The Park City School Board was not able to vote on the 2018-19 Budget or on the proposed $5.6 million tax increase during the regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday. They had just two of five board members and therefore no quorum to legally vote on any of the action items on the agenda. Carolyn Murray has this:
The School Board will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to take action on the 2018/19 budget. Board President Andrew Caplan and members Petra Butler and Ann Peters were not present at Tuesday’s meeting. By state law, school boards in Utah must have a budget adopted by June 22. It is expected that there will be at least three board members attending Thursday’s meeting.
District Business Administrator Todd Hauber says they’ve held budget talks regularly since January and nothing in the document should be a surprise to tax payers. Hauber says a 10 day public notice of board meetings is required but the Thursday meeting to vote on the Budget does not fall under that requirement.
Hauber says the incoming Superintendent, Dr. Jill Gildea is expected to take over leadership of the district around the first of August but there is no contractual deadline.
“She has responsibilities with her current board and they’re working through. She was going to have a board meeting and determine who their interim will be and that will determine when she’ll get here.”
Public input was taken in Tuesday’s meeting with just one person asking questions about the budget. Jim Tedford attends school board meetings regularly.
“Why are you hiring three more administrators for the secondary schools when student enrollment is only going up by .09 percent.”
Hauber says they’ve discussed adding three new Assistant Principals since January. He says the interim Superintendent, Dave Gomez provided data showing Park City Secondary Schools had a ratio of 400 students to 1 administrator when the Utah average is 300 to 1.
“And one of things they brought out was time, time to be able to work with teachers, time to be that instructional leader int eh classrooms and time to meet with parents who have particular needs when they come forward and there just wasn’t enough..”
A total of 21 new hires have been preliminarily approved by the School Board but the final new hire contracts can’t go out until the budget is finalized.
”So there are seven and a half positions that are actual teacher positions in the classroom that will provide instruction to students and another 5 positions that are student support positions. So we’ve talked about the interventionists being available at the Elementary School level. And then we have other supports happening within the schools so we have crisis Councilors to work with 504 applications and processing and all that paperwork.”
There’s a new Safety Coordinator position and a new Project Manager who will oversee the Education Foundations $1 million Grant program.
Hauber says the $5.6 million tax increase this year will be replicated next year as well.
Previously explored district projects like the Treasure Mountain Junior High School tear down, expanding the High School to accommodate the 9th grade and building a new middle school are contingent on the Master Planning Process which is set to begin in September. Hauber says they hope they’ll finalize the process in early spring of 2019 and have a project list and a dollar figure which will allow the public to weigh in. Then, a possible school capital bond could be pursued for the 2019 election cycle.
“And so the financing will really be contingent upon the Master Plan and the direction of the needs of the physical facilities. We can play out that scenario…let’s say bonding is the solution that we see for financing, April is the right time to have those decisions.”
With 21 new hires, they’re working now to find appropriate spaces for the new staff. Teachers will continue to inhabit their own classrooms for this year but all work and learning spaces will be evaluated in the Master Planning process.
The special board meeting starts at 6 P.M. on Thursday in the District Offices on Kearns Boulevard.