Menomonie School Board Meeting 7/22/2019 | Wis.Community

Menomonie School board discusses budget, Native American Mascots, and subscriptions for agendas and minutes

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Menomonie
Published
July 22, 2019
Commendations to attendees of Model Schools Convention

Menomonie School Board 7/22/2019

Board President Amy Swanson apologizes for a statement she made at the last board meeting which could have been construed as insensitive to homeless people.

Proposal is to make a 1.36 or 1.56  million dollar transfer of fund balance at the end of the year to maximize state aid. The end effect is whether the state aid comes in this school year or next year. The board can maximize fund balance or maximum state aid.  This is a question of whether the money remains in an uncommitted fund balance. 

Discussion of changes that were made to the district Administrator's contract after the board initially approved it. This happened during a closed session. This has now been brought into an open session for a vote as a matter of transparency. The initial vote in closed session was 8-1.  Board member Burstad objected to voting on the issue again, and member Freeman argued that this is not an issue of not supporting the administrator, but that it was an issue of bringing the contract vote into the open.  Jim Swanson raised the notion that the way the vote was brought up in closed session violated guidance from the Attorney General on Open Meetings and is an attempt to correct that violation.  The contract was voted on again and was approved.

The board approved the new policy 165 on board member norms and operating procedures.

A presentation was given on the 2019 Model Schools Convention by attendees from all of the school levels. Commendations were given to the delegation.

Staffing Plan and Budget. There is some additional funding available in the budget for staffing.  The proposal is being made to hire an interventionist or the district, particularly for Knapp and Downsville schools. Administrator Zydowski suggested some other possibilities for increasing staff once the budget is finalized. One possibility is increasing classroom budgets by $100 at a total cost of approximately $25,000. A discussion followed: Jim Swanson suggested more staffing for the school environmental site. Board member Freeman asked for an allocation of more money for professional development for teachers, particularly in mental health areas.

A request came from the board in Wausau to sign on to a resolution for WASB to retire all Native American mascots. As most people in Menomonie are aware this was a very contentious issue with the Menomonie schools for many years when the school mascot for Menomonie was changed from the Menomonie Indians to the Menomonie Mustangs. A fairly detailed discussion on this took place with some members in favor and some feeling the resolution is too ambiguous and is not something that the board should force on other school districts. This was not brought up for a vote and will be tabled for the next meeting.

It is now possible for citizens and others to sign up to have school board agendas and minutes emailed automatically by going to the school board website page at 

The board ended the meeting with a book discussion.

Video from this meeting should become available some time on Tuesday, July 23.

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