improvements.”
Peter Moss discussed administrative highlights. He told the board that he received information on the May state election and Gov. Rick Snyder commented about SAT and ACT changes.
Bob South, head coach of the high school wrestling team, spoke during the public comments section. The wrestling team is a volunteer-based program that is school sponsored but not school funded. South asked the board if they could give them funding.
“I’ve been the assistant coach for two years, and this year I took over the head coach responsibility,” South said. “We have a terrific team this year. We have seen significant growth in our team. We started this season with the highest numbers we’ve ever had.”
South told the board challenges he faces financially include paying for transportation, which currently they have parent volunteers transporting students to competitions. Currently, students must pay a $75 entry fee for the season to help with costs, along with all the fund-raising the team does.
“We’ve had great success. This last weekend we had a conference tournament and we ended up third as a team, that’s probably the best finish we’ve had in the last seven or eight years. So, we are very very proud of the young boys and men,” South said. “If the proposal comes before you to fund our program, it’s my hope that you would consider doing so. Our program has been around for 10 years or better—we’ve seen significant growth in a number of things in the program.”
The board came to a conclusion that wasn’t voted on; that they could give the wrestling team 50 percent funding to the wrestling team; expecting them to fund-raise the other half.
The advisory committee told the board they were looking into other technological advances to bring to the schools. One option included the Chrome Book. The ipads they invested in have worked well for the elementary school. They thought it would be more fitting if they had chrome books or other applications for older students.
The amended budget stands at $12.578 million. The board is currently over their proposed budget from last year and must amend the budget to legally continue.
The board discussed embargoing all extra expenses until the year ends. Currently, the fund balance is at 8.83 percent, whereas they hoped to stay at 10 percent.
“As we were entering into our 11th hour of the budget last year, we got low-blowed by the state. We had looked at the governors, the house, and the senate’s funding coming in, and everything indicated that we were going to get over $100 per student.” said Moss. “At the 11th hour we ended up with $50 per student. At that time we said let’s not do anything with personnel, we don’t want to have higher class sizes we want to make sure we don’t touch any programming for kids and we still wanted to keep at 10 percent through the negotiated process.”
He added, “We went through negotiating process and even though we think we got a pretty good settlement, a fair settlement, that will have long-range positive implications, it just didn’t pan out in terms of sustaining 10 percent.”
If they were to freeze spending they would save $40,000.
There is no limit to how many times they can amend the budget. Moss said there isn’t much they can do because personnel take up 80 percent of funding.
The motion passed to adopt the amended budget with a unanimous vote.