Work Session Reports

(Note: Formal meeting agendas and minutes can be found on Board Docs.)

Our school board members put many hours of study into how our schools operate, what is needed, etc. so that they can make good decisions. Our board has designated one full meeting per month (beginning in February, 2019) for information gathering and discussion. They are reporting on these work sessions by presenting topics with context, background, etc. for your information. Archive of Work Session Reports can be found on this page's menu.
Bay Village Board of Education

Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 6:30 p.m. Work Session

Reporting to our Bay Village Residents:

This work session took a detailed look at network technology in our school district and an overview of various aspects of our financial management. These are two very complex areas where our decisions can have long-term ramifications for our students, staff and taxpayers.

Technology, as in every organization, plays an extremely important role in our school district. Needs evolve, hardware and software become obsolete, and demand for network access continues to increase. Our students will graduate into a world more reliant on technology than ever before. Higher education and employers already demand a basic proficiency in using technology. Our students will be well prepared, having been immersed in technology for learning and problem solving since their early grade levels. Therefore, we must keep internet access reliably available for all the benefits it offers students and staff. However, we must also filter out the negative aspects of the internet, protect the privacy of our students, and protect the security of the system upon which we rely for financial and student information reporting and record keeping.

Technology is also one of those areas where we must decide how much expertise should be maintained in-house, and at what point it makes better financial sense, and is more effective, to contract with outside expertise. We have long enjoyed participating in a consortium of school districts to pool resources for network support. The State of Ohio has currently authorized 18 of these regional Informational Technology Centers (ITCs) to provide a broad bundle of network services for school districts. Our District Technology Coordinator, Brian Reynolds, presented his evaluation of our current use of three separate network supports (ITC, Connect; Spectrum internet connection to Connect; and private network technology support from Bailey Communications, Inc.). He researched services and costs of three different models, based on bid returns, for providing internet connection, network maintenance, and equipment upgrades. The board will consider a proposed contract at its next regular meeting on Monday, March 25, 6:30 p.m.

School finance involves unique complexities. As we reported to the community in a recent, mailed newsletter, 74% of our revenue comes from local property taxes, while the state provides about 24% and federal funding contributes about 2%. When we need a funding increase, we must turn to our residents, and when a levy passes, we collect an increase that can last for a number of years. That “reserve fund” must be invested wisely, as we put it aside until it is drawn down over time as expenses increase. In the case of a bond issue, where funds are collected all at once for a capital improvement or building project, the funds must be invested carefully and used to pay back the bond owners. Treasurer Nicole Spriggs walked us through upcoming changes in rates and our options for these invested funds. She also reviewed slight changes in local tax revenue due to county re-evaluations of property values – only our “inside millage,” (4.61 mills) is allowed to rise without a vote, and it will bring us an increase of about 1% of our projected total revenue. (For comparison, we have 122.18 voted mills on our “tax duplicate,” but they have been reduced to 50.76 “effective mills” because as property values rise, the millage (or tax rate) is reduced so that only the dollars approved by voters continue to be collected.)

A variety of other topics was covered for our information, including proposed changes in board policy to keep us in line with changes in the law and pertinent court decisions.

We look forward to updating you after our next work session, scheduled for Monday, April 8, 6:30 p.m.

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