Coeur d’Alene School Board Recap 2/13
The Coeur d'Alene School Board met for their monthly meeting, now on the second Monday of the month. Here is a link to the agenda and the YouTube video.
There were multiple Teachers of the Month for January including:
Moira DuCoeur, 3rd grade at Sorensen Elementary
Melody Lund, 2nd grade at Fernan Elementary
Traci Lewis, 8th grade math at Lakes Middle School
Tony Hook, PE/Health at Venture High School
There was also a student recognition award:
Joree JIminez was recognized for helping a neighbor during the cold snap in December. An elderly neighbor had fallen outside and he had heard her cries for help. He used his jacket to cover and keep her body temperature up while he called 911. Joree was recognized last month by the CDA City Council and the CDA School board got a chance to recognize him at this meeting.
The district grounds crew was also recognized for all their hard work they do throughout the school district but especially during the winter.
The school district’s teacher’s union, Coeur d’Alene Education Association, made their informational report focusing on teacher retention rates, leadership compensation and transparency, and the certified salary matrix. The report also contained select information from the Idaho Department of Education Report Card re: CDA School District. Below is the data points selected for the CEA report; click here for all the data points for the CDA School District and all districts statewide.
Department spotlight was the mental health department. This department, fully funded by the levy-not regular budget, was created after the horrid year in 2018 when two students and the CHS principal committed suicide. Click through the slide show below to see what that department is about.
This section was to have a discussion and ask Dr. Hocker questions about the levies.
Q: I’ve had people ask me about the school district living within their means and why do they even need a levy, and about transparency. Can you clarify?
A: “We absolutely do live within our means and have one of the smallest levy rates within the state.” He is open to comments about what they're not doing in terms of transparency because he doesn't know what they're not doing.
Q: How does the school district need money when the levy ads have been found on network tv, YouTube, etc.
A: The school district has a social media campaign but not sure about on tv. Hocker says social media campaign is way above his head. There's 3 KTEC commercials running that are returns of commercials in levies past which were easy and cheap to repurpose and run again. There are also other groups spending money to support the levy.
Q: RE: levy perpetuity. Is this a blank check?
A: Hocker says a perpetuity levy saves thousands of dollars over 10 years due to not having to run levy every 2 years. He says that they need $9M to cover the loss of $$ due to inflation so he's implying they *should* have asked for $29M/year but for good graces only asks for $25M. "This is a bridge in the right direction."
Casey Morrisroe addresses losing the voice of the community vote: community still votes for board members and with that vote they have the chance to decide who runs budget. Hocker says HE can make far better decisions if he knows how much money they're getting.
There were 3 public comments this evening:
Matt Edwards speaking on ESSER funds. Funds were supposed to be used to get the children back into school and help them with learning loss. Instead teachers were funded to travel across the country going to seminars with food/hotel/travel paid for by the funds. Asks why aren’t programs like the mental health program mentioned above, the safety of our children, and building maintenance funded by regular budget instead of levy money?
Howard Kunz speaking on the differences between when he was a teacher in southside of Chicago vs. how teachers are today. Students are all human and their race was NEVER involved when he was teaching. Critical Race Theory and Social Emotional Learning are two sides of the same coin and we need to get them out of our schools now. Also, why is public comment an hour into the meeting? It should be at the front of the meeting.
Troy McCollum last. RE: supplemental levy. Offended that they think the community will relinquish right to decide levy every 2 years. They are spending too much on statist, bureaucratic model instead of classical education. Administrative costs have exploded compared to number of students. Reading and math proficiency levels don't check out. Less than half are proficient. Also mentioned using children as couriers for some teachers to send home absentee ballots to parents. (which is HIGHLY illegal).
I am attaching the financials report plus spreadsheets. One thing to note is that they are 50% through the fiscal year and most budget is only 30-40% used except for district administration costs, which is at 74%. Full financials below.
Coeur d’Alene High School HVAC/Roof Bid
The CHS HVAC project is arguably the top maintenance priority for the district. In January the district opened an RFP for companies to bid on the project. Two companies responded with a bid and the lower bid was Spokane company Graham Construction in the amount of $2,968,000.00. The school district had budgeted this project to be $2.4 million so they had to move money around and defer more maintenance to levy money (if it passes) to be able to afford the roofing project. The board approved the project.
2023-2024 Modified Holiday Calendar
After surveying the community, parents, and teachers, and with some hefty discussions, the calendar committee came back with a proposed holiday calendar schedule for next Christmas. Proposed calendar approved.
Mid-Year Assessment Data
Slide deck below, without comment.
New Course Proposal
There are three new courses proposed for Lake City High School students: Art History, Competitive Athletics, and Sports and Performance Psychology. For more information about them check out the agenda documents here.
One date that is not on this list is today’s board special meeting at 11:30am. This meeting came up last minute yesterday morning and it’s all executive session. Makes me think it’s either an expulsion hearing or urgent student/employee complaint.