December 9, 2010 Meeting Minutes
State College Area School District
CAC for Finance
December 9, 2010, 4:00 p.m.
Lower Conference Room
131 West Nittany Avenue
State College, PA 16801
Tim Hurley Absent
Ann McGlaughlin Absent
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the September 9 and October 14, 2010 meetings were approved by consensus.
Jeff gave an update on the changes in district administration due to the resignation of the superintendent. Mike Hardy is acting superintendent, Jason Perrin is acting assistant superintendent and Brian Ishler is acting Mt. Nittany Middle School principal. Someone will be appointed as acting Mt. Nittany Middle School assistant principal. A superintendent search will begin with hope of having someone in place by start of school
2011-12 Budget/Cost Control: Jeff reported that the Act 1 Index has been set at 1.4%; it is unlikely that the district’s assessed value is going to grow; Nittany Mall is appealing their tax assessment again; exceptions above the Act 1 Index are similar to last year; 4% is the total taxing ability without going to referendum. PSERS reform passed in the house and senate and was signed into law. It doesn’t change much except slow the rate acceleration. The board will need to talk about prefunding PSERS at future budget meetings. The health insurance increase is 12 to 14 percent; EIT growth will likely not be much; will be losing $700,000 in stimulus money; selling Boalsburg Elementary building will bring a one-time payment; Edujob money might make its way to us by 2011-12. The district is probably looking at $116 million revenue in 2011-12. Jeff plans to produce a preliminary budget in January. Areas of discussion in the new year include cost control and revenue enhancement.
Jeff reviewed the methodology of using a concentric circles approach for budget reductions. The next plan is to try to match up the number of circles with the actual spending in those areas. A committee member suggested looking at the core first and then if you find you can offer less at the center, there is a corresponding savings in the areas identified in the outer circles. She believes the district needs to restructure the way it does business. A member asked about joining a health care consortium among PA school districts. Jeff explained why it would not save the district money.
Negotiations Process: Jeff reported that the district hired the law firm of Andrews & Beard as Labor Negotiator for SCAEA. The last contract was settled with timed mediation. The secretarial/clerical/paraprofessional bargaining unit is currently working without a contract. A committee member stressed that the health benefits package should be more in line with PSU.
Building Projects: Jeff reported Grays Woods construction project is under budget; Ferguson and Mt. Nittany Elementary projects are slightly behind schedule, but not a lot; Boalsburg Elementary building sale is planned for 7/1/11; the High School Visioning process has started. Even with change in leadership, things will continue to move forward. Three options for Memorial Field were presented for discussion at the December 20 board meeting. Rich said there is a concept of a feasibility study – the field could cost $15 million. A committee member feels feasibility studies are a waste of time because we always end up raising money anyway. She feels a lot can be learned by putting out an RFP, even if we do not award an RFP.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 5:08 p.m.