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Getting Involved

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Board Approves $198 Million FY11 Budget

Following months of deliberation, the Canyons Board of Education approved a $198 million operating budget for 2010-2011. The budget includes cost-saving measures, including five furlough days in which the entire district, including schools, will shut down, due to a $13 million revenue shortfall. It also funds steps and lanes on the salary schedule.

The Board also approved a $20.6 million capital budget. The overall budget, which includes restricted federal expenditures, totals $295 million.

The District faced a $13 million revenue shortfall due to several factors, including decreased state funding and assessed valuation, and a reduction in one-time, federal stimulus money. Increased costs included a 13.4 percent hike in required state retirement contributions.

The Board took several measures to balance the budget, including furlough days, which will save $3.5 million, and transferring to the operations budget $2 million in capital outlay funds and $4.5 million from the 10 Percent of Basic Levy. The Legislature has authorized school districts to transfer building money to their operations budgets for FY11 and FY12 in light of the economic recession.

“This was a very difficult budget year for all school districts, and also a very difficult one for us,” Board President Tracy Scott Cowdell said.

CFO and General Counsel Keith Bradford projects the District could face another $12 million revenue shortfall in the 2011-2012 budget year.

Patron Steve Van Maren asked the Board several questions about the budget, including ARRA, or federal stimulus funds and the transfer of building money to operating budgets. Board members thanked Mr. Van Maren for addressing the Board and taking the time to understand the budget.

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the June 1 minutes; purchasing bids; May expense reports; Board hires and terminations; the Mt. Jordan Middle School bell schedule change proposal; Fund Balance commitments; and student overnight travel for Jordan High Boys’ Basketball and Alta High’s Volleyball, Madrigals, Softball, Boys’ Basketball, Debate, and AP Art History students.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent David Doty said the Administration completed its 63rd bond information presentation earlier in the day. He said he was encouraged by a new Dan Jones & Associates tracking survey that found  73 percent of Canyons District voters said they probably or definitely would vote for the $250 million tax-rate-neutral bond on June 22 (the survey of 200 voters was conducted June 10-12, 2010; the error margin is plus- or minus 7.5 percent). He thanked mayors and city councils for their support of the District and bond.

Board Reports

Ellen Wallace thanked Mr. Bradford for his work on the budget, and lauded the Jordan Valley and Jordan High commencement.

Kim Horiuchi praised District staff’s work to disseminate information about the Bond.  She attended the Principal Search Town Meeting at Ridgecrest Elementary, and noted several parents praised Canyons’ willingness to communicate and engage in dialogue.

Kevin Cromar commended Alta High Debate Team’s advancement to national competition and reported on the District Art Consortium’s June 10 meeting.

President Cowdell noted the District’s upcoming 1-year anniversary on July 1, and thanked the staff for their work throughout the past year. He encouraged voters to study the issues and vote on Election Day June 22.

Sherril Taylor praised Mr. Bradford and his staff for the budget presentation, and congratulated Alta High’s more than 800 graduates.

Paul McCarty noted Canyons’ upcoming 1-year anniversary, and praised the District’s Communications Department for its work and Voter Information Guide.

Mont Millerberg noted that while budget cutbacks impact in the classroom, he feels better knowing there is no fat in the budget. He lauded the Hillcrest High School commencement ceremony and graduating class.

Closed Session

The Board met in closed session for the purposes of discussing the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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