Evansville School Board Meetings, Better than any thing you can D.V.R. on Monday nights. Flinstone’s or Jetson’s?

flinstones250px-JetsonsIn recent months the Evansville School board meetings have become more interesting than they have been in some time.    I had been to school board meetings but not in a while, but in recent months I have made it to several.   I went to last night’s, I stayed for most of it.

That is the nice thing about it, if you see some thing on the agenda you want to learn more about you can go just for that, and leave when they are done discussing the issue that interested you.   No one has to stay for the entire meeting unless they want to.

Once again on the agenda was approving employee handbook policies.   The board talked in length on a couple different policies, before deciding the draft needed to go back to Jerry Roth and administration for some more work.   The  issues they talked about was phasing out cash-in-lieu for all.  They would cut the amount employees get over a couple of years  before discontinuing it all together.  But that is not written in stone, and will be some thing the board will continue to discuss each year.

The board can not simply ignore the fact of the huge savings they would have by eliminating cash-in-lieu.  That is the hard part for some of them is not wanting to make that change but realizing the district  can not continue on with this ” perk.”

Yesterday I said  the teacher’s and staff had some ” cushy” working conditions but really not some much ” cushy” as they in their union driven contracts had a lot of ” perks” .

IF these teacher’s are honest with them selves they would take a good look around and see the private sector had to let go of these “Perks” , some a long time ago, some recently.    I will also add that several districts that I am aware of are no longer have cash-in-lieu.  It is an expensive perk.

Sadly –   Sharon Skinner has resigned from the board.   Sharon has been quite sick for a while and regrets having to leave the board.   Sharon is just a super nice lady.   I met Sharon when she and I both were going to the B.A.S.E. meetings.   She has been a super hard worker for our district, very sweet and I thank her for all the time and hard work she has put in.

The board will wait until after the spring elections to start interviewing someone to take her position on the board.

At last night’s meeting as I sat listening to the back and forth about the employee hand books that replace the working contracts.  I sat there thinking  ” Seriously who would want this thankless job/position?”

These board members deserve A LOT of credit.   They give their time,  a lot of their time to our district.   They hear people complain all the time.  Everyone from parents, teachers , administrators,  and  students.

Often people are not happy with the choices they make about the budget and the cuts that have to be made.   Listening last night to them talk back and forth it was clear these choices that have to be made about the budget and the these ” perks”  ,  it is hard for them making these decisions but they have to be done.   The district just does not have the money to run the way it used to.

Dennis Hatfield has been very out spoken about making it clear he does not want anyone to feel like they are less valued because of the decisions the board has to make.  It is not like they are sitting on a pot of money and are just being stingy.    There just is no money.

Jerry Roth gave a brief technology update.   I will be interested in hearing more on how Evansville is going to catch up to the districts around us.  It will require a lot of money but we can not continue to be left in this area .

It feels like some districts are like the  Jetsons  ( remember them? ) and the Evansville school district is more like the Flinstones   We are just so behind compared to some districts.   The district can not continue to run like we have been and be competitive.

All prospective school board candidates were in attendance last night.     That was the first time I have found all four candidates at the board meeting,  Eric Busse is always there as he is a board member but before last night I had never saw Kris Schmidt there so it was nice to see him.    Sandy and Melissa were there.   But Melissa is always there as well.

So the next time you see a board member please remember to thank them for all the time they give.   It is a difficult time for the district and they are being asked to make some difficult decisions.   It’s clear it is not easy for them because these decisions they are having to make involve real people and their families.

When you think about the cuts that are being made I think its important for people to know that a little over 80% of the schools budget goes to staff salary and benefits.  That tells you right there if there is going to be cuts made this is more than likely where they will be made from.  Maybe not all cuts from there, but salary and benefits is a huge part of the schools budget.

So is the Evansville School District going to be more like the Jetson’s or the Flinstone’s?


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