Frequently Asked Questions

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    Finance Related Questions


    1. Are there other sources of funding for schools, local, statewide or national?

    Other sources of funding for schools include grants (both governmental and private) and program support from foundations or individuals.

    Grant funding usually comes with specific requirements on how the money is to be used and are often limited to a one to three-year source of revenues. This limited life span makes these funds an unsuitable source for budgeting permanent salaries. The majority of grants for schools are for small amounts and not sufficient to fund large programs or multiple personnel. There are large grants available on a limited basis. Once again, these grants usually come with specific requirements which most often include the designation of a Principal Investigator or Grant Administrator to implement and monitor the program and collecting a myriad of data required by the granting organization.  These sources of funds are often offered as a means for developing or implementing a new program that is then expected to be maintained by the district when the grant funds have been exhausted.  

    Program support from foundations (separate from grants) is totally dependent on the foundation providing the support. Some communities have foundations which make it their mission to provide program support for a specific school district program.  For example, music programming in the Baltimore schools is provided by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Foundation. In Alexandria City, the local foundation provides scholarships to graduating seniors that need financial support to attend college. Foundations are separate legal entities from school districts and have control over their funds, not the districts.  

    2. I understand that the school district has a financial problem. Please provide a very brief overview of the problem.    

    District revenues have been fairly flat for the past 11 years with only slight increases in state funding. Local revenues have been flat at approximately $32 million since the Stabilization Levy was passed in 2006. Local funds do not increase based on property values, but rather are at a fixed dollar amount. In 2007-08, local funds accounted for $32,679,331 of the District’s General Fund budget. In 2017-18 local funds are estimated to be $32,371,352.  State funding was $16,338,298 for the 2007-08 year and is estimated to be $17,385,494 for the 2017-18 year.

    Over the past 11 years, the student enrollment has increased from 3,235 to 3,434 or by 6%. In addition, salary and benefits have increased significantly with the rising cost of benefits and staff that are becoming more experienced and higher on the salary scale.

    3. Please explain why revenues are constant.

    The District’s General Fund receives the vast majority of its revenue from two sources:  

    1. Local property taxes in the form of a stabilization and a permanent supplemental levy.  Both levies are for a fixed dollar amount each year.  

    2. The State of Idaho which determines the funding amount based upon a complex formula that revolves around student attendance.  This source of funding varies each year and can change when the State adjusts funding on a per student basis, and/or when the District’s number of students increases or decreases.

    4. Please explain why expenses are rising.

    The primary contributor to rising expenses is the combination of salaries and benefits.  Because of established salary schedules that determine pay for all classes of employees, each staff member receives a 1% or 3% increase in pay each year until they reach the bottom of the pay scale at year 20.  

    5. What is the longer term scope of the problem? How bad will it be in 5 or 10 years?

    Each year, expenses in the General Fund are anticipated to grow between $1.0M and $1.4M.  Additional revenues received each year from the State will offset this expense, however the rate of revenue growth is anticipated to be less than half the expense growth even in the best years unless the District experiences a significant and consistent growth in student population.  If the net expense growth expands by $1.0M per year, then reduction in service expenses provided by the District will be collectively $5M in five years and $10M over ten years.   

    6. What has the district done to cope with the situation?      

    The District has made significant reductions in the past three years as well as moved much of the building maintenance funds to the Plant Facilities Levy. In addition, the District has worked to increase student attendance, which impacts the amount of funds provided by the State.  Reductions include:

    17-18 Budget Year Reductions/ Fee Adjustments

    Buildings and Grounds Reduction of One Staff

    6 Summer Days from Calendar for Administrators

    6 Summer Days from Calendar for 246 Calendar Day Administrative Assistants

    Instructional Technology Specialist Position Eliminated

    School Budgets Reduced

    Department Budgets Reduced

    Transportation Budget Reduced

    Classified Professional Development Eliminated

    Community Campus Fee Increase

    Professional Development Expenses Paid by Blaine County Education Foundation

    Food Service Staff Reductions

    Cut Two Extended Contracts

    Eliminate One Certified Stipend

    Communication publishing budget reduced

    Curriculum adjustments/reductions

    Elimination of the Assistant Superintendent position

    Restructure of Transportation Leadership

    Total  = $1,180,613

     

    2016-17 Budget Year Reductions/ Fee Adjustments


    1.0 FTE Technology Department

    1.0 FTE Buildings and Grounds

    1.0 FTE Custodial

    0.5 FTE Superintendent's Office

    0.5 FTE Finance Office

    0.5 FTE Student Support Office

    0.5 FTE Behavior Interventionist Office

    0.9 FTE International Baccalaureate Program Coordinators

    1.0 FTE Summer Grounds/Assistant Athletic Director

    0.6 FTE Dual Language Specialist (District Level)

    Elimination of After School Program Funding

    Elimination of Summer Maintenance Crew

    10% Reduction in Professional Development

    20% Reduction in Admin. Professional Development and Travel

    10% Reduction Across Department Budgets

    10% Reduction Across School Supply Budgets

    10% Reduction in Landscaping Contract

    Reduction in Fuel and Bus Parts Budget

    $200,000 Reduction in Substitute Budget

    Reduction in Summer School Programs - Credit Recovery Only

    Reduction in funds to Community Partners

    Reduction in Idaho Association of School Administrators Support

    Elimination of General Fund support for Drivers Education (Student pay for class)

    Elimination of Site Improvement Funds (playgrounds)

    Reduction of Athletic Transfers by 20%

    Elimination of Replacement of Maintenance Vehicle

    Reduction in Board of Trustee Travel Funds

    Reduction in Projected School Carry Over Funds

    Reduction in Communications Department Budget

    0.5 FTE Reduction in Clerk of the Board

    0.5 FTE Reduction in Special Education Parent Liaison

    Total = $1,300,000

    2015-16 Budget Reductions/Adjustments

    The development of the 2015-16 budget included no addition of positions unless they were deemed a priority and switched out for another position. Catering for staff meetings and celebrations was greatly reduced so that food was only provided when staff were expected to work through the lunch or dinner hour. Financial support to community partners for services they provide to our students and schools was significantly reduced with only two partners now receiving any support from BCSD and at a much reduced rate.

    In addition, staffing allocation formulas were developed for allocating staff to schools based on estimated enrollment for general education classes and on weighted formulas for support teachers including special education, reading, and English language development. The practice of providing additional staff upon request was eliminated. School budgets were also allocated based on formulas based on enrollment with weighting for students receiving services from special education, GATE, English language development and reading.

    While the 2015-16 budget did use reserves to balance revenues and expenditures, it did reduce the use of reserves to approximately .5 million rather than the 1 million plus per year as in the previous four years.

    7. Are these measures enough to bring the problem under control? 

    The District’s approach over the last two years has been to reduce expenditures to manage the growing expense challenge it faces.  The four years prior, the District managed the issue by spending reserves to balance its budget and cover increasing expenses.  Moving forward, the District will need to reduce expenses in the General Fund between $700K and $1.4M (depending upon revenues) per year to balance its budget.  Such cuts will impact program offerings, class sizes, and the quality of the educational product currently provided.

    8. What further measures are under consideration - or possible but not being considered?

    This district is required by law to have a balanced budget. Currently, the Plant Facilities Levy is paying for debt payments, building maintenance, and technology. The Plant Facilities Levy ends in 2020, at which time building maintenance and technology costs will need to be included in the General Fund Budget increasing the amount of reductions that will be needed to balance revenues and expenditures. Options that might be considered for balancing revenues and expenditures include:

    • Continue to reduce expenditures (staff and programming) to align with General Fund revenues.
    • Continue with current staff allocations and programming and increase revenues through a Supplemental Levy.
    • Reduce expenditures (staff and programming) by a specific amount and increase revenues through a Supplemental Levy.
    • Continue with current staff allocations and programming and continue to spend the reserves, delaying reductions for another one to two years and decreasing the District’s ability to respond to financial emergencies.
    • Discontinue the current Plant Facilities Levy and reduce expenditures (staff and programming) to align with General Fund revenues.
    • Continue with the current staff allocations and programming while discontinuing the current Plant Facilities Levy, increase revenues through a new and smaller Plant Facilities Levy and a Supplemental Levy
    • Discontinue the current Plant Facilities Levy and pay remaining debt with reserves. Continue with current staff allocations and programming, building maintenance, and technology with a sufficiently large Supplemental Levy.

    9. What would a long-term solution that puts the district on a sound financial footing look like? 

    Options for creating a long term plan for stabilizing finances in the district include:

    • Continue to reduce expenditures (staff and programming) to align with General Fund revenues.
    • Continue with current staff allocations and programming and increase revenues through a Supplemental Levy.
    • Reduce expenditures (staff and programming) by a specific amount and increase revenues through a Supplemental Levy.
    • Continue with current staff allocations and programming and continue to spend the reserves, delaying reductions for another one to two years and decreasing the district’s ability to respond to financial emergencies.
    • Discontinue the current Plant Facilities Levy and reduce expenditures (staff and programming) to align with General Fund revenues.
    • Continue with the current staff allocations and programming while discontinuing the current Plant Facilities Levy, increase revenues through a new and smaller Plant Facilities Levy and a Supplemental Levy
    • Discontinue the current Plant Facilities Levy, run a new and smaller Plant Facilities Levy, make additional reductions in the General Fund for one more year and then run a Supplemental Levy in the second year.
    • Discontinue the current Plant Facilities Levy and pay remaining debt with reserves. Continue with current staff allocations and programming, building maintenance, and technology with a sufficiently large Supplemental Levy.

    10. Besides providing more money for the district through property taxes, are there other things the community could do to mitigate the problem? 

    There are only three general methods to resolve the District’s budget challenge: (1) Increase revenues in some form, (2) reduce expenses, (3) a combination of the revenue enhancements and expense reductions.

    The most direct manner in which a district can raise revenues is by way of a levy.  However, when this option is not pursued the district can try to maximize revenues from the State by way of increased student attendance since so much of State funding revolves around this data.  However, the incremental gains from this approach would be limited due to the District already enjoying student attendance at or just above the State average.    

    The only other significant possible impact on revenues is for the district to receive donations or grants from a benefactor in the form of a private donation, or a charitable organization, or a significant grant from the Federal Government.  The drawback to these options is that this funding is often limited in time and scope, thus making hard costs such as permanent employee compensation unreliable to fund.

    This leaves the only real option of reducing expenses.  The District could create a plan to reduce spending to match the growth in revenues that it received from the State each year.  This would require the District to cut between $700K to $1.4M each year out of its budget thus reducing program offering, and increasing class sizes.  This process would likely take many years to accomplish, and would create a future Blaine County School District that was very similar in educational offerings to the other districts across the State.  

    11. What are the annual costs to the school district for each sports program. How are these budgets set.

    The 2017-18 General Fund budget includes expenses in the sum of $754K (rounded) for athletic purposes.  This amount includes coaching stipends/benefits (i.e. PERSI, FICA, work comp), travel, supplies, and equipment.  This amount does not include any student funds spent at the school level or transportation.

    Reductions in athletic activities must be made in a manner that is consistent with Title IX guidelines, which requires a District to balance it athletic offerings between genders.  In order to remain compliant, reductions would have to fall on activities that are either gender neutral (i.e. swimming or track) or two activities, one from each gender group (i.e. boys basketball and girls basketball).

    12. How much does the Music trip to Disneyland cost the district? 

    In previous years, the District paid a portion of the costs (approximately $10K) associated with the music trip to Disneyland.  This line item no longer exists in the District’s budget so any costs associated with the trip will need to be covered by student fund raising or school funds.

    13. What real estate holdings does the school district have and what is the net worth?   

    The Board of Trustees held a Work Session on September 21, 2017 to review District properties. Properties currently not being used to support education include:

    • Approximately one mile south of Carey is a 10.43 acre rectangular parcel adjacent to the Carey View Estates subdivision.  It was purchased as a potential elementary site based on growth projections in the valley at that time.  It is currently used for crop production as part of an agreement with a local farmer who provided the irrigation infrastructure in lieu of rent until 2019.
    • The District owns a 28 acre parcel located out Croy Canyon.  This property was purchased with the intent of eventually building an elementary school on this site.  There are currently no water or sewer services located west of the bridge near Lions Park.  The parcel extends along the roadway to the property where the new Animal Shelter will be built.  At this time, the lot is covered with grass, brush, trees, and weeds.  The Blaine County Recreation District has been utilizing this and surrounding properties for winter recreation activities, but with the annexation of Quigley Canyon, will move these activities to that location.
    • The Quigley annexation by the City of Hailey lists an 11 acre parcel to be conveyed to the District.  This property would likely be developed into an athletic field space including baseball/softball and soccer fields.  Planning and design will need to be performed and resources allocated going forward.
    • This past year it was discovered the District still has ownership of four parcels of property located in remote agricultural areas.  These 1.5-2 acre plots were likely used as small single structure school sites, or were potential sites.  Two of the parcels are east of Carey, one is south of Picabo, and one is located in Yale near Minidoka.  The individual using the two parcels east of Carey is aware of the problem and would like to resolve the issue.  Both Carey parcels are in fields that are under irrigation.  It is our understanding the properties would need to be appraised and then put up for auction, with the property going to the highest bidder.  The other two properties would need to be processed the same way.  The Picabo and Yale properties are not currently being farmed.  
    • The building west of the District Office, was purchased as an auxiliary property to the District Office, in the event expansion was to take place.  It is an older residence, on .32 acres, that has been added onto multiple times, and later converted to a Bed and Breakfast.  Over the years it has been used for the Voice ll program, rental for staff, and also utilized for storage.  The current plan is to move the Voice ll program to the Community Campus during the current school year.  The appraised value as of February 2016 was $395,000.  The house to the west of this property recently sold, and although much newer, would likely provide a good comparable value.  This building is in need of some basic maintenance, such as paint and trim repairs.  The various elevation changes within the building, and unique layout, make it difficult to adapt to educational purposes.  
    • The Old District Office is adjacent to the southeast corner of the Atkinson Parking lot in Hailey.  It is a 900 square foot brick and frame structure.  It is located on the back portion of four city lots totaling 4492 square feet (.10 acre).  It is currently used for storage.  The building is in poor repair and has been considered for demolition.  A cursory architectural and engineering evaluation was performed approximately 8 years ago.  At that time, it was determined the cost of the renovation would not provide a good value for the District.  There were significant seismic, structural, and onsite parking issues.  
    • West of the Wood River High School and north of the Aquatic Center is a .98 acre parcel.  The District uses this dirt/gravel area for overflow parking during the fall and spring, and for snow storage during the winter months (Wood River High School and Community Campus).  There is an unused dry domestic well located toward the west end.  The overflow canal tunnel runs underneath the east portion of the property.
    • South of the Ernest Hemingway STEAM School in Ketchum is a .75 acre lot owned by the District.  This parcel currently has an asphalt parking lot that doubles as snow storage in the winter, along with a bicycle pump park operated by the Ketchum Parks Department.  Records indicate this property is deed restricted as to the type of construction that can be built.  As it stands now, any structure will need to be of an education purpose.  There were past attempts to have the Secretary of the Interior sign off to lift the restriction, and also to have changes made through legislative avenues.  Both attempts failed.  Language in the original document states that any attempt to build outside of the restrictions, or to convey the property to another entity with the intention to build outside the restriction, will result in the property reverting back to the Union Pacific Railroad.  
    • South of the Wood River Middle School is a 1.5 acre parcel used for snow storage for the south parking lots.  This property is currently located in the county and should be considered for annexation.  This lot was the topic of discussion in the past to be considered for workforce housing.  In addition to the annexation, there would likely need to be considerations for street improvements along North 3rd Avenue.

    On October 10, 2017 the Board instructed the administration to obtain appraisals on several pieces of property for possible sale and inquired about the possibility of other properties being leased to other groups. The details of the ongoing work being done in this area may be found at https://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/files/ARTMSF59F6C1/$file/BCSD%20Property%20Next%20Steps%20-%20Oct%202017.pdf   

    14. How are capital investments decided upon? What improvements are slated in the next 5 years?

    The District maintains a five year facilities plan to provide budget guidance while maintaining District facilities including carpet replacement, roof replacements, etc. This plan is a part of the yearly budget review and approval process. This can be found in the District’s 2017-18 budget book at https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/1850  Other capital investments for possible consideration include the completion of 2 additional locker room renovations to support the privacy requirements of the the Board’s Gender Inclusion Policy 502.12.  

    15. What is the annual revenue vs. annual operating expense of the Community Campus?

    The 2017-18 Community Campus budget has $543K (rounded) in expenses with $340K (rounded) in revenues.  The shortfall will be made up with a subsidy from the General Fund.

    16. How do we quantify the value tax payers get for the money spent?  Test scores, opportunities, college preparedness, college graduations, real life experience vs just book learning?

    Student outcomes are one way to measure the value received for the money spent.  The following are some of the recent outcomes for Blaine County School District students:

    2016-17 ISAT English Language Arts/ Literacy Line Graph Percentage Proficient at each grade level by ethnicity

    2016-17 isat mathematics percentage proficient at each grade level by ethnicity

    17. How do we define “fat”, “muscle”, and “bone” in the current budgets?

    Fat could be defined as things that are nice to have, but certainly not required and the adding on of programs or services without there being a corresponding reduction at another place in the budget. A good deal of ‘Fat’ cutting was done during the development of the 2015-16 budget.

    2015-16 Budget

    The development of the 2015-16 budget included no additional positions unless they were deemed a priority and switched out for another position. Catering for staff meetings and celebrations was greatly reduced so that food was only provided when staff were expected to work through the lunch or dinner hour. Financial support to community partners for services they provide to our students and schools was significantly reduced with only two partners now receiving any support from BCSD, at a much reduced rate.

    In addition, staff allocation formulas were developed for allocating staff to schools based on estimated enrollment for general education classes and on weighted formulas for support teachers including special education, reading, and English language development. The practice of providing additional staff upon request was eliminated. School budgets were also allocated based on enrollment based formulas with weighting for students receiving services from special education, GATE, English language development and reading.

    Muscle cutting could be defined as a reduction in programs or services so that the majority of programs and services are still being provided but with much less efficiency.  School and staff requests are not responded to in a timely manner and the ability of the school district to respond to partner and patron requests is greatly diminished. Additional fat and some muscle was cut in the development of the 2016-17 budget.

    Budget Reductions made to create a balanced budget in 2016-17 included:

    1.0 FTE Technology Department

    1.0 FTE Buildings and Grounds

    1.0 FTE Custodial

    0.5 FTE Superintendent's Office

    0.5 FTE Finance Office

    0.5 FTE Student Support Office

    0.5 FTE Behavior Interventionist Office

    0.9 FTE International Baccalaureate Program Coordinators

    1.0 FTE Summer Grounds/Assistant Athletic Director

    0.6 FTE Dual Language Specialist (District Level)

    Elimination of After School Program Funding

    Elimination of Summer Maintenance Crew

    10% Reduction in Professional Development

    20% Reduction in Admin. Professional Development and Travel

    10% Reduction Across Department Budgets

    10% Reduction Across School Supply Budgets

    10% Reduction in Landscaping Contract

    Reduction in Fuel and Bus Parts Budget

    $200,000 Reduction in Substitute Budget

    Reduction in Summer School Programs - Credit Recovery Only

    Reduction in funds to Community Partners

    Reduction in Idaho Association of School Administrators Support

    Elimination of General Fund support for Drivers Education (Student pay for class)

    Elimination of Site Improvement Funds (playgrounds)

    Reduction of Athletic Transfers by 20%

    Elimination of Replacement of Maintenance Vehicle

    Reduction in Board of Trustee Travel Funds

    Reduction in Projected School Carry Over Funds

    Reduction in Communications Department Budget

    0.5 FTE Reduction in Clerk of the Board

    0.5 FTE Reduction in Special Education Parent Liaison

    Total = $1,300,000

    Bone cutting could be defined as reductions that put the District in a position of not being timely in responding to technology support and system upgrades needed, not being timely in responding to building and program maintenance requests, and no longer having the ability to respond to and financially support community and partner requests. Financial support for enrichment activities for students both during school and in extracurricular programs has been greatly reduced and school staff and programming is being impacted. Additional muscle and some bone was cut in the development of the 2017-18 budget.

    Budget Reductions made to create a balanced budget in 2017-18 included:

    Buildings and Grounds Reduction of One Staff

    6 Summer Days from Calendar for Administrators

    6 Summer Days from Calendar for 246 Calendar Day Administrative Assistants

    Instructional Technology Specialist Position Eliminated

    School Budgets Reduced

    Department Budgets Reduced

    Transportation Budget Reduced

    Classified Professional Development Eliminated

    Community Campus Fee Increase

    Professional Development Expenses Paid by Blaine County Education Foundation

    Food Service Staff Reductions

    Cut Two Extended Contracts

    Eliminate One Certified Stipend

    Communication publishing budget reduced

    Curriculum adjustments/reductions

    Elimination of the Assistant Superintendent position

    Restructure of Transportation Leadership

    Total  = $1,180,613

    18. What is the average cost per student based on our current budget? 

    The 2017-18 average cost per student in the General Fund budget is based upon our current estimated enrollment (Pre-K through 12) of 3,470 students is $14,800. (This average is computed using General Fund monies only, and does not include the contingency amount, Federal, Plant, or State special funds)

    19. Based on the “Position allocations graph”are we getting appropriate returns or results equal to our to our actual expenses over the state allocations 153%, 169%, 129%, 212%?

    Student outcomes are one way to measure appropriate return on our investments.  The following are some of the recent outcomes for Blaine County School District students:

    2016-17 isat english language arts/ literacy percentage proficient at each grade level by ethnicity line graph

    2016-17 isat mathematics percentage at each grade level by ethnicity line graph

    20. What is the analysis or reason for the steady increase in expenditures from 2006 till the present time?

    By and large the increase in expenses can be attributed to the increases in salaries and cost of benefits, and to a much lesser degree, the inflationary nature of supplies and equipment.  Increasing staff is not a significant contributor to the problem.  In the 2008-09 school year, the District employed 525 FTE (full time equivalents).  Last year (16-17), we employed 517 FTE.  We actually had fewer staff members.  However, there was a shift in that time period of fewer classified staff to more certified.  Since certified are more expensive to employ than classified, there is an increase in expense, but that portion of the budget is marginal compared to other factors.

    21. The states allocation for benefits is 16% of the total budget allocation. The General fund budgeted total for benefits is 30% why?

    The aspect of what the State defines as a benefit is a bit misleading.  The State’s funding for benefits is meant to cover the District’s obligation to PERSI and unused sick leave (both pension plan items) as well as FICA/Medicare (federal taxes).  Any employee benefits beyond these three items that a District offers must be paid with funds from the State’s discretionary allocation or local property taxes.  The State does not provide any direct funds for insurance benefits, workers compensation coverage, sick leave, or any other benefit that a District provides for employees.

    22. What is the projected total budget in the 2026-27 Projected GF optimistic revenue graph?

    The projected revenue amount is about $71M, and the projected expenses are $70.5M, which provides for a positive cash flow scenario.  A caution about the exactness of these numbers because so many factors will influence what actually takes place over the course of the next ten years.  The 2026-27 Projected General Fund data and graphs should be used to identify the anticipated trend over the course of the next ten years.  Regardless of the scenario (optimistic, neutral, or pessimistic), we will be required to manage an imbalance between revenues and expenses for a period of time greater than just a couple of years.

    23. What actual reduction in services to the students do the 16-17 budget cuts represent. What did students lose?  

    Reductions in the 2016-17 budget that impacted students include:

    • 1 FTE Technology resulting in longer response time from the technology department to solve technology related issues in schools and classrooms.
    • 1 FTE Buildings and Grounds resulting in longer response time to repair/correct facilities issues in classrooms, fields, and school common areas.
    • 1 FTE Custodial resulting in less flexibility in custodial services so when staff are out not all spaces get a daily cleaning.
    • 1.0 FTE Summer Grounds/Assistant Athletic Director resulting in less support for students in athletic programs.
    • 0.6 FTE Dual Language Specialist resulting in less support for students in Dual Language programs.
    • Elimination of After School Programming resulting in no district supported after school programs for homework help, etc.
    • Elimination of Summer Maintenance Crew resulting in the reduction of available summer jobs for high school students who have traditionally filled these positions and allowed for great deep cleaning of buildings during the summer.
    • Reduction in professional development which resulted in students’ being taught by teachers and administrators who are not as current on Idaho content standards and evolving research on teaching strategies for an increasingly diverse student population as would be expected.
    • Reduction in building and department budgets resulted in less support for enrichment opportunities for students in the course of instruction (outdoor education, field trips, hands-on activities, etc.) and as a part of extracurricular programming.  
    • Reduction in the substitute budget which resulted in students more frequently doubled up in classes when teachers are out.
    • Reduction in summer school programming resulting in no opportunities to take extra classes or electives during the summer break from BCSD.
    • Reduction in fuel for busses resulting in less field trips.
    • Reduction in funds to Community Partners resulting in a reduction in services that some community partners are able to provide to students, including elimination of free Mountain Ride bus passes for students.
    • Elimination of funds for upgrading playgrounds.  Schools are now dependant on funds raised by parent groups.
    • Reduction in funds to support athletic programs

    24. What is the budget for professional development and how is the value measured?

    Professional development is selected based on needs identified in student outcome data. Current student outcome data indicates improvement is needed in elementary reading, secondary academic language, mathematics K to 12, and student engagement K to 12.  Value is measured based on student performance results.

    A budget for professional development (PD) is developed each year to align with district goals such as the ones identified for 2017-18 above. These goals target student achievement improvement outcomes.  The amount varies from year to year depending on the goals and the professional learning that targets the aspired areas of improvement. The items detailed below contribute to the development of the professional development budget each year:

    • $500/certified staff member can be accrued for three consecutive years (total of $1,500) for personal professional development that focuses on the teacher’s assignment and the goals of the district.
    • Curriculum and material adoptions include professional development to inform committee members of current best practices and tools in educating students in the particular subject area to make informed adoption recommendations to the Board. The amount varies each year depending on the subject(s) being reviewed on a six-year cycle and are budgeted for in the General Fund.
    • Professional development funds are accessed from a variety of funding sources to include the General Fund, Milepost Fund, Title IIA federal/state grant funds, and other speciality grant funds.
    • 2017-18 monies that were budgeted specifically for professional development found within the following budgets include: (see budgeted PD amounts below)
      • Literacy Initiative (Funds can only be used to improve student reading achievement in grades K-3): $126,272
      • College & Career Advising/Mentoring - Next Steps (Funds can only be used for college and career counseling programs): $7,500
      • GATE (Funds can only be used for identification and professional development): $5,000
      • General Fund: $151,750
      • Milepost Fund (Milepost funds can only be used for professional development and technology): $207,000
      • Title IIA Grant (Funds can only be used for ‘Supporting Effective Instruction’ to increase student achievement): $67,459
      • Title I Grant (Funds are distributed to each Title I school and may be used for professional development): amounts vary by school
      • Title III Grant (Funds are determined by the number of English Learners in the district and may be used for professional development): $8,000
      • Other Grants:
        • Literacy Initiative (Funds can only be used to improve student reading achievement in grades K-3): $126,272
        • College & Career Advising/Mentoring - Next Steps (Funds can only be used for college and career counseling programs): $7,500
        • GATE (Funds can only be used for identification and professional development): $5,000

    25. When did the district begin contracting with the Developing Mathematical Thinking Institute and how much money has been paid for services connected to them? How has the effectiveness/value of these services been measured? 

    The district is in its fourth year of partnership  with the Developing Mathematical Thinking Institute to transition teachers to the new common core state standards, write curriculum and assessment that align to these more rigorous student outcomes and coach teachers in implementing mathematical thinking instructional practices. Expenses related to this partnership are as follows:

    • 2014-15: $28,000
    • 2015-16: $24,000
    • 2016-17: $42,500

    Value is measured through the evidence of a written curriculum, implementation of common assessments, improved instructional practices and measurable student outcomes.

    26. Overview of Blaine County School District General Fund Finances

    • School district’s revenue primarily comes from 2 sources, local property taxes (at a fixed amount of $32 million per year regardless of property values) and from the state of Idaho. 60% of BCSD’s operating costs come from the local property tax.
    • From 2011-12 to 2015-16, District expenses exceed revenues.
    • The Board paid for those excess expenses by spending down reserves, which are now far below recommended levels.
    • To balance the budget the last 2 years, $1.3 million was cut from expenses in 2016-17, and $1.2 million was cut in 2017-18.
    • 82% of District expenses go to salaries and benefits.
    • Salaries and benefits increase by approximately $1.2 million/year, based on staff's increased experience and education.
    • There are only 2 more years of the plant facilities levy, which pays for over $2.3 million per year of building maintenance and technology

    27. Where, over time, have the increases in expenditures come from?

    The primary driver of the increase in expenses over time has been employee salary and benefits.  It is estimated that employee moves on the salary and stipend schedules (commitments already made) along with other expenses will cost an additional $1.2 million each year. All salary increases result in higher FICA, Medicare, workman's comp, and PERSI retirement payments.

    82% of expenses are from staff salaries and benefits. (Most districts nationally spend about 80% on staff.)

    Certified, classified, and administration employees are all now paid based on a salary schedule which include increases in pay for each additional year of employment up to 20 years.

    The certified and classified salary schedules include additional compensation for employees with additional education.

    An increase in the number of staff employed by the District is not a major contributor to the increase in expenses.  The number of staff employed has actually shrunk the last ten years by about 8 FTE, however there has been a shift in hiring more certified staff than classified over the same time period. Certified staff are generally more expensive to employ so this aspect has had a very modest impact in the growth of expenses.

    28. What has been the cause of the decline in reserves?

    The School District has been spending more each year since 2011-12 than it has brought in for the year in revenues causing it to use funds from the reserves to balance the budget.  


    Change in fund balance bar chart Fiscal year 05-06 to 17-18

     

    29. Looking at the budget summary, it looks like expenditures always match revenues. It doesn’t seem to show the spending of reserves. Why doesn’t it show the spending of the reserves? 

    Idaho law requires that a District develops a budget that balances revenues and expenses.  A District can balance its budget by deploying reserves to increase revenues so as to balance the amount of budgeted expenses.  If a District anticipates more revenues than expenses it can define the excess as unassigned and leave it out of the budget.  Regardless of the scenario a District must always prepare a balanced budget each year.  You can see this in the District’s Budget Book budget summary page.

    30. Are you allowed to build strategic plans that require more money than the district has?   

    Idaho Statute requires that school districts have strategic plans/continuous improvement plans that focus on improving student academic outcomes. There is no requirement that the plans be linked to the District budget. In the past several years, the BCSD Board of Trustees has set the expectation that the budget support the Strategic Plan and closing the Achievement Gap. This means that when making reductions to the budget items which are critical to achieving the Strategic Plan and closing the achievement gap are last to be considered for reduction or elimination.

    School districts usually approach strategic plans in one of two ways.  The first way is to develop a strategic plan that is aspirational and contains high goals to strive towards. These types of plans include goals such as every student will achieve the benchmark in reading. A second way is to develop a strategic plan that is less aspirational and more focused on obtainable goals and tasks in the short term. This second type of strategic plan often includes goals such as 80% of the students will achieve the benchmark in reading. BCSD has chosen to use an aspirational strategic plan that strives to ensure all students meet the minimum standards.  

    31. How do we deal with the state’s declining support for schools vs. being number 49 in the country?

    Since 2013, the State of Idaho has put more money into education, however, the State is not back to funding at the level it did in 2008 according to the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy. The Center also notes that Idaho ranks 49th in the amount of taxes collected and 41st when tax collections are examined relative to income.

    District leadership has been active in communicating with state legislators regarding the need to continue to improve funding of schools across Idaho in order to build strong communities. Public education is the foundation of a strong a vibrant community with well educated and productive citizens.

    32. How has cutting the budget the past two years changed the culture?

    This is a very subjective topic and this is only reflective of one Administrator’s observations:

    The culture of Blaine County Schools for most of the previous 25 years was embodied in a sense of optimism because professional creativity and employee security had been established. Because of the positive financial outlook for the district, teachers and administrators were granted a greater level of individual determination for professional development, adding new programs, knowing that salaries would be surpassing inflation, and very low deductibles for various benefits. The financial outlook was usually an uplifting discussion and people are buoyed when they know they can be creative and expansive with their supply money and their general school building supplies. Programs like music, tech, sports, art and libraries all had strong budgets. If additional staff or funds were needed or desired, the district was able to provide them.

    Expenditures such as Dr. Barber’s buyout exemplified a growing concern among employees that the school district was not managing finances appropriately. When Dr. Holmes was first hired she was told by the Board at that time to keep spending the reserves even though it was clear to her that the school district was heading toward a pending financial correction of growing urgency. The district has made large changes in the past three years to reduce spending. These reductions have also resulted in a shift in the culture from a mindset of unlimited resources to a mindset of accountability and maximizing resources.

    The following are samples of culture shifts employees have endured due to our changing financial outlook:

    • Larger class sizes
    • Large increase in the number of students teachers work with each day.
    • Loss of extended Language Arts and Math time due to shifts in programming and cuts in staffing.
    • Cutting of activities due to decrease in supply budgets - teachers have to budget every aspect of their supplies down to the number of copies, and large purchases are minimal.
    • Fewer Project Based Learning  activities because of the loss of shared planning time - most teachers now have only one instructional prep in secondary and time to plan together has been replaced by actual classes with students on the roster. This impacts certain teachers more in certain grade levels and subjects.
    • Fewer field trips and community experiences because with larger grade levels and more students, coupled with less shared planning time, field trips are much more cumbersome to plan.
    • Less focus on the content as many teachers now have more than one content to teach and some have multiple contents.
    • More combined grade classes in elementary and more multigrade teaching in middle and high school.
    • Less time to build and develop relationships with kids. As numbers of students increase, many aspects of our social-emotional development are harder to impart upon students.
    • More and more meetings for IEP, 504, students of concern need to be scheduled before school and after school because there is minimal shared planning time. These meetings are more rushed and teachers need to finish their planning and prep off contract because of the loss of time during the day.
    • Some teachers start their day at 8:00 with a room full of students, and do not have a single break until close to 1:30. Even their 30-minute duty-free lunch is spent in the classroom with students who need to make up work or need special assistance. This is what people who have never taught do not understand about this profession. Leading kids in an engaging, inspirational, enriching class for 5.5 straight hours without even a coffee break or bathroom break is incredibly demanding on the staff emotionally and professionally. Most jobs have natural breaks, or focused tasks to complete as an individual.

    33. Where do revenues for the school district's General Fund operating costs come from?

    There are two primary sources of revenue:

    1. The State of Idaho: Idaho provides funds to each school district based on a complicated formula that includes student attendance and teacher experience and education. The state's allocation varies from year to year based on sales and income tax collections by the state of Idaho, and typically increases at a state level by 4-6%. This amount can vary dramatically during economic downturns, such as 2009. Blaine County School District received about $18 million from the state in 2016-17.
    2. Local property tax levies: The stabilization levy was established by state legislators in 2006 after they switched school funding from property taxes to sales taxes, leaving four Idaho districts severely underfunded. The Blaine County stabilization levy is capped at a fixed $29.5 million/year, and does not increase with property values or inflation. Because it isn't indexed to inflation, the stabilization levy revenue has less buying power each year. The district also has additional property tax levies amounting to approximately $2.6 million (supplemental and tort levies).

    2017-18 school district revenue sources pie chart state revenue 35%, local property taxes 60%, beginning balances, 5%, other

     

    34. When did the funding for Idaho's public schools change and why?

    In August 2006, Interim Governor Jim Risch called a one-day special legislative session to shift the funding of Idaho schools from property taxes to sales taxes. Because Blaine County, Swan Valley, Avery, and McCall-Donnelly were exceedingly dependent on property taxes at the time of the legislation, these four Idaho school districts lobbied successfully for budget stabilization levies to make up the difference. The state legislature allows these school districts to continue to levy property taxes up to the dollar amounts they would have received in 2007. The budget stabilization levies are permanent, and not subject to voter renewal.

    The Blaine County budget stabilization levy collects a fixed $29.5 million/year. The value does not adjust with property values or inflation. Because it isn't indexed to inflation, the stabilization levy revenue has less buying power each year. A fixed stabilization levy also means a smaller percent of all district revenue comes from the levy each year. Over time, the relationship between our funding versus the rest of Idaho becomes more equalized, and the higher wages and extra programs we enjoy become less feasible.

    Because sales taxes are more susceptible to short-term economic downturns than property values, one of the effects of this shift was to make revenues for school funding more variable. Idaho spending per student is down 16.2% from 2008 to 2015.

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/most-states-still-funding-schools-less-than-before-the-recession

    https://www.idahoednews.org/news/2006-overhaul-taxes-school-district/

    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/jun/01/idaho-among-worst-for-school-funding/

     35. Why is there a budget crunch now, if Idaho changed school funding in 2006?

    In short, revenues exceed expenses from 2011-12 to 2015-16. The district started spending down its reserves or "unassigned fund balance" in 2012 to cover the shortage. Reserves are now far below levels recommended to keep the District fiscally healthy.

    In 2006, the state of Idaho legislated a change in school funding from property taxes to sales taxes. Because Blaine County and 3 other school districts were highly dependent on property taxes, they lobbied for a property tax stabilization levy to help mitigate the effects of the funding change. There was an initial increase in revenue from the state due to high sales tax receipts between the 2005-06 school year and the 2007-08 school year, so the funding switch wasn't an immediate blow. The stabilization levy brings in a flat $29.5 million/year and revenues from the state remain basically the same from year to year, so revenues are effectively fixed.

    As is tradition in almost all school districts, teachers, administrators and other district staff are paid based on a salary schedule that increases each year with their additional experience and education. This also increases the cost of benefits. These and inflation have caused the majority of the increase in expenses since 2012-13. The school district began implementing annual budget cuts of about $1.2 million/year in 2015 after implementing a balanced budget policy to protect the remaining reserves for emergencies.

    Navigate to blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Meetings > 10/19/17 Special Meeting > View the Agenda > Review of General Fund Revenues > Revenue Discussion, or try:

    http://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/files/ASBSBD71DDB8/$file/Revenue%20discussion%2010.19.17.pdf

    General Fund Revenues vs Expenses for 2005-06 to 2017-18 line graph

     36. What options are there to solve the budget problem?

    The Board has convened a Finance Committee to identify ways in which the community can become better educated regarding district finances and to answer and ask the difficult questions to support the District as the Board moves forward with financial decisions that support a balanced budget. The Board also asked that Finance Committee members work together, engage in transparent practices, limit surprises, and bring a unique point of view that keeps student's best interest at the forefront.

    Previous budget cuts in 2016-17 and 2017-18 were described by the district as "cutting the fat" and "cutting the muscle." The district has indicated that any that further cuts would be "cutting the bone" - directly affecting students, either through larger class sizes, fewer services and programs, reduced transportation and/or athletics, etc.

    Fundraising options include private fundraising, supplemental levies, and a new plant facilities levy when the current one runs out two years from now.


    37. What was the school district's annual enrollment, revenue, and expenditures for 2011-2017?

    School Year         Enrollment          General Fund Revenue        General Fund Expenditures (including Transfers)

    2017-18                3,448*                 $51,358,600**                            $51,358,600**

    2016-17                3,434                   $50,686,598                               $50,537,315

    2015-16                3,371                   $48,492,028                               $50,453,859

    2014-15                3,334                   $48,636,922                               $50,937,327

    2013-14                3,324                   $47,911,312                               $50,055,427

    2012-13                3,346                   $48,431,031                               $48,895,720

    2011-12                3,214                   $47,297,306                               $46,970,725

    * unofficial (pre-November)

    ** budgeted

    Enrollment from Idaho Department of Public Education - use the "Historic Enrollment by Building" spreadsheet that can be found under Historical Fall enrollment here:

    http://www.sde.idaho.gov/finance/index.html

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/1850

    general fund revenues vs expenses for 2006-06 to 2017-18 line graph

    38. How does Blaine County school district employee compensation compare to other districts?

    Most employees, including district and building administrators, teachers, and non-certified staff are paid more than in neighboring school districts. Higher salaries help Blaine County school district compete for quality staff. When comparing, consider these points:

    • It's not uncommon for prospective employees to turn down a job offer with our district because of the cost of local housing. The district Director of Buildings and Grounds recently reported to the school board that half his staff reside outside Blaine County. Hailey's housing costs are higher than Boise (33.0%), McCall (13.9%), Twin Falls (70.5%), and Shoshone (342.1%).
    • "Average" teacher pay is affected by the number of teachers holding Masters degrees and their number of years of experience. A district with mostly young teachers holding only BA degrees has a lower average teacher pay than a district with the exact same pay scale but many more experienced teachers with MA degrees and more than 15 years' experience.
    • Not all administrators work the same number of contract days, and not all superintendents in Idaho work full-time. Using a "daily rate" when comparing administrative pay can provide a more accurate benchmark than salary alone.

    http://www.bestplaces.net/compare-cities/ketchum_id/boise_id/costofliving

    https://www.idahoednews.org/news/special-report-teacher-salary-gaps-are-wide-and-they-arent-going-away/

    39. Where did the district cut the most in 2016-17 to save money?

    The biggest cuts in 2016-17 were at the district office rather than the schools:

    • The budget for Central Office Services was cut from $5,281,304 to $4,357,337, a reduction of $923,967. Central Office Services include district administration, business operations, central service, instructional improvement.
    • The Direct Student Services changed from $37,196,056 to $37,201,019, an increase of $4,963 between 2015-16 and 2016-17. Direct Student Services include elementary, secondary and alternative schools; exceptional child; gifted and talented; attendance, guidance and health; ancillary service; and school administration.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > Budget Comparison or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9IdLTwx7uJ5MWx2MUdJZDVfcTQ/view

    40. When did the public indicate their priorities for budget cuts and what were those priorities?

    In October 2015 the district conducted 24 meetings for its Financial Plan Listening Tour.

    A total of 900 people attended the meetings including staff at each school.

    People voted on their budget priorities with green stickers on items they valued (+1) and blue stickers on items they felt needed a closer look (-1). Top and bottom scores are listed here:

    Top Score Category                                                            Score                         

    Grades 3-5 with class size 25 or less                                  +212                          

    Grades 1-2 with class size 20 or less                                  +164                          

    High School sports and extra-curriculur programs        +152                          

    Benefits including health                                                     +146                          

    Bottom Score Category                                                        Score

    IB Middle Years program                                                     -386

    Administrative staff at district office                                  -317

    Communications department                                             -215

    Secondary teachers have 2 non-instructional periods    -187

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > School Board > Board Meetings Archive > 2015 Meeting Archive > 11/17/2015, pp 36-39 or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5zNVkwkWg3zcklaTlJQV2hUYlU/view

    41. What guiding principles does the district use when developing the budget each year?

    The development of the 2017-18 budget was guided by principles agreed upon by the board of trustees and allocation of resources to support the district mission and goals. These guiding principles are:

    1. Provide support to accomplish the district’s Strategic Plan goals.
    2. Prioritize and provide equity in resources to ensure all students meet and exceed standards (close the gap).
    3. Maintain district commitment to its class size policy, which values small classes.
    4. Maintain a balanced budget while building an unassigned fund balance (reserves).

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > 2017-18 Budget Overview, p. 1 or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5zNVkwkWg3zcnR2SjFQUkN3Vm8/view

    42. What is the General Fund?

    The General Fund is the main District Fund for which most spending takes place for students' education.

    This fund includes most of the employees' salaries and benefits, school supplies and equipment, student transportation, and the cost of maintaining the buildings. It is sometimes called M & O, for Maintenance and Operations.

    In the 2017-18 school year, budgeted expenditures for general district purposes totaled $51.3 million. Employee salaries and benefits make up 82% of the district's General Fund expenditures.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2x91GMyLSNFSFphT2g4Tm1uVWs/view

    43. Why do district expenses increase each year?

    In the 2017-18 school year:

    It is anticipated that employee moves on the salary and stipend schedules (commitments already made) along with other expenses will cost an additional $1.2 million each year. All salary increases result in higher FICA, Medicare, workman's comp, and PERSI retirement payments.

    82% of expenses are from staff salaries and benefits. (Most districts nationally spend about 80% on staff.)

    Certified, classified, and administration employees are all now paid based on a salary schedule which include increases in pay for each additional year of employment up to 20 years.

    The certified salary schedule includes additional compensation to employees for additional education.

    44. What were the biggest cuts made in 2017-18 to balance the budget?

    Department

    Reduction

    Notes

    Transportation

    $310,000

    Combining of routes, reduction of operating expenses

    Professional Development Costs

    $132,000

    Moved to Milepost funds with Blaine County Education Foundation

    Administration department budgets

    $100,000

    On top of 20% reduction last year

    School Budgets

    $100,000

    On top of 20% reduction last year

    School Nutrition

    $75,000

    All nutrition workers are now contracted through provider

    Technology Budget

    $60,000

    Including elimination of one additional position

    Buildings and Grounds Budget

    $60,000

    Including elimination of one additional position

    Community Campus and Facilities Use

    $50,000

    All users now pay for utilities and custodial/ field maintenance

    Donation of 6 days of salary

    $30,000

    By Superintendent and year round administrators

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > 2017-18 Budget Overview or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5zNVkwkWg3zcnR2SjFQUkN3Vm8/view

    45. What is the Land Lottery fund?

    This fund was set up to make land purchases for the district's future use. At the time of its initialization the district was in a growth mode, and saw a need to purchase land for future school site construction. It was a way to set aside funds for a future use.

    The need for a school site has not yet arrived, and may not for some time, so in August 2017 the Board diverted $2,000,000 of the Land Lottery funds into the Unassigned Fund which exists as a set-aside reserve to buffer against future economic contractions.

    As of October 2017, the current Land Lottery fund balance is about $1,200,000, which is being held for use in property acquisition should the opportunity and need arrive.

    46. What was the school district's annual enrollment, revenue, and expenditures for 2003-2010?

    School Year             Enrollment                  General Fund Revenue               General Fund Expenditures (including Transfers)

    2010-11                   3,389                              $49,089,816                                           $45,919,065

    2009-10                   3,316                              $48,301,549                                           $46,709,322

    2008-09                   3,290                              $49,150,439                                           $44,074,174

    2007-08                   3,235                              $49,815,338                                           $41,327,059

    2006-07                   3,175                              $48,794,618                                           $38,332,293

    2005-06                   3,243                              $39,452,428                                           $35,525,170

    2004-05                   3,188                              $39,187,602                                           $36,045,854

    2003-04                   3,155                              $35,542,397                                           $31,393,792

    Enrollment from Idaho State Department of Education - use the "Historic Enrollment by Building" spreadsheet that can be found under Historical Fall enrollment here:

    http://www.sde.idaho.gov/finance/index.html

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/1850

     General Fund Revenues vs Expenses for 2006-06 to 2017-18 line graph

    47. What is the Unassigned Balance Fund and how big should it be?

    People tend to think of a fund balance as a savings account. It is not, nor is it a “rainy day fund.” A fund balance is the amount of assets in excess of liabilities. These assets could include investments, delinquent taxes, accounts receivable and inventories.

    This fund is also called "reserves," unappropriated" or "unrestricted". Districts generally accumulate fund balances for 3 reasons:

    1. Covering cash shortages in the fall until property taxes are collected in January.
    2. To demonstrate that the district is financially stable to get better bond ratings and lower interest rates when they borrow money. Declining balances indicate poor fiscal health.
    3. Creating a financial cushion to meet unexpected expenses and emergencies.

    Fund balances fluctuate considerably throughout the year, as assets are collected and financial obligations are met. The Government Finance Officers Association recommends a minimum of 2 months (17%) of regular revenues or expenditures. The Texas Education Agency recommends 2.5 months (21%) of expenditures plus extra for anticipated cash shortfalls. Blaine County's policy 815 requires an unassigned fund balance of 18-20% by the year 2022.

    https://www.tasb.org/legislative/documents/fundbal2010.pdf

    http://www.gfoa.org/fund-balance-guidelines-general-fund

    48. Will the Idaho Legislature switch from attendance-based to enrollment-based funding?

    In September 2017, the Legislature’s public school funding interim committee recommended that Idaho abandon the average daily attendance-based funding model and create an enrollment-based model. The committee will meet at least one more time before the 2018 Legislature convenes. That meeting is set for November 13, 2017.

    Policymakers would likely need to repeal or amend several state laws to facilitate the funding change. State laws addressing or defining average daily attendance calculations, support units, staff allowances, education support programs and more could require retooling. State officials would also need to define “full-time enrollment” and overload enrollment. Among other things, they must also consider online courses, dual enrollment, fractional enrollment and student mobility issues that arise when students move from one school to another during the same year.

    Last year’s average attendance came in at about 95%. It would cost the state about $71 million to avoid dividing new funding levels by that 95% attendance figure. Furthermore, a straight shift to enrollment-based funding would affect schools differently, depending on whether attendance was above or below 95%.

    https://www.idahoednews.org/news/school-funding-committee-grapples-barriers-change/

    49. Why did Hemingway have more money for their ROES program than Wood River Middle School?

    The two day science camp that Wood River Middle School takes 6th graders on each year is called ROES. The funding for the program comes from the school district budget, not from Wood River Middle School's school budget. Hemingway's 6th graders went on a 3 day trip to McCall for their science trip, and Carey takes their 6th graders to Yellowstone for 3 days each year. Both Hemingway and Carey pay for their trips out of their school budgets and/or school based fundraising.

    50. Revenue: Where does a dollar come from?

    Throughout the year, one General Fund budgeted dollar comes from:

    $ 0.60 Local property taxes

    $ 0.35 State revenue

    $ 0.05 Beginning balances

    $ 0.01 Other local              

    $1.00 Total

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > Budgets > 2017-18 Budget Book.pdf p.10, or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9IdLTwx7uJ5Y3BIWDdIY1U0blE/view

    2017-18 School District Revenue Sources Pie Chart

    51. Expenses: Where does a dollar go?

    Throughout the year, one General Fund budgeted dollar will be spent on:

    $ 0.82 Salaries, benefits, guest teachers, overtime, stipends, deductions

    $ 0.08 Insurance, transfers, contingency

    $ 0.06 Food service, curriculum, software/network, utilities, landscaping/snow removal, professional development, security

    $ 0.04 School building support supplies, textbook adoption, transportation fuel and parts

    $ 0.01 Equipment, building site improvements, buses, maintenance (currently paid for with plant facilities levy)                

    $1.00 Total Expenses

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > Budgets > 16-17 Budget.pdf Executive Summary p.14, or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5zNVkwkWg3zZFd6eWw3QWRBZTQ/view

    2017-18 School District Expenses Pie Chart

    52. What is the difference between the Contingency Fund and the Unassigned Fund Balance?  

    The contingency reserve is an assigned/committed portion of the District’s general fund budget each year.  Typically, it is 5% of the total general fund budget.

    The Unassigned fund is money that is set aside in a separate fund and is not a part of the District’s General Fund budget while the contingency is a part of the budget.  

    Think of your household budget.  The contingency reserve would be a small portion of your budget that you devote to an unplanned cost, but not a big ticket cost.  The Unassigned Fund would be your savings account that is not a part of your budget, but exists to cover an unexpected big ticket item that may come up.

    As an example - the contingency reserve would cover the cost of replacing a car battery, while the Unassigned Fund would be used to purchase a new car.   

    53. How many district employees do revenues from the state of Idaho pay for?

    Blaine County School District General Fund Staffing Levels

    Projected Fiscal Yr 2017-18

    # of State Funded Full Time Equivalency

    # of Actual Full Time Equivalency

    # Over the State Funding Level

    Instructional or Certified Staff

    169

    260

    91

    Pupil Services

    13

    22

    9

    Non-Certified Staff

    61

    117

    56

    Administrative Staff

    12

    16

    4

    * All values are rounded

         

     

    Budgeted State Foundation Payment for 2017-18
    Certified & Pupil Services $8,124,185
    Non Certified $1,292,408
    Administrative $759,984
    Fringe Benefits $1,930,497
    Total $12,107,074

     

    Budgeted Total General Fund Costs for 2017-18

    Certified & Pupil Services

    $  20,903,740

    Non Certified

    $    5,884,853

    Administrative

    $    2,965,742

    Fringe Benefits

    $  12,905,118

    Totals*

    $  42,659,453

    *Does not include stipends, guest teachers, one time payments, overtime and deductions associated with these payments

    54. How much is budgeted from the Plant Facilities Levy fund to spend on facilities at each school in 2017-18? 

    Bellevue Elementary - $30,925

    Carey Elementary - $45,375

    Carey Gym - $12,575

    Carey High School - $21,376

    Carey weight room and Ag shop - $28,000

    Hailey Elementary - $79,775

    Alturas Elementary - $17,350

    Hemingway Elementary - $37,436

    Wood River Middle School - $65,320

    Wood River High School - $11,900

    Wood River High School Grounds - $118,170

    Technology Building - $32,100

    Community Campus Building - $63,050

    District Support Services Building - $10,283

    Silver Creek High School - $1,200

    District Office - $24,288

    55. What does the state not pay for that could be at risk if there are further budget cuts?

    The state provides $12 million of our revenues for their minimum required staff and services. The following is possible due to the additional $30 million plus provided by local property tax assessments and other revenue sources:

    • 34% of teachers and 41% of pupil services staff                 
    • 53% of classified staff and 22% of administrators
    • Competitive salaries for our higher cost of living                 
    • No pre-K or full day kindergarten, only half day kindergarten
    • Athletics                                                                          
    • Small class sizes
    • AP, dual-credit and elective classes                                    
    • Busing for out of zone students and/or sports
    • Outdoor education                                                            
    • Mental health counselors and/or social workers on staff
    • Social emotional learning                                                  
    • Specialists teaching art, tech and PE
    • World languages                                                              
    • Graduation requirements that significantly exceed state requirements
    • Technology integral to K-12 curriculum                              
    • Additional English language professionals to help with non-native speakers
    • Safe environment for students - extra physical and human resource supports
    • Multiple GATE teachers (only a coordinator required)          
    • Paying teachers to increase their certification Drama, debate, music competitions

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Meetings > Meetings > 10/19/17 Special Work Session > View the Agenda > Review of State Requirements

    https://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/files/AS7T936F24EB/$file/State%20Apportionment%20and%20Program%20Requirements.pdf

    http://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/files/AS4TVZ773AC3/$file/Program%20Minimum%20Requirements%20and%20the%20Over%20and%20Above.pdf

    56. How much was cut from the budget in the last two years?

    Approximately: $1.3 million was cut in 2016-17, and $1.2 million was cut in 2017-18.

    57. Where can I find details of the school district's 2017-18 budget?

    You can find the details of the most recent budget by clicking on the link below, or following the navigation directions on the school district website.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > Budget > Blaine County School District 2017-18 Budget, p. 4, or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9IdLTwx7uJ5Y3BIWDdIY1U0blE/view

    58. What is our projected budget shortfall for each of the next 5 years if we assume we make no changes to our current programs or staffing?

    a. No raises for certified, classified or administrators?

    The following is the differences between revenues and expenses over the course of the next five years assuming that all staff move their step each year on the salary schedule.  However, there would be no COLA or addition to the base salaries on the salary schedule. We also assume that the annual budget between revenues and expenses are not balanced each year and the deficit is allowed to grow.


    Difference in Revenues and Expenses

    2018-19

    2019-20

    2020-21

    2021-22

    2022-23

      (816,290)

      (1,477,035)

      (2,181,823)

      (2,816,238)

      (3,461,620)

    b. 1% raises for certified, classified or administrators?

    The following is the differences between revenues and expenses over the course of the next five years assuming that all staff move their step each year on the salary schedule, plus a 1% increase to the base salary.  We also assume that the annual budget between revenues and expenses are not balanced each year and the deficit is allowed to grow.

     

    2018-19

    2019-20

    2020-21

    2021-22

    2022-23

    Difference in Revenues and Expenses

      (1,052,571)

      (1,997,174)

      (2,925,084)

      (3,835,350)

      (4,725,098)

    c. 3% raises for certified, classified or administrators?

    The following is the differences between revenues and expenses over the course of the next five years assuming that all staff move their step each year on the salary schedule, plus a 3% increase to the base salary.  We also assume that the annual budget between revenues and expenses are not balanced each year and the deficit is allowed to grow.

     

    2018-19

    2019-20

    2020-21

    2021-22

    2022-23

    Difference in Revenues and Expenses

      (1,464,484)

      (3,020,634)

      (4,517,649)

      (6,036,152)

      (7,573,793)

     59. Should annual increases in the Certified staff salary ladder be considered a raise?

    The Certified Staff Salary Schedule provides for a 3% increase for each year of experience up to the 16th year of employment. From 16 years to 20 years it is a 1% increase for each year of experience. The Certified Staff Salary Schedule also includes a 5% increase each time a staff member has earned enough additional college credits to move over a lane to the right on the Salary Schedule.  The Certified Staff Salary Schedule may be found at https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/2067

    The Classified Staff Salary Schedule provides for a 3% increase for each year of experience up to the 16th year of employment. From 16 years to 20 years it is a 1% increase for each year of experience. The Classified Salary Schedule also includes increases when staff members move into higher level positions or move to the right on the salary schedule. The Classified Staff Salary Schedule may be found at https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/2067

    The Administrators Salary Schedule provides for a 1% increase for each year of experience up to 20 years of employment. The Administrator Salary Schedule also includes increases when staff members move right on the salary schedule into different positions. The Administrator Salary Schedule may be found at https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/2067  

    60. What would be the positive and negative impacts of across the board salary cuts to certified, classified and administrators? 

    Salaries for certified staff are negotiated by the Board of Trustees and the Blaine County Education Association (BCEA) on a yearly basis as required by statute. In order to make cuts in the certified salary schedule it would require a positive vote for the reductions by both the Board of Trustees and the membership of the BCEA.  The only way the Board could make unilateral cuts to these salaries is if the District experienced a 5% or more decline in revenues, declared a financial emergency and had the emergency certified by the Idaho State Department of Education.

    Salaries for administrators were negotiated by the Board of Trustees and the Administrators in December of 2016. Future negotiations are not required.

    A reduction in salaries, for any classification of staff, would most likely result in numerous staff looking for positions in other locations where they would not be subject to a reduction in salary or the differential between salary and cost of living is more favorable.  Recruitment of new staff would become even more difficult due to the difference between cost of living and salary. The lack of affordable middle class housing is already a negative impact on the recruitment and retention of staff.

    61. How much money should the district hold in reserve?  

    Board Policy 815 states that the Board of Trustees will develop an unassigned fund balance of 18 to 20% by 2022 to:

    • Meet unexpected revenue shortfalls or financial emergencies,
    • Provide adequate working capital sufficient to meet the District cash-flow requirements, thus minimizing any cash-flow (short term) borrowing during the annual operating cycle,
    • Function as a safeguard to fund unanticipated expenses that the District might incur or to fund unrealized revenue, which may occur but shall not be considered available to meet recurring operating expenses, and
    • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility resulting in high credit rating which will help to reduce the district’s debt service rate on future borrowings.

    Based on the district’s current budget, the district needs approximately $9 million in the unassigned fund balance.  It currently has $3.5 million.  In addition, with guidance from statute, the district keeps a contingency fund of 5%.  

    62. Should we use reserve funds to avoid cuts in staffing or reductions in salary/benefits?  

    The district has used reserve funds in the past to avoid cuts in staff or reductions in salary/benefits. This has been a part of the reduction in reserve funds as illustrated by the graph below. When the funds are completely depleted there will be no choice but to reduce staff and/or salary and benefits as the school district is required by statute to maintain a balanced budget.

    Change in Fund Balance Bar Chart

     63. How much reserve is mandated by the State of Idaho?

    Board Policy 815 states that the Board of Trustees will develop an unassigned fund balance of 18 to 20% by 2022 to:

    • Meet unexpected revenue shortfalls or financial emergencies,
    • Provide adequate working capital sufficient to meet the District cash-flow requirements, thus minimizing any cash-flow (short term) borrowing during the annual operating cycle,
    • Function as a safeguard to fund unanticipated expenses that the District might incur or to fund unrealized revenue, which may occur but shall not be considered available to meet recurring operating expenses, and
    • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility resulting in high credit rating which will help to reduce the district’s debt service rate on future borrowings.

    Based on the district’s current budget, the district needs approximately 9 million in the unassigned fund balance.  It currently has 3.5 million.  In addition, with guidance from statute, the district keeps a contingency fund of  5%.

     


    1. What will happen if a proposed levy does not pass and there are no additional revenues for the General Fund?

    If there are no additional revenues for the General Fund in 2018-19, additional reductions will need to be made. The administration recommends that the formula for allocating staff be modified at the secondary level to use a larger divisor of 25.  Currently, secondary staff are allocated using a divisor of 23.  Increasing the divisor will reduce the number of teaching positions without exceeding the district’s class size policy.  It will also give schools the opportunity to make choices of which position are most critical to student success.

    2. Will funds from the proposed levy be used to build the Unassigned Fund Balance?  

    The administration’s recommendation is not to use Supplemental Levy dollars to fund the Unassigned Fund Balance, but rather to continue to look for other resources to build this fund. The final decision will be made by the Board of Trustees.

    3. How do you measure success (other than test results) and how do you get those results in front of the public when talking about a levy? 

    The Blaine County School District Strategic Plan continues multiple measures to monitor success. In addition to test scores, measures include graduation, attendance, student and parent surveys, and student participation in advanced opportunity classes, to name a few. Metrics for each of the strategic plan goals may be found at https://www.blaineschools.org/domain/136.  In addition, each of the schools has been publishing Points of Pride or accomplishments of their students such as the fact that 87% of the 8th grade students at WRMS are taking a World Language.  Student outcomes are regularly published on the district and school websites and in the Weekly Update, newsletter to the community. In addition, the superintendent and other district leaders are always accepting and recruiting opportunities to speak to community groups or bring students to exhibit their talents.  Many of the outstanding accomplishments of our students may be found on the district’s website at https://www.blaineschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=14&DomainID=4&PageID=1&ModuleInstanceID=76&ViewID=c83d46ac-74fe-4857-8c9a-5922a80225e2&IsMoreExpandedView=True

    4. Given the likely necessity in the next year or two of the District’s need to seek additional funding, what are all the options?

    The district must maintain a balanced budget by law so the district has several choices:

    • Make additional reducations to keep expenditure and revenues balanced.
    • Make some additional reductions and increase local revenues through a general fund levy.
    • Increase local revenues through a general fund levy.
    • Spend additional reserves to keep the budget balanced and delay the need for reductions for another year while decreasing the credit rating of the district.  

    5. How do property taxes help us (BCSD) in Idaho?

    State funding for schools comes from sales tax.  However, 60% of the district’s General Fund budget comes from local property taxes, mainly through a stabilization levy, which was put in place in 2006. This stabilization levy was created so that the dollar amount does not increase or decrease with changes in property values. This stabilization level plus a previous permanent and much smaller levy provides approximately $32 million per year. Property taxes also fund the district’s Plant Facilities Levy which has provided technology to all school and upgrades in HVAC and lighting to schools as well as maintenance and upkeep of all district buildings.  

    6. Why is there concern a levy wouldn't pass?

    A telephone survey done by Control Point Group in June 2017 indicates that a supplemental levy has 45% voter support, with 45% against it. Supplemental levies need 50% approval to pass.

    Both questions "Would you support a property tax levy for Blaine County Schools to raise teacher salaries?" and "Would you support a property tax levy for Blaine County Schools to maintain small class sizes and current program offerings?" showed similar levels of support.

    Those surveyed showed even less support when asked if they'd support a levy for those purposes if the plant facilities levy were reduced so there would be no net cost to taxpayers.

    Those surveyed overwhelmingly supported keeping a reserve fund for emergencies (58% for vs 19% against), indicating an interest in ensuring the district has the proper funding in an emergency or economic downturn.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Meetings > Meetings tab > Tues. Sept 12 > View the Agenda > section 5 d), 2017 Survey Results Memo or try:

    http://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/files/AR6LEA562547/$file/BCSD%202017%20Survey%20Results.pdf

    7. Can the structure of the certified staff's salary schedule be changed?

    Every school district develops its own salary schedule. The State develops a statewide salary schedule they use to pay districts revenues just to make it fair. Some districts adopt the statewide schedule just for convenience and it saves a lot of time during negotiations, others adjust their salary schedules to pay their staff more than the state minimum.

    The certified salary schedule is part of the negotiated contract agreement with the Blaine County Education Association. Any changes have to be approved by all certified staff. Because each certified staff member is placed on the salary schedule based on level of education hours and number of years service, any changes would affect all members and most likely negatively if you are looking at reducing costs. Salary schedules can be changed, but the reality is it would be very difficult.

    8. What is a supplemental levy?

    A supplemental levy is a property tax assessment that provides funds to school districts that will supplement the General Fund. The General Fund pays for the operation of the school district, including salaries and benefits, supplies and equipment, materials and utilities, fuel and extracurricular activities.

    Supplemental levies last for 1-2 years, and require a simple majority to pass.

    As of January 2016, over 80% of public school districts (93 of 115 districts) in Idaho were operating with supplemental levies.

    http://www.localnews8.com/news/school-levy-or-bond-whats-the-difference-/57561157

    https://www.idahoednews.org/news/idahos-supplemental-levy-bill-increases-again/

    9. What percent of the vote is required for a levy to pass?

    A 1-2 year supplemental levy can pass with a simple majority vote.

    A bond requires a two-thirds vote.

    A plant facilities levy for school plant facilities and bonded indebtedness can last up to 10 years. It is calculated as a percent of market values as assessed at the previous year end. A higher percent of the electors voting in the election have to approve the levy as the amount being assessed increases:

    • 55% is required if the total plant facilities levy is less than 0.2% of market value for assessment purposes
    • 60% is required if the total plant facilities levy is 0.2-0.3% of market value for assessment purposes
    • 2/3 is required if the total plant facilities levy is 0.3-0.4% of market value for assessment purposes

    http://www.localnews8.com/news/school-levy-or-bond-whats-the-difference-/57561157

    10. What can the money from the plant facilities levy be used for?

    Plant facilities levies last up to 10 years, and the money is restricted to maintenance, buses, buildings and technology expenses. Plant facilities levies cannot be used for the general operating expenses of the district (i.e.: salaries, teaching supplies, utilities, etc.). In October of 2009, Blaine County voters authorized the school district to collect $5,980,000/year for ten years, starting in July 2010, for the purpose of financing the costs of:

    • Acquiring school site(s), and/or construction
    • Furnishing and equipping schools
    • Making improvements to any existing building, including all lighting, heating, ventilation and sanitation facilities and appliances necessary to maintain and operate said buildings and facilities
    • Payment of lease purchases agreements for any of the above purposes

    http://archives.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005127811#.Wdmc0hNSxGw

    https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title33/t33ch8/sect33-804/

    11. Why did the school board ask voters for a plant facilities levy in October 2009?

    The district sought up to $59,798,859 total in property tax assessment over 10 years, starting July 2010. The plant facilities levy was tied to implementation of the district's 10-year strategic plan. Specifically, the levy would fund implementation of strategic plan Goal 7 on technology, Goal 8 on safety and security, and Goal 9 on facilities:

    • $10.1 million in technology enhancements
    • $2.2 million in safety and security upgrades
    • $47.4 million in new construction and facility improvements

    The levy replaced an existing 10-year plant facility levy that expired in July 2010 and a bond issue approved by the electorate in 1993. The existing levy will have raised about $60 million for the district when it ends in 2020.
    http://archives.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005127811#.Wdmc0hNSxGw

    12. What is the School Plant Facilities Fund (aka Plant Facilities Reserve Fund)?

    The School Plant Facilities Fund is used to pay for new schools, building repair, remodeling throughout the district, technology related expenses, buses, and to make principal payments on Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB).

    It is funded by the 2010 plant facilities levy, which collects $5,980,000 per year for 10 years. Funds from a plant facilities levy may not (by law) be used for the general operating expenses of the district.

    Upcoming capital improvement projects might include several roof replacements, carpet and tile flooring replacements, sidewalk and asphalt replacements, and the 2017 upgrades to the middle school locker rooms and bathrooms. Principal payments on QSCB are due starting in August 2016 and continue through 2020.

    See the 2015-20 Five Year Buildings and Ground Maintenance Report for more details or go to: www.blaineschools.org > School Board > School Board > in the gray sidebar on the left side select Board Meetings Archive > 2015 Meetings Archive > 05.14.2015 Special Meeting. Scroll to p. 26 for an introduction followed by school-by-school summaries, to p. 43.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > 2017-18 Budget Overview

    http://www.govwiki.info/pdfs/School%20District/ID%20Blaine%20County%20School%20District%20No%2061%202016.pdf

    13. How much money has the district has received from property taxes for the last 10 years?

    Over the course of the last ten years the District has collectively received $382,558,780 in the form of Bond, Stabilization, Tort, Tuition, permanent Supplemental, and Plant Facility levies.

    14. What school district levies do property owners currently see on their property tax bills?

    Property owners currently see the Budget Stabilization Levy and a Supplemental Override Levy on their tax forms. These levies are used for operating costs.

    • The Budget Stabilization Levy was created in 2006 by the Idaho Legislature and won't change unless the Legislature acts. This is set at a frozen amount of $29.5 million regardless of increasing property values.
    • The Supplemental Override Levy is a permanent form of the override levies which voters approved every few years in the 1980's. The Idaho Legislature approved a final and permanent vote on an override levy in our county sometime in the late 1980's.
    • The Plant Facilities Levy was passed in 2009 and is being collected from 2010 to 2020 for just under $6 million a year. Plant Facilities monies can be used only for maintenance, buildings, technology, and buses.

    15. How were the June 2017 levy survey results weighted for age?

    In June 2017, Control Point Group did a survey using the following voter weighting by age for Blaine County:

    • Ages 31-45 13%
    • Ages 46-59 29%
    • Ages 60+ 58%
    • Female 52%
    • Male 48%

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Meetings > Meetings tab > Tues. Sept 12 > View the Agenda > section 5 d), 2017 Survey Results Memo or try:

    http://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/files/AR6LEA562547/$file/BCSD%202017%20Survey%20Results.pdf

    16. What can the money from a bond be used for?

    Districts use long-term bonds to raise money to fund building improvements or remodels, or to build new construction.

    A bond requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

    http://www.localnews8.com/news/school-levy-or-bond-whats-the-difference-/57561157

    17. Who was on the 2010 plant facilities levy committee?

    A committee comprised of 21 Blaine County school district employees and community members developed the funding list for a proposed $59.8 million plant facilities levy.

    District employees included Superintendent Lonnie Barber, Mike Chatterton, Heather Crocker, Howard Royal, Jerry Hutchins, Juan Salamanca, Matt Murray and Molly Michalec.

    Community members included Co-Chairs Lynn and Janet Askew, County Commissioner Larry Schoen, Jeff Neel, Jenni Davidson, Jim Laski, Joan Davies, John Gaeddert, Millie Reidy, Rob Lonning, Spence Ellsworth, Sue Galgano, and Theresa Castellano-Wood.

    http://archives.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005127811#.Wdmc0hNSxGw

    18. Can the terms of a plant facilities levy be changed?

    Prior to the end of the 10-year term, the school board may submit a vote to increase the plant facilities levy percentage (up to 0.4%) or to extend the term. A yes vote replaces the existing terms with the new terms. A no vote has no effect on the existing levy.

    In addition, under certain circumstances, if the statewide funding from the prior fiscal year decreases, the board of trustees may submit to the voters the option to convert a previously approved plant facilities levy to a supplemental levy.

    • This supplemental levy cannot exceed 2 years or the remaining term of the plant facilities levy and requires a simple majority to pass.
    • After the 2 year term, the supplemental levy shall revert to the previously approved plant facilities levy for any approved years remaining on the balance of its term.
    • Any years in which a previously approved plant facilities levy is converted to a supplemental levy pursuant to this subsection shall count against the years for which the plant facilities levy was approved.

    http://www.localnews8.com/news/school-levy-or-bond-whats-the-difference-/5756115

    https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title33/t33ch8/sect33-804/

    19. How will the money from a supplemental levy be used?

    The Board of Trustees and the administration will work together to best determine the use of funds from a supplemental levy. They will first have to make sure the district continues to meet all state and federal regulations, and will then assess other priorities based on district policies and community priorities for their children.

    20. What were the results of the Plant Facilities Reserve Fund Levy Election?

    School            For                Against            Total Support

    Bellevue         167                187                   354 47.18%

    Carey             134                 73                    207 64.73%

    Hailey             887                576                  1,463 60.63%

    Hemingway     566                425                  991 57.11%

    Woodside        146                 59                   205 71.22%

    Totals            1,900            1,320                3,220 59.01%

    In the past, including for this October 2009 levy, the school district had to put on its own elections at the schools. Now the county handles the election process.

    21. How much more would I have to pay in property taxes if the levy passes? (question updated 2/8/2018)

     

          If approved by voters, the Supplmental Levy would not increase the amount of taxes collected by the Blaine County School District. 

    22. What are Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB)?

    Qualified School Construction Bonds are a U.S. debt instrument.

    The QSCB are federally subsidized construction bonds that were available to school districts to create jobs as part of the economic stimulus laws passed by Congress.

    The Federal Government reimburses the school district for the interest paid on these long-term debt instruments.

    QSCBs effectively allow schools to borrow at a nominal zero percent rate for the rehabilitation, repair and equipping of schools.

    Blaine County's QSCBs were allocated through the State of Idaho Department of Education and approved by the school board in official action.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualified_school_construction_bond

    http://www.govwiki.info/pdfs/School%20District/ID%20Blaine%20County%20School%20District%20No%2061%202016.pdf, p.11

    23. How does a levy work?

    When a school district places a levy measure before voters, it is asking for the authority to collect a specific amount of money from local property taxes for a set period of time, usually one to two years for a Supplemental Levy years, or ten years in the case of a Plant Facilities Levy. Levies are approved if the ballot measure receives support from a majority of voters for the Supplemental, or 55% or more for the Plant Facilities Levy.

    24. What happens when a levy expires?

    When a levy expires, the school district can no longer collect the money through taxes, which means the programs and activities funded by that levy will no longer have that money. Levies work something like a magazine subscription, which is why school districts go back to voters every so often to ask that levies be renewed. As a levy is about to expire, the school district will typically go back to voters and ask to have the expiring levy replaced by a new levy.

    25. If property values go up, does that mean the school district will collect more money than it expected?

    No. A levy is for a specific dollar amount. The school district cannot collect more money than what was approved by voters.

     Taken and modified from the following website:  https://tax.idaho.gov/i-1129.cfm

    26. If the stabilization levy is fixed, why do I pay more some years than others?

    The stabilization levy allows the county to collect a fixed $29.5 million each year for the school district. This amount does not vary with property values or inflation.

    That amount is allocated to individual taxpayers depending on the relative changes in property values around the county. Taxpayers whose property values have increased more than others in Blaine County will pay more than the previous year, while others will pay less.

    27. What did the 2010-2019 plant facilities levy pay for?

    The following is the list of items that Plant Facilities levy funds have paid for since 2010.  There is still an outstanding balance of approximately $16.6M in future debt and interest payments that the District is obligated to pay over the course of the next three years.

    Bellevue Elementary

    Geo Project Elevated (Ventilation and Cooling)

    Drop Ceiling

    Fire Sprinkler System

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Door Retrofit

    Water Fixture Retrofit

    Multipurpose Room Addition

    Carey Elementary School

    Geo Project Elevated (Ventilation and Cooling)

    Covered Walkway between buildings

    Door Retrofit

    Install Drop Ceiling

    Repair Ductwork Insulation

    Fire Sprinkler System

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Window Retrofit

    Irrigation Improvement

    Water Fixture Retrofit

    Carey Secondary and Gymnasium

    Geo Project Elevated (Ventilation and Cooling)

    Retro-Commissioning

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Domestic Hot Water set point adjustment

    Community Campus Building

    Geo Project

    Install Drop Ceiling

    Fire Sprinkler System

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Door Retrofit

    Water Fixture Retrofit

    Comm Campus Carpet

    Auditorium Improvements

    Hailey Elementary School

    Geo Project Elevated (Cooling)

    Kitchen Remodel

    Install Drop Ceiling

    Transformer Move

    Fire Sprinkler System

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Carpet / Flooring Replacement

    Door Retrofit

    Window Retrofit

    Irrigation Improvement

    Water Fixture Retrofit

    Hemingway Elementary

    Geo Project Elevated (Ventilation and Cooling)

    Carpet Replacement

    Solution to East Side of Building (ice)

    Door Retrofit

    Hemingway Site and Addition

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Water Fixture Retrofit

    STEAM Furniture

    Silver Creek High School/DSS Building

    Geo Project

    HVAC Retrofit

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Wood River High School

    Geo Project

    Geo Wells for Campus

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Install VFD on HP loop pumps

    Retro-Commission

    Irrigation Improvement

    Wood River Middle School

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Install VFD on HP loop pumps

    Retro-Commission

    Solar Array - pilot Funds moved to IAQ improvements

    WRMS Irrigation Well Proj

    PF-WRMS Gym Remodel (partial)

    Alturas Elementary School

    Lighting and Occ Sensors

    Install VFD on HP loop pumps

    Alturas 16-17 projects

    Miscellaneous Projects

    WRMS Addition

    Carey School Site Improvements

    Maintenance/Food Storage Building

    Safety/Security, Interior/Exterior Cameras

    Radios

    UPS Backup all sites

    Generator for Technology Building

    Air Conditioning for Technology Building

    Cobblestone Contribution

    Hailey Additional Classrooms

    Solar Grant

    Woodside Elementary Remodel

    Silver Creek High School

    Administrative and Consultant

    Legal Fees for Judicial Confirmation

    Legal Fees  

    US Bank Fees

    Architectural Fees

    Consultant Fees

    Debt payments

    Interest

    QSCB Issuance Costs

    Technology

    Fiber Build to All Sites

    Wiring Cat 6

    Network Routing and Switching

    Interactive Classrooms: Projector, Interactive Board, Sound System, Response Systems

    Hardware Replacement: Desktops, Laptops

    Innovative Technology Grants

    Chromebooks

    Security Door and Camera

    Servers

    Wireless

    Clocks/Speakers

    28. What did the prior plant facilities levy pay for?

    The previous Plant Facilities Levy approved in 2000 paid for the new Wood River High School, reconfiguration of the old high school into the Community Campus, a new Carey High School, Woodside Elementary (now Alturas), an expansion at WRMS, Site Improvements at Bellevue, Carey, HEmingway, and Hailey and a bus maintenance facility.

    29. Can a supplemental levy be made permanent? 

    Yes there is a process for a supplemental level to become permanent.  The process is laid out in Idaho Statute 33-802(5) which is provided:

    (5)  The board of trustees of any school district that has, for at least seven (7) consecutive years, been authorized through an election held to certify a supplemental levy that has annually been equal to or greater than twenty percent (20%) of the total general maintenance and operation fund, may submit the question of an indefinite term supplemental levy to the electors of the school district. Such question shall clearly state the dollar amount that will be certified annually and that the levy will be for an indefinite number of years. The question must be approved by a majority of the district electors voting on the question in an election held subject to the provisions of section 34-106, Idaho Code, and pursuant to title 34, Idaho Code. The levy approved pursuant to this subsection may be reduced by a majority vote of the board of trustees during any fiscal year.

    30. How will the end of the Plant Facilities Levy in 2020 impact the general fund?

    a. General fund type operating expenses currently funded by the Plant Facilities levy?

    At present the Plant Facilities levy provides funds to pay for technology and facilities expenses that would otherwise be paid by the General Fund.  The three major categories of expense that the Plant Facilities pays for are Technology equipment/upgrades, Facilities maintenance/major repairs, and debt and interest payments.  Losing Plant Facilities funds would require the District to shift these expenses into the General Fund, thus placing an even greater burden on creating a balanced revenue and expense budget.    

    b. Projected capital investment requirements that would need to be funded thru the General fund?

    The facilities 5-year maintenance and improvement plan has approximately $1M in project costs in each of the next four years.  Technology due to its equipment replacement cycle will need to spend between $700K and $1M for each year moving forward if the last several years is a satisfactory guide to what we can anticipate from the future.  

    Without Plant Facility funds these projects would either need to be postponed, shelved, or paid for with General Fund monies.

    31. If we believe we need to ask for a General Fund levy, when and how much?

    This is a difficult questions to answer due to the challenging nature of trying to quantify what is acceptable as an increased tax rate to the community versus what is acceptable in terms of the loss of educational staff and programming.  

    31. Do we need to ask for another Plant Facilities Levy?  If so, when and how much?

    The current Plant Facility will expire at the end of the 2019-20 school year.  Should the Board decide to renew the levy it would need to pass a motion to do so in mid to late 2018 or early 2019 so that a levy could be placed on the ballot for community consideration, and not allow a gap between expiration and renewal (assuming the levy were to pass).  

    At this point it is safe to say that a minimum of $3M per year will be needed to maintain our currently planned efforts within the technology and facilities management departments.  However, a greater sum will allow for inflation over the ten years of the levy’s lifespan so as to maintain our purchasing power at current price levels, and will also provide funds for some large replacement component projects (such as a school roof)  that are out on the edge of the time horizon.

    32.  If the district still owes more than $10 million on the bonds, due in two years, and is proposing to collect only $6 million total from the Plant Facilities Levy between 2018 and 2020, how will they cover the cost of repayment? (This question was added on 2/2/18)

    The Blaine County School District's first priority for the use of the Plant Facilities funds is to repay all outstanding Qualified School Construction Bond amounts and the related interest.  
     
    At present the District has made two payments for a total sum of $10.8 million (rounded) into a sinking fund, which is administered by a third party trustee.  These funds (along with three more payments over the next three years) will be used to satisfy the principle portion of the Qualified School Construction Bonds, which come due in 2020.  
     
    Additionally, the District has saved $18 million (rounded) of previously collected Plant Facilities monies that it has in reserve and available to use to apply toward paying into the sinking fund over the next three years.  This sum is in excess of the total amount of each of the next three years sinking fund payments which collectively total $16.32 million.  
     
    The Supplemental Levy vote that will come before the voters on March 13 if passed will reduce the Plant Facilities Levy sum by half, still leaving the District with $2.99 million for each of the next two years.  This is an additional buffer to the funds that have already been collected.
     
    If the Supplemental Levy vote receives a passing margin, the District so as to provide additional assurances to the QSCB bond holders, will make a payment earlier than originally scheduled in each of the next two years - one in September 2018, and the second in September 2019.  These payment will be at least $2.45 million, which is the difference of the Plant Facilities levy of $2.99 million and the $5.44 million sinking fund payments.

     

    Certified and Classified Staff Questions


    1. What are the high, low and average total cost to the school district for salaries and benefits, pensions, paid vacation, perks etc. and any other items paid out. Broken out by Administration, certified staff, classified staff and any other category i may have missed. Also along with this information the number of days each category is contracted to work.

    Certified Schedule salary + benefits:

    Low = $63,586

    High = $123,563

    Average = $93,575

    Calendar for school based certified staff = 190 days

    Administrator Schedule salary + benefits

    Low = $131,061

    High = $207,682

    Average = $169,371

    Calendar for school based admin = 200 days

    Calendar for DO, Maintenance, Technology, Community Campus, Custodial, Trans Super = 245-260 days

    Classified Schedule salary and benefits:

    Low: $42,941

    High: $96,208

    Average: $43,221

    Calendars vary greatly for classified staff, and generally are similar or mirror the staff that they work with: 178-200 in schools and the Transportation Dept and 245-260 in departments.

    Calculations assumes full time employment - many staff are not full time.

    2. Masters degrees and other continuing education opportunities are they paid for privately by the teacher or by the school district?

    Each certified staff member is allocated $500/year for continuing education per the negotiated agreement between the District and the Blaine County Education Association. The use of these funds must be approved by administration to ensure alignment with the needs of the District. Many staff use these allocated District funds to help pay for college credits toward additional degrees or to attend conferences and/or training that help them improve their skills.  The District also receives Title II funds (a federal funding source) that are solely for the purpose of improving teacher quality. The District has used these funds to pay for paraprofessionals to earn college credit and become certified teachers, greatly increasing our number of bilingual teachers. Currently, the District is using some of these funds to pay for classroom teachers to earn their English Language Development certification to better serve our students who are learning English as a second language while also working to master the Idaho Content Standards as expected for graduation.

    3. How do pensions paid each year affect our annual budget?    

    PERSI has three different pieces to its retirement plan that must be paid for staff that work beyond five consecutive months in a year.  The components are:

    • Employer contribution - paid by the District
    • Employee contribution - paid by the District and partially by classified employees
    • Sick leave benefit contribution - paid by the District.

    District paid $5.4M in PERSI employer and employee contributions, and $361K in PERSI unused sick leave benefit contributions.  Since we do not track the employer and employee contributions separately I am unable to differentiate the costs between the two categories.

    4. Does the school district pay for the employee contribution to the staff pension fund and if so why?    

    The District pays for 100% of the certified and administrative, and 41% of the classified staff’s PERSI required employee contribution.  

    The District began covering this employee expense as a way to attract and retain talent to work here in Blaine County.

    5. What is the determining factors for benefits packages and how do they compare to other districts?

    Benefit packages are part of any organizations total rewards and may include a combination of compensation, benefits, along with work life benefits, performance & service recognition, and career development inside a motivated and high performing work environment.  It also drives a competitive advantage to ensure that organizations are able  to attract, recruit and retain staff. When offering a position to a prospective employee, the benefits package is often what helps them figure out how to make the salary meet the demands of the cost of living in Blaine County as these factors are configured into the candidates total compensation.  It is also a strong incentive for maintaining staff, especially during good economic times.  When business’ are booming, employees are often recruited by other organizations. However, many choose to stay with BCSD due to the solid retirement they are building as a district employee.

    6. Do we track teacher salary progression to see spiking trends in years to come? 

    Yes, we do track the trends of where teachers are on the salary schedule and when the reach the PERSI rule which allows them to retire.  While this data is useful in helping to know when staff is moving toward and are eligible to retire it does not tell us when they will actually retire since retirement is a personal choice and not mandatory.

    We do not see a salary progression spike in the next 10 years.  We have a fairly consistent number of staff moving down the salary schedule to the highest paid rung.  However, what we currently have is a very large number of certified staff who are currently at the bottom of the schedule ( 86 out of 302).  We could possible see up to 50% of our teaching staff retire in the next five years due to reaching eligibility of PERSI rules.  How many of those staff members who actually retire within that five year time period is an unknown.  

    7. What is the total cost of wages for one school day, assuming all district employees are being paid for that day? 

    Total cost of wages and related benefits for one day for all District wide employees is approximately $194K.

    8. How are guest teacher funds allocated for district mandated professional development and curriculum writing days? 

    Any department or school that has mandated professional development that requires substitute teachers to cover classes while teachers are away must pay for the cost of the substitutes out of the department or school budget. The number of days that teachers are away from students for this work has been greatly reduced by requiring schools or departments to cover these costs out of their individual budgets.

    9. How many different pay scales are in place and how many different employees are on the different pay scales?

    There are three different salary schedules - certified, administration, and classified

    The number of FTE on each scale is:

    Certified = 297.2

    Administration = 22

    Classified = 172.04

    FTE count is as of 11/30/17 and subject to change due to current vacant job positions.  FTE = full time equivalent.

    10. What is the wage range for all 'classified' employees', including directors?

    Below is the classified salary schedule showing the hourly rate per pay grade.  The full salary schedule can be found on the District’s website.  Directors are paid on the Administrative salary schedule also available online.

    Years

    Pay Grade 1

    Pay Grade 2

    Pay Grade 3

    Pay Grade 4

    Pay Grade 5

    Pay Grade 6

    Pay Grade 7

    Pay Grade 8

    1

    $  15.86

    $  16.34

    $  17.16

    $  18.92

    $  19.86

    $  21.90

    $  22.99

    $ 25.29

    2

    $  16.34

    $  16.83

    $  17.67

    $  19.48

    $  20.46

    $  22.56

    $  23.68

    $ 26.05

    3

    $  16.83

    $  17.34

    $  18.20

    $  20.07

    $  21.07

    $  23.23

    $  24.39

    $ 26.83

    4

    $  17.34

    $  17.86

    $  18.75

    $  20.67

    $  21.70

    $  23.93

    $  25.13

    $ 27.64

    5

    $  17.86

    $  18.39

    $  19.31

    $  21.29

    $  22.36

    $  24.65

    $  25.88

    $ 28.47

    6

    $  18.39

    $  18.94

    $  19.89

    $  21.93

    $  23.03

    $  25.39

    $  26.66

    $ 29.32

    7

    $  18.94

    $  19.51

    $  20.49

    $  22.59

    $  23.72

    $  26.15

    $  27.46

    $ 30.20

    8

    $  19.51

    $  20.10

    $  21.10

    $  23.27

    $  24.43

    $  26.93

    $  28.28

    $ 31.11

    9

    $  20.10

    $  20.70

    $  21.74

    $  23.96

    $  25.16

    $  27.74

    $  29.13

    $ 32.04

    10

    $  20.70

    $  21.32

    $  22.39

    $  24.68

    $  25.92

    $  28.57

    $  30.00

    $ 33.00

    11

    $  21.32

    $  21.96

    $  23.06

    $  25.42

    $  26.69

    $  29.43

    $  30.90

    $ 33.99

    12

    $  21.96

    $  22.62

    $  23.75

    $  26.19

    $  27.49

    $  30.31

    $  31.83

    $ 35.01

    13

    $  22.62

    $  23.30

    $  24.46

    $  26.97

    $  28.32

    $  31.22

    $  32.78

    $ 36.06

    14

    $  23.30

    $  24.00

    $  25.20

    $  27.78

    $  29.17

    $  32.16

    $  33.77

    $ 37.14

    15

    $  24.00

    $  24.72

    $  25.95

    $  28.61

    $  30.04

    $  33.12

    $  34.78

    $ 38.26

    16

    $  24.72

    $  25.46

    $  26.73

    $  29.47

    $  30.95

    $  34.12

    $  35.82

    $ 39.41

    17

    $  24.96

    $  25.71

    $  27.00

    $  29.77

    $  31.25

    $  34.46

    $  36.18

    $ 39.80

    18

    $  25.21

    $  25.97

    $  27.27

    $  30.06

    $  31.57

    $  34.80

    $  36.54

    $ 40.20

    19

    $  25.47

    $  26.23

    $  27.54

    $  30.36

    $  31.88

    $  35.15

    $  36.91

    $ 40.60

    20

    $  25.72

    $  26.49

    $  27.82

    $  30.67

    $  32.20

    $  35.50

    $  37.28

    $ 41.01

    11. Are there any metrics in places to evaluate outcomes and performance of the certified and or classified staff on an individual basis?

    Each staff person (certified, classified, and administrator) is evaluated annually. Certified and administrator evaluations include (by state law) a Performance section and a Student Outcome section.  The evaluation documents for certified and administrator use rubrics based on national models and can be found at https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/3737 Staff who are not rated as proficient or higher work with their supervisor on a Plan of Improvement.  If improvement is not achieved, the staff member is coached to find the spot where they can be successful either internally or externally. Individual staff evaluation results are confidential by law.

    12. What is the breakdown of the benefits paid for staff?

    (Broken down by specific item paid and by certified and classified staff members.)

    The compensation for staff:

    • Salary/wage
    • PERSI retirement
    • PERSI employee contribution (100% for certified and admin and 41% for classified)
    • PERSI Unused sick leave benefit
    • FICA/Medicare
    • Workers comp coverage
    • Life insurance  (employee only paid by District)
    • Health insurance (employee only paid by District) (HSA or PPO options)
    • Dental insurance  (employee only paid by District)
    • Vision insurance  (employee only paid by District)
    • Employee Assistance Program insurance  (employee only paid by District)
    • Professional Development funds - ($500 per certified staff member per year - certified only)
    • 401(a) contribution (for administrators)
    • Sick leave (earned at a rate of 1 per worked month)
    • Personal days (3 per year)
    • Vacation days ( for staff who work 245 or 260 day calendars)
    • Bereavement days (up to 5 per year, but only if needed)
    • 403b payroll deduction options (employee contributions only - no District participation)
    • Flexible Spending Account (employee contribution only - no District participation)
    • Voluntary payroll deduction options (employee contributions only - no District participation)

     13. What is the increase of enrollment compared to the increase of staff over time?

    School Year

    Fall Enrollment

    Number of Staff (FTE)

    2016-17

    3434

    517

    2015-16

    3371

    530

    2014-15

    3334

    532

    2013-14

    3324

    533

    2012-13

    3346

    531

    2011-12

    3214

    537

    2010-11

    3389

    537

    Fall Enrollment (from SDE)

    Staff FTE are rounded

    14. Where do our staff fall in years of experience?

    Certified Staff Placement on the Salary Schedule for 2017-18

    Years of Experience

    BA + 0

    BA + 9

    BA + 18

    BA + 27

    BA +36

    MA + 0

    BA + 45

    MA + 9

    Total

    1

     

    1

         

    4

    1

    7

    2

    5

    2

     

    1

    1

    4

     

    13

    3

    1

    2

    1

       

    3

    2

    9

    4

    2

     

    1

     

    1

    3

    3

    10

    5

    1

    2

    1

       

    2

    3

    9

    6

    3

     

    2

    2

     

    5

    6

    18

    7

     

    1

         

    3

    5

    9

    8

           

    1

    3

    4

    8

    9

     

    4

    1

    1

     

    6

    4

    16

    10

         

    2

    1

    3

    7

    13

    11

           

    1

    5

    12

    18

    12

             

    4

    5

    9

    13

         

    3

     

    2

    6

    11

    14

             

    4

    12

    16

    15

             

    3

    7

    10

    16

           

    4

    1

    4

    9

    17

             

    4

    8

    12

    18

             

    5

    8

    13

    19

             

    3

    3

    6

    20

             

    37

    49

    86

    Totals

    13

    11

    7

    9

    9

    104

    149

    302

     15. Who are we competing with for teachers?

    The District is directly competing with other district in the Magic Valley for staff at all levels, certified, classified, and admin.  Many of our staff live out of District and commute so as to enjoy employment here.  However, we also attempt to recruit new teachers who are graduating from Idaho colleges and universities.  But we do not stop there and have been sending recruiting teams to job fairs in Montana, Oregon, and Washington in previous years.  Given the teacher shortage that appears to be unfolding across the nation the reality is that we are competing against districts across the West specifically and the nation generally in trying to attract and then retain staff  

    The baby boom generation is retiring, and the younger generations have not been pursuing teaching as a career in the same numbers as earlier generations have, which is creating a challenge in staffing classrooms, and support services.

    16. What is the real value of what we are paying staff: salary and benefits. What is the value that we are getting for these dollars?  What is the length of the work year?

    School based teachers and certified support staff - 190 days

    School based parapros - 178 to 186 days

    School based Admin - 200 days

    Full year calendars for District Office, Maintenance, Custodial,  Technology, Community Campus, Trans Super  - 246 to 260 days

    Note - some certified staff have an extended calendar to accommodate additional work assignments

    It is difficult to answer the ”value” aspect of the questions.  We can provide hard numbers for what is in the budget, however adapting those numbers to determine value has been a basis for debate.  I would be happy to provide numbers and a conversion to value if some parameters to define value are provided.  

     17. How is certified employees’ compensation determined?

    Certified employees (including teachers, librarians, speech therapists, and counselors) are allowed by law to negotiate salary and benefits each year in open meetings, usually in April and May.

    They have been using a process called interest-based bargaining, and work with paid facilitators to keep the process moving in an orderly way. Their negotiations should be finished before contracts for the next school year are signed, usually in May.

    Certified employees' salaries are shown on a "salary schedule". Certified staff members move vertically down the grid 3% each year (up to a limit) and horizontally across the column by 5% if they acquire 9 additional graduate credits. After a certain point, the staff member must get a master's degree to move an additional column.

    The teachers' salary schedule is in the Master Agreement which is a section of the district policy manual. All salary increases result in higher FICA, Medicare, workman's comp, and PERCI retirement payments.

    The use of a salary schedule is the most common way of paying certified employees in school districts in the United States.

    Navigate to: www.blaineschools.org > School Board > BCSD Policies > (go to bottom of 900's) Master Agreement, pages 16-17, or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3unOH3zQIaKakNlanlZT093eVE/view

     18. What staff do "certified", "non-certified", "classified", and "administrators" refer to?

    • Certified employees must have a valid Idaho teaching certificate for their job. These include teachers, librarians, speech therapists (SLPs), and counselors.
    • Non-certified or "classified" employees include anyone that isn't a certified educator: supervisors, secretaries, custodians, paraprofessional aides, the director of buildings and grounds, the board clerk, the finance manager, and bus drivers.
    • Administrators include building administrators like school principals and vice-principals, and district-office administrators that must hold a valid Idaho educators license for their job.

     19. How is compensation for non-certified/classified employees determined?

    Most non-certified or classified employees are paid by the hour and don't directly negotiate their pay scale, but they usually benefit from changes made to certified staff pay and insurance. These employees include secretaries, custodians, paraprofessional aides, bus drivers, and technology technicians. They are paid based on the classified salary schedule.

    Non-certified or classified employees that work as Directors or Managers such as the Finance Manager and Director of Buildings and Grounds are paid on the Administrative Salary Schedule.

    20. Are the teachers' annual salary increases a raise or a cost of living adjustment?

    Teachers are part of the certified staff in the school district. Certified staff are paid based on a salary schedule. Each year of experience for years 1-16 includes an automatic 3% "step increase" in base salary. Each year of experience for years 17-20 includes an automatic 1% "longevity increase" in base salary.

    The rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been under 2% for each of the last five years.

    For those receiving a 3% increase in salary, the step is effectively a cost of living adjustment and a small raise. For those longer-term employees receiving a 0% or 1% longevity increase in salary, the buying power of their salary decreased by about 1% each year, even with the longevity increase.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Our District > Fact Checker > Teacher Negotiations

    https://www.minneapolisfed.org/community/teaching-aids/cpi-calculator-information/consumer-price-index-and-inflation-rates-1913

     21. How have teachers' insurance benefits and raises changed over the last five years?

    Teachers are part of the certified staff in the school district. Certified staff are paid based on a salary schedule that increases with each year of experience by 3% up to year 16 (called a "step"), and then by 1% for years 17-20 (called a "longevity").

    Certified staff may also get raises on the base each year, depending on Blaine County Education Association negotiations with the school board and the financial condition of the school district. The raises on the base for teacher salary schedules in the last three years have been 1.25% for 2014-15, 0.5% for 2015-16, and 0% for 2016-17 and 1% for 2017-18. All increases adjust the salary schedule permanently.

    Certified staff insurance benefits have remained the same in at least the last five years with two exceptions: in 2014 prescription benefits changed from a co-pay of $10 - $30 to a co-pay of $15 - $45, and in 2017-18 the deductible increased from $300 to $750.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Our District > Fact Checker > Teacher Negotiations or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/3482

     22. How much does an entry level teacher make versus a teacher with 20 years experience?

    How much a teacher makes depends on where they fall on the salary schedule and how many credits for upper division and/or graduation level hours they accumulate over the course of 20 years.

    Each year of experience for years 1-16 includes an automatic 3% "step" increase in base salary. Each year of experience for years 17 -20 includes an automatic 1% "longevity" increase in base salary.

    For example, on the 2017-18 Certified Salary Schedule, a teacher with a bachelor's degree in their first year starts out at $41,534. If they don't earn any additional credits the most they will make is $49,594. If they earn an additional 45 credits they will make $84,171 after 20 years.

    If they earn a master's degree and 9 additional hours they would start at $53,994 and would make $87,537 after 20 years.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Human Resources > Salary Schedule > 2017-2018 Certified Salary Schedule or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_i45Wn9_OMpc0VHSDJ0QVZaaFk/view

    23. What benefits do school district employees get?

    The School District pays the following for benefits for certified staff:

    • State Paid Retirement: 11.32% of gross earnings          
    • FICA/Med: 7.62% of gross earnings            
    • District Paid Retirement:  6.79% of gross earnings            
    • Retirement Sick Leave: 1.16% of gross salary               
    • Workmans Comp Insurance: 0.3456% of gross salary           
    • Health Insurance: $695.55/month
    • Dental Insurance: $30.30/month
    • Vision Insurance: $8.85/month
    • Life Insurance: $6.40/month
    • Employee Assistance Insurance: $3.04/month

    Administrator benefits are similar except they get disability insurance, the District Paid Retirement equals the State Paid Retirement, and deferred comp is 9.02% of gross salary.

    Certified staff receive 9 sick days per year and 3 personal days. Sick leave is given at a rate of one day per month worked. Unused sick time can be accumulated over the years and converted to pay for health insurance premiums at retirement.

    Non-certified staff receive the same benefits as the certified except the District Paid Retirement is 2.79% of gross salary. Only non-certified staff who work year-round are given vacation days, which are based on years of service.

    All salary increases result in higher FICA, Medicare, workman's comp, and PERSI retirement payments.

     24. What percent of teachers make over $100,000 in total compensation each year?

     At present 188 out of the 302 certified staff earn over $100K per year with the combination of their salaries plus benefits.

    25. How much of teachers' salaries does the state pay for?

    Revenue from the state of Idaho to the school district is based on a complicated formula that includes student attendance, student enrollment, number of staff required by the state, and the level of teachers' education and experience, among other things.

    See the attached chart, which shows that in 2017-18:

    • The baseline salary on the state career ladder for a teacher with a bachelor of arts, no additional credits of education, and no initial experience ($34,600), versus the amount paid by Blaine County ($41,534).
    • On the other end of the spectrum, the highest salary on the state career ladder ($50,902), versus the highest rung on the Blaine County salary schedule ($87,537), for a teacher with a master's degree, 9 additional credits of education, and 20 years of experience.

    Payments in excess of the state career ladder help attract quality teachers and help pay for the higher cost of living in Blaine County.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Meetings > Meetings > 10/19/17 Special Work Session > View the Agenda > Review of Gen Fund > Revenue Discussion

    http://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/files/ASBSBD71DDB8/$file/Revenue%20discussion%2010.19.17.pdf

    Local property tax assessments help pay for teachers' salaries

    Blaine County Teacher Salaries with State Allowance and Amount Covered by Tax Payers Bar Chart

     26. Could we save money by investing in entry level teachers vs hiring best available?

    Teacher efficacy and clarity are among the most powerful variables in student learning with an effect size of .75 and greater (Hattie, 2009; Goddard, Hoy, Woolfolk-Hoy, 2000). If we are investing in student outcomes we will hire the best available.  

     27. Do we actually save money when more-tenured teachers retire?

    Yes, in strictly monetary terms the District saves money when a more tenured teacher who has reached the highest pay rung on our salary schedule retires and is replaced by a teacher who is on a lower pay rung of the salary schedule.  The savings can range between $17K to $46K per individual depending upon where on the salary schedule the replacement falls.

     28. What benefits do certified, classified and administrative staff receive?

     The compensation for staff:

    • Salary/wage
    • PERSI retirement
    • PERSI employee contribution (100% for certified and admin and 41% for classified)
    • PERSI Unused sick leave benefit
    • FICA/Medicare
    • Workers comp coverage
    • Life insurance  (employee only paid by District)
    • Health insurance (employee only paid by District) (HSA or PPO options)
    • Dental insurance  (employee only paid by District)
    • Vision insurance  (employee only paid by District)
    • Employee Assistance Program insurance  (employee only paid by District)
    • Professional Development funds - ($500 per certified staff member per year - certified only)
    • 401(a) contribution (for administrators)
    • Sick leave (earned at a rate of 1 per worked month)
    • Personal days (3 per year)
    • Vacation days ( for staff who work 245 or 260 day calendars)
    • Bereavement days (up to 5 per year, but only if needed)
    • 403b payroll deduction options (employee contributions only - no District participation)
    • Flexible Spending Account (employee contribution only - no District participation)
    • Voluntary payroll deduction options (employee contributions only - no District participation)

     29. Why do high school teachers have 2 prep periods when elementary and middle school teachers only have one?  

    WRMS and WRHS teachers have two non-instructional periods.  One is time for preparing for instruction.  The other period is for supporting students in need of additional help and/or working in teams to review student data and plan interventions. In the last two years, the administration at  WRMS and WRHS have improved the use of the non-instructional period designated to help students by creating schedules and student assignments that ensure students are getting the help they need and teachers have clarity to which students and when they are to provide help.  

    Elementary teachers have preparation time and team meeting times at multiple times as well. They often have a short period during the school day (dependent on when their students are at specials classes) and time after school. The elementary school day is shorter than the secondary school day, thus elementary teachers have additional time for planning or working in teams at the end of the school day.  

     30. What could we save by aligning high school teacher prep periods with those of their elementary and middle school peers (i.e., reduce from two to one)?  

    A reduction in non-instructional times could provide savings at the cost of providing small group or individual student support (see the answer to item 33 above). At the secondary level teachers would be provided with only a planning time eliminating a student support time. At the elementary level specialists (music, art, PE, technology) could be eliminated and these subjects taught by classroom teachers leaving elementary teachers with only the after school period for planning and preparation.   

     

    Administration Related Questions


     1. What has the district done to reduce costs of administrators?  

    In 2016, the Blaine County School District Board of Trustees entered into a one time negotiations with district administrators including principals, directors, and managerial level staff.  This group of staff had been hired over many years and under the direction of multiple Boards and superintendents with little consistency in salary placement.

    This negotiations resulted in the establishment of an administrator salary schedule that ties administrator pay to the 2016-17 Teacher Salary Schedule so that administrators’ salary schedule:

    • Uses the same daily rate of teachers as a basis.
    • Caps administrator pay at 20 years just as it is for other employees.  
    • Provides yearly increase for administrators at 1%, rather than the previous tradition of 1.5% or the 3% of the teachers and classified salary schedules.
    • Provides a logical basis for salary offers when new administrators are hired.

    In addition, family health benefits were removed from the administrator benefit package so that administrators now pay the full costs of their family’s health insurance each year including any increasing costs. There was a one time adjustment to each administrator’s salary, all costs from that point forward are now born by the administrator.   

    In the 2017-18 school year budget, district administrators did not get a salary increase (either COLA or 1% step increase) and year round administrators donated back six days of pay to help balance the budget.

    In addition, the district evaluates each position when an administrator position is vacated to determine if the position needs to continue, be eliminated, or modified based on the basic needs of the district. This has resulted in the elimination of the Assistant Superintendent position, reclassification of the Director of Transportation as an administrator position to a classified position as Transportation Manager,  the reclassification of the Business Manager position to a Finance Manager, and giving the Director of Buildings and Grounds additional responsibilities.

     2. Who hired Superintendent Holmes and negotiated her compensation package?

    The hiring committee included all the trustees at the time: Shawn Bennion, Elizabeth Corker (Schwerdtle), Kathryn Graves and Kathy Baker; members of the district including a teacher and a principal; and members of the community.

    In April 2014, the board of trustees voted unanimously to hire Superintendent Holmes.

    On June 1, 2014, trustee Rick Roberts joined the board. The five member board voted unanimously to approve Dr. Holmes' employment contract and addendum.

    Dr. Holmes accepted the offer and started on July 1, 2014.

    3. Who were the Blaine County school district superintendents from 1979-2017?

    • 1979-84: Dick Jones. He passed away suddenly the summer of 1984.
    • 1984-85: Phil Homer. He was the WRHS principal, and stepped in as the Acting Superintendent for the 1984-85 school year. He then returned to the high school as the principal for the 1985-86 and 1986-87 school years.
    • 1985-88: Dave Noonan. His contract was not renewed in 1988.
    • 1988-99: Phil Homer. He hired Jim Lewis as Assistant Superintendent in 1995, then retired in 1999.
    • 1999-09: Dr. Jim Lewis. He hired Lonnie Barber as Assistant Superintendent in 2007, then retired in 2009.
    • 2009-13: Dr. Lonnie Barber. He hired John Blackman as Assistant Superintendent in 2010. Barber separated from BCSD in 2013.
    • 2013-14: John Blackman served as Interim Superintendent.
    • 2014-present: Dr. GwenCarol Holmes.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Public Record Request > Record Request History, 2015 > October 20, 2015 or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5zNVkwkWg3zX01aNGI3N0gzcDA/view

    4. How is administrators' and the superintendent's compensation determined?

    School principals and vice-principals and district-office administrators (except the superintendent) negotiated the structure of their pay schedule during a series of one-time meetings in November 2016. The administrator group does not negotiate pay and benefits each year. Their salary schedule is based on the teacher rate of daily pay times the number of days they work and their direct contact with students.

    The superintendent is employed and evaluated directly by the Board, and negotiates pay and benefits directly with the Board.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Meetings > Meetings tab > 2016 > Dec 13, 2016 > p 291 of 321 for administrator salary schedule, or try:

    http://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/files/AQSQB768770B/$file/Bookmarked%2012-13-2016%20Minutes%20-%20Regular%20Meeting.pdf

    5. Why did Superintendent Barber get $600,000 in separation when he left in 2013?

    Dr. Lonnie Barber became Superintendent in 2009. In July 2013 Kathy Baker was elected and Elizabeth Corker (Schwerdtle) was appointed as a trustee. On September 27, 2013, Blaine County school board trustees voted unanimously to approve a separation agreement with Barber, which became effective immediately. Assistant Superintendent/Director of Human Resources John Blackman was appointed interim superintendent.

    Dr. Barber had nearly three years remaining on his contract, which was worth approximately $680,000 at the time he left the district. The district paid Dr. Barber a $600,000 settlement.

    According to Idaho Ed News, the separation was due to differences in leadership style and approach. Both parties acknowledged the changing dynamics of the relationship and recognized that a positive culture is vital to student success. Trustees described the decision as mutual, and rooted in what Trustee Kathy Baker called “a change of philosophy.” Trustee Kathryn Graves stated, “We recognize that this is a substantial sum of taxpayer money, but felt that the leadership considerations outweighed the financial consideration.”

    https://www.idahoednews.org/kevins-blog/blaine-settlement-comes-to-600000/

    6. What is the difference between a district administrator and a building administrator?

    District and school administrators are responsible for providing instructional and operational leadership and developing, implementing, and evaluating district and school systems and policies. They both play a critical role in improving the learning environment and overall academic progress of their students. Without their leadership, creating meaningful learning environment improvements is difficult.

    • District administrators include superintendents and central administration staff responsible for finances, curriculum and assessment, special education, and the like under the direction of a school board.
    • Building administrators include principals and assistant principals. They are also sometimes referred to as school administrators.

    https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/training-technical-assistance/roles/schooldistrict-administrators

    7. What is the role of the superintendent?

    The superintendent and district staff are responsible for administering the Board's policies in keeping with the district's strategic plan and financial situation. The superintendent is employed, appraised, and evaluated by the School Board of Trustees. The superintendent’s job description lists four main areas of responsibility:

    1.  Educational Leader of the District,
    2. Chief Executive Officer,
    3. Oversee Personnel Management, and
    4. Directs Community Relations Activities

    8. Did administrators get a raise in the 2017-18 school year?

    Superintendent Holmes had the same salary in 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18: $173,880. Other administrators were frozen on the salary schedule for the 2017-18 year. Going forward, administrators will receive a smaller increase for each step (a 1% increase instead of 3% increase given every other year) than in the past.

    In addition, starting in 2017, the school district no longer pays a family insurance benefit to administrators, consistent with other district employees. The school board made a one time addition of the 2016 dollar value of the insurance benefit to the administrator salary after removing the benefit in 2017. Administrators now pay the full cost of their family insurance benefit, including any increases.

    Navigate to blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > Contracts to view certified staff contracts. See also: blaineschools.org > Our District > Fact Checker > Admin Positions

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/3482

    9. What is Superintendent Holmes' experience and background?

    Dr. Holmes majored in elementary education while attending Kansas State University on an academic scholarship. In Kansas she taught multiple grade levels and served as an elementary school principal, including at a school put into reconstitution by the local school board.

    She coached and supervised the work of elementary, middle, and high school leadership in Philadelphia. She served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Success for All Foundation and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Education overseeing research for the Center for Research and Reform in Education and facilitating the use of a continuous improvement model with school districts across the country. She was the Chief Academic Officer for Alexandria City Schools in Virginia overseeing learning, teaching, and instructional leadership in the district’s 19 schools.

    She has earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, a master’s degree in educational administration, and a doctorate of education in educational administration.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Our District > Superintendent's Page or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/1778

     

    10. How do administrative costs compare?

    How do administrative costs compare?

    What percentage of administrators* are there compared to teachers and support staff in Blaine County School District?

    Administrators*

    5%

    Certified Staff/Teachers/Pupil Services

    60%

    Classified Staff (support staff, secretaries, paraprofessionals, etc.)

    35%

     

    What number of administrators* (Full Time Equivalent) are there compared to teachers and support staff in Blaine County School District?

    Administrators*

    23.0

    Certified Staff/Teachers/Pupil Services

    295.2

    Classified Staff  (support staff, secretaries, paraprofessionals, etc.)

    174.0

     

    What is the percent of compensation for administrators* compared to teachers and support staff in Blaine County School District?

    Administrators*

    10.7%

    Certified Staff/Teachers/Pupil Services

    70.2%

    Classified Staff  (support staff, secretaries, paraprofessionals, etc.)

    19.2%

     


    How do the district office and departments in Blaine County School District compare to other mountain resort districts?
     

    Please note: Salaries are available for the superintendent positions but comparative salaries for the other positions will take more time to research.

    Mountain Resort School Districts

    Blaine County

    Roaring Fork

    Teton County

    Superintendent

    Yes

    Salary

    $173,880

    Yes

    Salary

    $170,000

    Yes

    Salary

    $183,380

    Assistant Superintendent

    no

    yes

    no

    Finance

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Communications

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Human Resources

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Buildings and Grounds/Facilities

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Transportation

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Food Service

    contract

    yes

    yes

    Technology

    yes

    yes

    yes

    Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

    Yes, 3 staff

    Yes, 7 staff

    Yes, 6, staff

    Student Services/Special Education

    Yes, 1 staff

    Yes, 1 staff

    Yes, 6 staff

    Chief Operating Officer

    no

    yes

    no

    Early Childhood Education

    no

    yes

    no

    Pre-Collegiate Program Office

    no

    yes

    no

    Family Resource Center

    no

    yes

    no

    *Administrators in Blaine County School District fall into two categories of employees - certified administrators and classified administrators.  Classified administrative positions in Blaine County include technology, buildings and grounds, human resources, finance and communications.  Certified administrative positions in Blaine County include Superintendent, school principals, curriculum and special education. For a list of administrative positions and the administrative salary schedule, click here.

    This information is up to date as of February 9, 2018.  

     

    Student Related Questions


    1. How many students are enrolled in Blaine County school district? 

    3,477 students were enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade as of November 3, 2017. The district has one PK-12 school, four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school:

    • Alturas Elementary: 429 students
    • Bellevue Elementary: 251 students
    • Carey Public School (pre-kindergarten - 12th): 249 students
    • Hailey Elementary: 409 students
    • Hemingway STEAM School: 408 students
    • Silver Creek High School: 48 students
    • Wood River High School: 936 students
    • Wood River Middle School: 747 students

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > District Home > Our District > Quick Facts or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/domain/129

     2. How many students are enrolled in special programs?

     In the 2017-18 school year, of the 3,477 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade:

    • 32% Free and reduced lunch
    • 19% English Learners
    • 11% Special Education
    • 7% Gifted and Talented Education

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > District Home > Our District > Quick Facts or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/domain/129

    3. How has the ethnic composition of the students in our district changed over the last 20 years?

    From 1995 to 2017:

    • The percent of white students has declined from 83% to 54%.
    • The percent of Hispanic students has increased from 13% to 42%.
    • Students of other ethnicities have accounted for an unchanged 4%.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > District Home > Our District > Strategic Plan > Strategic Plan, p.3 or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9IdLTwx7uJ5ZGhPRHRZUjU4dkU/view

    4. When are official student enrollment numbers taken?

    The first Friday of November marks the official enrollment recorded by the state of Idaho, which has a state longitudinal data collection system that allows the state department of education to monitor each student's enrollment and attendance.

    This number is updated every November.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > District Home > Our District > Quick Facts or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/domain/129

    5. How does student attendance affect school district revenues from the state of Idaho? 

    The state of Idaho provides funds to each school district based partially on student attendance. When students miss days of school, the district receives less revenue from the state. The district has been focusing on increasing student attendance over the past several years to increase student achievement and the amount of revenues from the state.

    Students with: 10+ absences 30+ absences

    2014-15 1,478 129

    2015-16 1,350 116

    2016-17 1,090 53

    For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, the General Fund balance was $715,586 more than budgeted in February 2016 due to the higher average daily attendance from all school enrollments.

    http://www.govwiki.info/pdfs/School%20District/ID%20Blaine%20County%20School%20District%20No%2061%202016.pdf

    https://www.blaineschools.org//site/Default.aspx?PageID=1767

    6. Do small class sizes matter?

    There are well over a 100 studies on the effectiveness of class size with a range of outcomes. Depending on the study, class size can be argued as a variable in student achievement or having no impact.  Regardless of the study, the outcomes of the study should have a standard deviation of .4 or higher in order to have confidence that the variable being studied is truly impactful and not an error of measure.  While there are some studies that indicate reducing class size leads to improved outcome, there are many more studies that do not support this claim. John Hattie (2009) reviewed 164 studies on class size and found effect sizes of -.04 to .34, all below the confidence level that class size has an impact on student outcomes.  He summarizes his meta-analysis of these 164 studies as follows, “It appears that the effects of reducing class size may be higher on teacher and student work-related conditions, which then may or may not translate in effects on student learning.”

    Class Size Matters, an organization that supports smaller class sizes, frequently uses the meta analysis of Glass and Smith (1979) and cited again by Mathis (2016) to support their position for smaller classes.  However, even this meta-analysis only cites one study with an effect size greater than .4 with all of the rest of the studies having effect sizes of -.011 and.387.  In their analysis there is little to no difference for student outcomes with class sizes between 20 and 40 at the elementary level..  When class sizes drop to 10 or less there is a difference in student outcomes. The difference found for student outcomes in class sizes between 20 and 40 was greater for small classes at the secondary level.

    Sources:

    Glass, G.V. & Smith, M.L. (1979). Meta-analysis of research on class size and achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 1 (1), 2-16.

    Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement, p. 85-88. Routledge, New York.

    Mathis, W. J. (2016). The effectiveness of class size reduction. University of Colorado, Boulder National Education Policy Center.

    7. What are the most recent graduation rates in our school district?

    In January 2017, the Idaho State Department of Education announced the 4-year cohort graduation rates for all districts and high schools in Idaho. The Blaine County School District graduation rate increased for the third consecutive year:

    Class of 2014: 84.0%

    Class of 2015: 87.5%

    Class of 2016: 89.0%

    The Idaho state graduation rate for 2016 was 79.5%.

    Wood River High School 2016 graduation rate was 92%. Carey High School was 100%. Silver Creek High School was 50%.

    In the last two years at Wood River High School, graduation rates among Hispanic students went from 79.6% to 90.6% and graduation rates among economically disadvantaged students went from 77% to 89%.

    https://www.blaineschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=76&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&

    8. Which would have the least impact on student outcomes, reduction in workforce or across the board salary cuts?  

    A reduction in salaries across the board would be difficult to achieve. The Certified Salary Schedule is negotiated each year between the Board of Trustees and the Blaine County Education Association (BCEA) as required by Idaho Statute. The agreement, including any reductions,  must be approved by both the Board of Trustees and the majority of the BCEA membership.  In order for the Board to make unilateral reductions the district must suffer a 5% or larger reduction in revenues, declare a financial emergency and have that financial emergency confirmed by the Idaho State Department of Education.

    The district is currently not experiencing a decline in revenues, rather it is experiencing a increase in costs.

     

    General School District and School Building Related Questions


     1. What is the role of schools in a democratic society?

    Fulfilling the Promise of Democracy

    First, schools are a vital instrument in our efforts to fulfill democracy’s promise of ample and equal opportunity for all children to realize their potential as adults – as workers, citizens, parents, thoughtful individuals, and contributors to society. The schools’ job is to level the playing field and lower the barriers.

    Forming Effective Citizens

    Second, our schools are essential to making our democracy work by preparing our children to function effectively as citizens. Schools instill democratic values such as tolerance, a belief in equality and fairness, the importance of compromise, respect for the rights of others, and a deep attachment to democracy itself. They help our children acquire sufficient knowledge of our history, institutions, and society to understand how our democracy functions. Finally, they equip children with the necessary skills to analyze issues, make informed choices, and advocate effectively for those choices.

    2. Were there problems with the HVAC upgrade at Hemingway?

    The HVAC project at Hemingway Elementary came in 14% under the budget ($2,255,226) approved by the school board in April 2013. The installation went well and was finished before the beginning of the school year. As with each of the other projects, there was a time period debugging the systems as the equipment began to operate under load. Upgrades like this have been paid for with Plant Facilities Levy funding.

    3. How did we pay to renovate lockers at the middle school, if we need to make budget cuts?

    The money for building improvements comes from the Plant Facilities Reserve Fund (also known as the School Plant Facilities Fund) which is the result of a 10-year property tax plant facilities levy approved by voters in 2009.

    Upgrading buildings was one of the specially identified purposes described in the levy when it was presented to the voters.

    Plant facilities levies cannot put money into the General Fund, which pays for the general operating expenses of the schools like programs and teachers' compensation.

    4. What was Phil Homer's role as a lobbyist for the school district?

    Past superintendent and WRHS principal Phil Homer was a lobbyist for sixteen years under the umbrella of the Idaho Association of School Administrators and paid for by BCSD. He worked with other educational organizations to support the best possible legislative outcomes for all school districts. His primary focus was to work against any legislation that would be negative for Blaine County. One piece of legislation was introduced three times to repeal the budget stabilization law. Mr. Homer and Representative Wendy Jaquet worked together to defeat that legislation.

    Rather than continuing to contribute to the Idaho Association of School Administrators, in Dec 2016 the school board voted to hire Phil directly to represent the district's interests in the legislature. Trustee Corker and Bustos voiced their opposition to paying for a lobbyist. In Jan 2017, Mr. Homer declined the position due to an illness in his family.

    Without Mr. Homer, the district will have to rely on Senator Stennett and her counterparts in the House, Representatives Toone and Miller. Both House members have little or no knowledge of this issue. If our funding comes up for debate, Senator Stennett will have to lead the way. Mr. Homer may also be able to work with Speaker Bedke as well, as they have become friends over the years.

    Source: Phil Homer and Wendy Jaquet

    http://www.mtexpress.com/news/education/school-district-hires-state-lobbyist/article_589d826a-c312-11e6-a321-e341d42a2e24.html

    http://www.mtexpress.com/news/education/phil-homer-declines-lobbyist-position/article_61f2482a-d90e-11e6-9533-438caaa5807e.html

    5. What are the district’s 5-year Strategic Plan goals?

    The mission of Blaine County School District is to inspire, engage, educate and empower every student. All students will be:

    1. Inspired to develop intellectual curiosity through meaningful opportunities
    2. Engaged actively in our learning community through relevant and real-life experiences
    3. Educated to develop strong foundational and analytical problem solving skills to graduate ready for post-secondary success
    4. Empowered to make independent positive choices through continual social and emotional development

    The objectives for accomplishing these goals may be found at https://www.blaineschools.org/domain/136 or navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Our District > Strategic Plan.

    6. Why do quality public schools matter?

    Excellent schools are vital to the future of our kids, who will compete in a world where “21st Century Skills” are their key to success. We dream of diversifying our local economy with high value-added businesses. People who drive such businesses demand outstanding schools for their kids. Otherwise, they will locate elsewhere.

    For the majority of the year, the school district is the county's largest employer. Investing in our schools is an investment in our local economy.

    The District has a Strategic Plan to give us the schools we need for our kids and for our economic future. To succeed, that plan requires that we concentrate our resources on raising the quality of our teaching and programs.

    7. Why is the high school adding more AP classes if the district is short on funds?

    Idaho high school and Blaine County school district graduation requirements stipulate that students take some "elective" classes for graduation. In addition, the state of Idaho requires high schools to provide some "elective" classes such as CTE (Career and Technical Education), Humanities including the Arts, and Advanced Opportunities (AP and Dual Credit) (IDAPA 08.02.03.103 - 106). Blaine County school district high schools are focused on increasing the number of students participating in advanced opportunity classes, not adding more classes. Each year the courses offered are reviewed. Some courses may be discontinued if enrollment was low and other courses added if there are enough students wanting those classes.

    Colleges look at the courses students have taken on a student-by-student basis. Did they avail themselves of rigorous coursework? They do not compare the number of AP or Dual Credit classes as student took to the total number advanced opportunity classes offered at the student's high school.

    8. Was the middle school intentionally built too small?

    When plans were made to build the middle school building none of the current administration were involved with the district, so it's hard to know what the decision making process was 20 years ago when the middle school building was being built. Howie Royal, the current director of the Buildings and Grounds department, did become a school board member after the building was approved and under construction, and he does not remember any conversations about the middle school being built undersized.

    The enrollment 20 years ago in that building was 604 students. Estimated enrollment at the middle school in 2017-18 is 726. The programing was very different at that time - no world language, no ASD (special education) program, no engineering technology program, etc. all of which require additional space.

    9. What happened with the McKinstry contract to upgrade the HVAC systems in the school district?

    All of the district buildings that received HVAC upgrades in the past six years have paid for these upgrades with Plant Facilities Levy funding. Some were done independently and some were done with a contract with McKinstry.

    Blaine County School District had a fixed price contract with McKinstry for approximately $15 million. In addition, the District received a grant for $5 million from the Department of Energy. McKinstry submitted change orders for additional costs over and above. The District refused to pay above the fix price contract. McKinstry filed a lawsuit and the District counter-sued. A settlement to the lawsuit was approved by the Board of Trustees on October 15, 2013 that included:

    • McKinstry dropped claims for approximately $7 million in additional payments.
    • Blaine County School District was granted $9.5 million in energy savings over the next 25 years.
    • McKinstry agreed to pay $800,000 toward legal fees.

    10. What are our current discretionary programs (i.e.,those not required by the State of Idaho)? What are the incremental expenses to our 2017-18 budget associated with each discretionary program?

    The table below outlines the requirements for schools/districts in Idaho as defined in Idaho Statute and Idaho Administrative Code (IDAPA) as well as what BCSD does that is over and above.

    School District Minimum Program Requirements and BCSD Over and Above

    The following chart shows a list of the State of Idaho minimum program requirements and the Blaine County School District programs that are over and above those requirements.

    December 2017 – Estimated Saving if Reduced

    Reference

    State of Idaho Minimum Requirement

    BCSD Over and Above

    Reduction

    (Estimated dollar savings)

    Idaho Code: 33-511

    Maintain at least one elementary school and one secondary school. Maintain flagpole at school.

    3 Elementary Schools

    1 PreK to 8 School

    1 PreK to 12 School

    1 Middle School

    1 High School

    1 Alternative High School

     

    Idaho Code: 33-201 and 33-202

    Provide education for students beginning at age 5 (if K is included) or age 6.

    Provide education for students 3 to 21 when applicable for students with disabilities.

    Attendance compulsory for ages 7 to 16.

       

    Idaho Code: 33-512












    Idaho Code: 33-208

    Set a calendar that includes at least the following number of instructional hours:

    Grades  

    Hours

    9-12  

    990

    4-8  

    900

    1-3  

    810

    K  

    450

    Alt. School  

    900

    Determine school holidays.

    Districts are not required to provide Kdgn.

    All day K (not half day)

    Grades 1-3 have same hours as 4-8.

    6 FTE, Reduction of $600,000

    Idaho Code: 33-512

     

    Idaho Code: 33-801

     

    Idaho Code: 33-801A

    Provide for the financing of a total educational program for the district.   Provide suitable textbooks and supplies. Equip and maintain suitable libraries.

     

    Adopt a budget for the school year.

     

    General fund contingency reserve – 5% of total general fund.

    Textbook adoption cycle of 6 years with nearly unlimited financial constraints on the adoption selection.

    Average over last five years: $370,331 to stay current and in alignment with state standards

    Idaho Code: 33-512

    Provide rules for disciplining of students. Exclude from school students with contagious or infectious diseases.

       

    Idaho Code: 33-512

    Supervise and regulate extracurricular activities IF provided.  Extracurricular activities shall not be deemed a necessary element of public education.

    • Athletics at MS/JH and HS
    • School Clubs
    • Drama, Debate, Music competitions
    • No IHSAA competition including athletics, drama, debate, music Reduction of $700,000
    • No transportation for after school clubs Reduction of $25,000

    Idaho Code: 33-1625

    If athletics are offered, develop protocol to be followed for removing students with suspected concussion or head injury from play.

       

    IDAPA 08.02.02.015

    To

    IDAPA 08.02.02.042

    Idaho Code: 33-513 and 33-1201

    Employ, by contract, teachers, pupil personnel services, and administrators who are properly certified and endorsed.  

    Provide funds for obtaining certification or additional endorsements:

    • Grow Your Own
    • ENL Endorsement Program
    • Individual and District PD Monies

    Only Title II funds for further staff endorsements, Reduction of General Fund: $151,750 PD monies plus $500/certified staff member $350,000.

    Idaho Code: 33-517

    Provide hiring and evaluation procedures for non-certificated personnel.

       

    Idaho Code: 33-518

    Establish and maintain personnel file for each employee.

       

    Idaho Code: 33-1004D

    Data reporting to SDE on each employee.

       

    IDAPA 08.02.02.060.02a

    Districts will have professional development plans.

    See definition of PD at IDAPA 08.02.03.008.15

    • Pay teachers for coming to PD outside of contract
    • Pay for outside consultants
    • Pay for conferences
    • Pay teachers to provide PD to colleagues
    • Individual PD Monies
    • Guest teachers

    No PD paid by General Fund, reductions as noted above

    Idaho Code: 33-512 (two years)

    Idaho Code: 33-1201A  (three years)

    Provide support for teachers in their first two/three years in the professions: administrative and supervisory support, mentoring, peer assistance, and professional development.

       

    IDAPA 08.02.02.075

    Idaho Code: 33-512

    Fingerprinting and criminal history check for staff, contractors, volunteers, and substitutes.

    Provide with no fee charged.

    Charge individual cost of fingerprinting and criminal check. Reduction of $1,000

    IDAPA 08.02.02.076

    Follow the Professional Educators Code of Conduct

       

    IDAPA 08.02.02.110





















    Idaho Code: 33-208

    Personnel Standards to Strive for (not mandated):

    Teachers

    State Goal

    K

    20/class

    Grades 1, 2,3

    20/class

    Grades 4, 5, 6

    26/class

    MS/Jr. High

    160/teacher

    HS

    160/teacher

    Alternative School (7-12)

    18/class

    Counselors/

    Soc. Workers/

    School Psych

    400:1

    Sec. Media and Asst.

    500:1

    Elem. Media and Asst.

    500:1

    Building Adm.

    Not to exceed 500:1

    Districts are not required to offer Kindergarten.

    • Smaller class size/student load at secondary level
    • Intervention classes
    • Preschool program for 4 yr. olds
    • All day Kindergarten (do not have to have a K program Idaho Code 33-512, get some funding for half day program)
    • Elementary specialists: music, PE, instructional technology, art, engineering and design
    • Additional counselors/social workers
    • Nurses
    • Reading teachers
    • Paraprofessional
    • EL Specialists
    • Additional GATE Teachers
    • Literacy Teacher
    • Additional Certified Admin.
    • Eliminate Preschool, reduction of $375,000
    • Increase class size at secondary level using an average of 25 in allocation formula, reduction of 9 FTE $900,000
    • Eliminate elementary specialists, reduction of 20 FTE, $ 2,000,000
    • Eliminate additional counselor, etc. support, reduction 6.5 FTE, $650,000

    IDAPA 08.02.02.111

    Idaho Code 33-1631

    Idaho Code: 33-512

    Idaho Code 33-512B

    Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation Prevention and Response:

    • Disseminate info.
    • Ongoing PD
    • Graduated Consequences
    • Intervention
    • Reporting

    Duty to warn of suicidal tendencies of a student when there is direct evidence.

    • School Resource Officers
    • Mental Health Counselor
    • Social Workers
    • Eliminate SROs, reduction of $180,000
    • Additional counselor, etc. support reduced in line above.

    IDAPA 08.02.02.120

    Evaluation of Certificated Personnel

    Principal training and evaluation recertification classes paid.

    Eliminate district paying for principal training. Cost savings identified above in the elimination of all PD funded through the General Fund.

    IDAPA 08.02.02.121

    Evaluation of School Principals

       

    IDAPA 08.02.02.130 and Idaho Code 33-1613

    School Facilities Compliance with Codes:

    • Construction
    • Inspection and correction of deficiencies
    • Gym floor refinishing every year
    • Bathroom upgrades
    • Buildings available for community use
    • Community Campus (current fees are minimal and do not fully cover costs)

    Make Community Campus available to only organizations with year around leases, reduction $130,000

    Idaho Code: 33-1019

    Allocate funds for school building maintenance equal to at least 2% of the replacement value of school buildings.  (Must spend 1.1 million on student occupied facilities)

    Currently use Plant Facilities Levy funds to support the majority of this requirement.

     

    Idaho Code: 33-601

    Acquire, use or dispose of property for school purposes. Contract for the construction, repair or improvement of any real property or the acquisition, purchase or repair of any equipment or other property necessary for the operation of the school district.

    Current unused properties as reported at September 21, 2017 Board Work Session.

     

    IDAPA 08.02.02.140

    Accreditation of 9-12 schools

       

    IDAPA 08.02.02.150

    Transportation: all new bus chassis and bodies must meet or exceed standards.  85% of new bus costs reimbursed by state.

    Partnership with Mountain Rides

    Eliminate partnership with Mountain Rides (no student discounted passes), reduction of $11,500.

    IDAPA 08.02.02.160 and Idaho Code 33-1506

    Maintenance and Inspection of buses:

    • Annual
    • Every 60 days
       

    IDAPA 08.02.02.170 and Idaho Code 33-1509

    Bus Drivers and Vehicle Operations – drivers meet or exceed:

    • Training
    • Performance
    • Operation requirements including physical examination requirements.  
       

    Idaho Code: 33-1006 and 33-1501 and 33-1503

     

    Idaho Code: 33-1502


    Idaho Code 33-1508

    Transportation provided for students 1.5 miles or more from nearest appropriate school or may provide payment to parent or guardian for transportations

    There is no limit on the length of school bus rides.


    May establish non-transportation zones for sparsity of pupils, remoteness, or condition of the roads.


    Occupancy of bus may not exceed 3 persons per seat.

    Transportation for students less than 1.5 miles from school.


    Field Trips (partial reimbursement starting this year)


    Sports and Activities


    Some transportation for students out of zone.

    Eliminate transportation for students less than 1.5 miles from school, eliminate field trips, sport and activity buses.

    $175,000

    IDAPA 08.02.02.230

    Drivers Education – all courses offered must be in compliance with operating Procedures for Idaho Public Drivers Education Programs – Do not have to offer.

    Provide program for students -currently pay partial costs.

    Eliminate drivers education, reduction $5,000

    IDAPA 08.02.03.101

    Idaho Code 33-208

    Kindergarten establish at the local level – not compulsory

    All day K

    Kindergarten reduction addressed above.

    IDAPA 08.02.03.102.02

    All students will meet standards established locally (at a minimum, the standards of the state) through rigorous accountability

    • SEL Standards and Curriculum and Student Survey
    • Rotating Curriculum Adoption Cycle (6 years) – currently not capped for adoption amounts (addressed above at $370,331)

    Eliminate funding for SEL programs: Leader in Me, and other curricula SEL supports, reduction of $11,750 for secondary recurring costs annually. (elementary implementation and recurring costs TBD)

    IDAPA 08.02.03.103 and Idaho Code 33-1612

    Instruction Grades 1 to 12

    All students (includes EL, IEP, Gifted) receive instruction to meet standards in:

    • Lang. Arts and Communication
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Offer a wide variety of classes in each of these core areas (Could reduce the number of choices)
    • Outdoor Education, Environmental Camp, etc.
    • Ski Program
    • Make a Splash

    Eliminate funding for Outdoor Education, ski program, and Make a Splash, including buses, reduction of $13,000 + buses

    IDAPA 08.02.03.104.01 and Idaho Code 33-1605

    Elementary Schools include offerings in:

    • Fine Arts
    • Health
    • Physical Education

    Specialists in Music, Art, PE, Instructional Technology, Engineering and Design.

    (K-8 teachers are certified to teach these content areas.)

    Addressed above

    Idaho Code: 33-1614 and 33-1616

    Reading Intervention Program in addition to Core Program for students in K to 3 identified with reading deficiency as determined by statewide reading assessment.

    Reading Teachers (not paid for by Title 1A funds)

    Eliminate reading teachers paid for by the General Fund, reduction $670,000

    6.7 FTE

    IDAPA 08.02.03.104.02 and Idaho Code 33-1605 and Idaho Code 33-1612





    Idaho Code: 33-512C

    Middle Schools/Jr. High:

    • Develop learning plan for HS and Post HS
    • Pre-Algebra
    • Health – all students
    • Physical Education – all students
    • Advisory (MS only)

    Offered but not required of all students:

    • Family and Consumer Science
    • Fine and Performing Arts
    • Career Technical Education

    Provide high school course credit for MS courses that meet high school requirements.

    Offer a wide array of CTE, Fine Arts, and other elective classes.


    Offer World Languages Trip to Spain (guest teachers)


    Field Trips (partial reimbursement starting this year)

    Change secondary allocation divisor to a class size average of 25 to reduce number of teacher FTE.  Addressed above.

    IDAPA 08.02.03.104.03 and Idaho Code 33-1605 and Idaho Code 33-1612

    High Schools:

    • Offer PE and CTE
    • Update student learning plans yearly

    Offer a wide array of CTE classes.

    Change secondary allocation divisor to a class size average of 25 to reduce number of teacher FTE.  Addressed above.

    IDAPA 08.02.03.105

    Graduation Requirements Minimums: 46 Credits

    (1 credit = 60 hours of instruction or demonstration of mastery if district has a waiver)

    • 8 credits of ELA
    • 1 credit of communication
    • 6 credits of mathematics including 2 of Algebra I, 2 of Geometry, and 2 of student choice
    • 6 credits of science, 4 lab based
    • 5 credits of Social Studies: 2 of gov., 2 of US history, and 1 of economics
    • 2 credits of Humanities
    • 1 credit of Health/Wellness
    • College Entrance Exam
    • Senior/Personal Project
    • Civics Exam Proficiency

    Currently require 54 credits.  (Could reduce requirements and number electives.)

    Reduced required credits to 46 and implement a 6 period day instead of a 7 period with teachers teaching 5 of 6 periods, reduction of  22.5  FTE, $2,250,000

    IDAPA 08.02.03.106

    Advanced Opportunities provided in HS or opportunities for students to take courses at the postsecondary campus.

    Offer a wide array of AP and DC classes (Could reduce number of classes.)

    Eliminate small advanced opportunity classes by changing secondary allocation divisor to a class size average of 25 to reduce number of teacher FTE.  Addressed above.

    IDAPA 08.02.03.107

    Mechanisms for credit recovery

    Attendance included in the credit system.

    IEP for eligible students

    Instruction for LEP students

    EL Specialists and Paraprofessionals above funding allocation.  

     

    Idaho Code: 33-1602

    Citizenship Education at elementary and secondary.

    Civics test at high school.

    Flag in every classroom.

    Offer pledge of allegiance or national anthem grades 1 to 12 at beginning of school day.

       

    IDAPA 08.02.03.108

    Guidance Program that includes:

    • Guidance Curriculum
    • Individual Planning
    • Response service
    • System Support Functions

    College and Career Counselors

    Eliminate counselors, etc. as addressed above.

    Idaho Code: 33-1212

    School district may use counselors or social workers or apply for a waiver from the state substantiating the services are being met by an alternative program model.

    Have both Counselors and Social Workers at secondary schools.

    Mental Health Therapist

    Eliminate counselors, etc. as addressed above.

    Idaho Code: 33-1212A

    Develop plan to deliver college and career advising to students in grades 8 to 12.  Provide professional development in college and career advising to staff serving as student mentors.

    College and Career Counselors

    Eliminate counselors, etc. as addressed above.

    IDAPA 08.02.03.109

    Special Education – comply with all governing special education requirements:

    • Eligibility criteria
    • IEPs
    • Least Restrictive Environment
    • Procedural Safeguards
    • Assistive Technology Devices

    Maintenance of Effort Requirements

    • Behavior Specialist
    • Parental Liaison (.5 FTE)
    • VOICE II
    • Alternative Settings Teacher
    • Update Assessment Protocols with each new edition released
    • Eliminate 3.5 FTE, $325,000

    Idaho Code: 33-1617

    Comply with state and federal law and court decisions for students who are English language learners.

    Provide English language teachers and paraprofessionals above amount of dollars allocated.

     

    IDAPA 08.02.03.110

    Alternative Secondary Programs if offered must:

    • Serve at-risk youth
    • Provide path to graduation
    • Establish a difference between alternative program and regular secondary school program
    • Located at a separate site from the regular high school
    • Graduation credit for academic subjects, elective and work-based learning

    Special Services:

    • day care if students are parents
    • Social Services
    • Support for IEPs

    Silver Creek High School: Big Picture Learning

    Eliminate Alternative HS, reduction of $230,00

    $14,250 for Big Picture  annual fee (currently paid from grant, but will be paid for by General Fund in future)

    IDAPA 08.02.03.111

    Idaho Code: 33-1630

    Idaho Code: 33-1615

    Assessment:

    • K-12 students must participate in SBE comprehensive assessment program:
    • ISAT – 3 to 10 (9 optional)
    • IRI – K to 3
    • Idaho Alternate Assessment
    • Idaho English Language Assessment
    • NAEP – grades 4, 8 and 12
    • College Entrance Exam
    • End of Course Assessment in Science (HS)
    • AAPPL (language proficiency)
    • Edify (assessment platform)
    • Social Emotional Learning Survey
    • Gifted and Talented Education (qualifications)
    • Fastbridge (progress monitoring)


    AAPPL: $12,000

    Edify: $4,500

    SEL Survey: $4,500

    GATE: $3,300

    Fastbridge: $4,500

    IDAPA 08.02.03.112

    Accountability

    Show progress towards goals set by SBE:

    • ISAT
      IRI
      English Learners Achieving English
    • Graduation
    • Grade 8 students in pre-algebra and higher
    • Parent, student, and teacher engagement surveys
    • Communication with parents on student achievement
    • College and Career Readiness (Advanced opportunities, industry certifications, apprenticeship programs)
    • Grade 9 students in algebra or higher
    • Additional Academic Indicator

    Infographics to share data

     

    IDAPA 08.02.03.115

    Data Collection: SDE will collect the required information from participating schools for state and federal reporting and decision-making.

       

    IDAPA 08.02.03.130 and Idaho Code 33-1612

    Technology (K-12) will be integral to curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Provide the foundation for students to be able to participate comfortably in an increasing technology society.

    • One-on-one deployment of devices
    • Projectors in every room
    • Extensive programs/applications/software
    • Integration Specialist
    • Regular hardware replacement plan.

    Eliminate 1 FTE, $80,000; Grades K to 7 use a two-on-one deployment of devices, reduction of $0.00 - costs paid by Plant Facilities

    Idaho Code: 33-1025

    In order to receive state funds for wireless technology for grades 9 to 12, district must demonstrate infrastructure meets or exceed state requirements.

    (BCSD is certified)

     

    IDAPA 08.02.03.140

    Workforce Skills: All students provided the opportunity to develop their academic skills and skills necessary for entering the workforce:

    • Self-management skills
    • Individual and team skills
    • Thinking/information skills
    • Vocational-technical skills
    • Homemaking skills
    • Balancing work and family
    • Entrepreneurial skills
       

    IDAPA 08.02.03.160













    Idaho Code: 33-512

    Safe Environment and Discipline – district wide policy and procedures for:

    • School climate
    • Discipline
    • Student health
    • Violence prevention
    • Possessing weapons on campus
    • Substance abuse
    • Suicide prevention
    • Student harassment
    • Drug-free school zones
    • Building safety including evacuation drills
    • Relationship abuse and sexual assault prevention and response

    Prohibit entrance to each school by individuals whose presence is detrimental.

    • PBIS training
    • Social Workers
    • Mental Health Therapist
    • SRO
    • Security Cameras
    • Youth Mental Health First Aid
    • Door Lock Software
    • Radios
    • Safety and Security Training
    • Nurses
    • Drug Testing
    • Restorative Practices
    • Cell phones for specific staff

    Reduction of counselors, and SROs as mentioned above.


    Reduction of security expenditures $15,000 - cost of SROs is listed above



    Elimination of radios and cells phone (no emergency contact systems) $68,000


    Youth Mental Health First Aid costs $1,300 a session of #30, we have 44% more staff to be trained by 2020 - a minimum in costs of $13,000 with an upward amount of $45,000.

    Idaho Code: 33-520

    Permit self-administration of medication administered by way of metered-dose inhaler  or epinephrine auto-injector by a pupil

    School nurses

    $160,000

    IDAPA 08.02.03.170

    Citizenship: instruction and activities necessary to acquire skills to enable students to be responsible citizens.

    • Leader in Me
    • Social Emotional Learning Programs/Curriculum

    mentioned above

    IDAPA 08.02.03.171

    Gifted and Talented Programs:

    • Each district shall have a written plan for its gifted and talented program
    • Screening process to identify students
    • Identification process shall use multiple indicators
    • Designated staff person responsible for the program.

    Multiple GATE Teachers

    Reduce 4 FTE for GATE, keeping only one GATE teacher, reduction $400,000.

    Idaho Code: Title 33, Chapter 10

    Foundation Program – State Aid – Apportionment

    2016-2017

    Job Category

    State Apportionment

    Teachers

    171

    Pupil Support Personnel

    13

    Admin.

    12.4

    Classified

    62

    2017-18 Estimated State Funding for Salary and Benefits:

    $12,107,074

    2016-17

    Actual BCSD

    Positions

    Percentage

    261

    153%

    22



    169%

    16

    129%

    131.4

    212%


    2017-18 Estimated Local Funding for Salary and Benefits:

    $30,552,379

    See reductions above in counselors, etc; elementary specialists; and secondary class size ratios.

    Idaho Code: 33-1004J

    Leadership Premiums

       

    BCEA Related Questions


     1. How are the leaders for the Blaine County Education Association selected?

    The BCEA works collectively on behalf of educators in Blaine County to ensure free, quality, public education for every student while maintaining quality working and learning conditions for all.

    Blaine County Education Association leaders are volunteer positions, elected annually by association members. The executive team is made up of two co-presidents, a treasurer, and two building action team (A-TEAM) leaders. As of 2017, Maritt Wolfram and Tryntje VanSlyke are co-presidents and Beth Andrews is the treasurer. Matt Phillips is the A-TEAM leader for Wood River High School, and Jamie Harding is the A-TEAM leader for Hemingway Elementary.

    http://www.bceaidaho.org/

    http://idahoea.org/about-iea/contact-us/

     

    BCEF Related Questions


    1. How do education foundations help support school districts?

    According to Blaine County Education Foundation Form 990 (fiscal year ending 2016), revenues were $373k. $120k was from royalties and $19k from investment income. $43k went to various programs like autism spectrum, education enhancement and construction academy. $48k went to scholarships for seniors. $108k provided direct financial support for all 8 public schools.

    Education foundations are independent entities from school districts and have complete control over how they raise and spend their funds.

    Seattle:

    The Seattle School District cut funding to Music and Arts programs in the last decade. A PTA group in the Seattle School District had three fundraising chairmen who focused on consistently raising $250,000 a year. The money was used to fund Art Docents Programs, continuing education for our teachers, structural needs for our school, a preschool program, field trips, and after school programs. In addition, they adopted an inner city school that did not have funds for textbooks and supported their teachers as well.

    Park City:

    The Park City Education Foundation currently raises between $1.8 and $2 million each year. There are 5,000 students in the district and 7 schools: 4 elementary, 1 middle, 1 junior high and 1 high school. Park City Education Foundation's general fund is $68 million.

    http://www.pcef4kids.org

    https://www.supportbcef.org/about-us/

    2. How can the Blaine County Education Foundation and other similar charitable organizations assist and how can the District communicate its needs to them?

    The Blaine County Education Foundation (BCEF) does fund small projects for individual schools and classrooms on an application basis. In addition, the BCEF provides funds for individual students that need assistance for educational opportunities.  The BCEF Board does have a BCSD Trustee and the superintendent serve on their Board who act as liaisons to the BCEF Board and keep them apprised of district needs.

    According to Blaine County Education Foundation Form 990 (fiscal year ending 2016), revenues were $373k. $120k was from royalties and $19k from investment income. $43k went to various programs like autism spectrum, education enhancement and construction academy. $48k went to scholarships for seniors. $108k provided direct financial support for all 8 public schools.

    Many charitable organizations in the valley such as the Y, WOW, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, the Environmental Resource Center, the Advocate, the Drug Coalition, etc. work closely with many of the schools and supplement programming providing enrichment for BCSD students both during the school day and in after school programming.

    3. What is the mechanism for accessing Blaine County Educational Foundation Funds for district purposes?

    Education foundations are independent entities from school districts and have complete control over how they raise and spend their funds.  The Blaine County Education Foundation also has been charged with managing the funds for multiple entities.  These funds must be used as designated by the scholarship organization, etc. that is the owner of the funds.

    The Blaine County Education Foundation (BCEF) does fund small projects for individual schools and classrooms on an application basis. In addition, the BCEF provides funds for individual students that need assistance for educational opportunities.

    4. How much has the district spent on professional development using Blaine County Education Funds since 2013?

    The foundation has provided $178K (rounded) to the District since 2013.  This amount does not include any funds that have been sent directly to schools.

     

    Policy Related Questions


    1. What is the school board's class size policy?

    Low student-teacher ratios are vital for sound educational instruction and strong student-teacher relationships. To this end, the school board made the following recommendations, which were last revised in January 2016:

    • Pre-k classrooms with a paraprofessional capped at 20 students
    • When a kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade class has 20+ students, hire or reassign a certified teacher or a full-time paraprofessional
    • When a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade class has 25+ students, it is recommended to hire or reassign a certified teacher or a full-time paraprofessional
    • When a secondary subject-area class has 30+ students, it is recommended to hire or reassign a certified teacher
    • All classes should meet the requirements of the Idaho Dept of Building and Safety and the county fire departments
    • Additional safety concerns specific to classes such as laboratories, construction shops, etc., should be considered
    • When a subject-area average class size or a grade-level average class size drops below 15 students, a position should be eliminated and a staff member transferred or released. There are exceptions for advanced opportunity and intervention classes.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > BCSD Policies > Policy number 602.12, revised 1/19/2016 or try:

    http://www.boarddocs.com/id/bcsd61/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AQPR5P6C1A3A

    2. What is the Unassigned Fund Balance Policy?

    • The Unassigned Fund Balance Policy 815 was passed by the board of trustees in 2016. The policy calls for building and maintaining a balance of 18-20% equivalent to the General Fund revenues.
    • For the district to meet their unassigned fund balance policy over the next five years, expenditures will have to be reduced and/or revenues increased.
    • To begin building this fund, $2,000,000 of the $3,266,000 Land Lottery fund and 1.5 of  General Fund dollars was moved to the unassigned fund balance.
    • Additional funds may be moved later in the school year after the Board has an opportunity to do additional long-range financial planning and the yearly audit has been completed.
    • These additional funds could come from cost cutting measures throughout the year, staff not being hired as they leave, or additional revenues received that weren't anticipated or budgeted.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Departments > Finance > 2017-18 Budget Overview, and to Departments > School Board > School Board > BCSD Policies > Policy 815

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5zNVkwkWg3zcnR2SjFQUkN3Vm8/view

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_i45Wn9_OMpdUpnU09Nel8ydFE/view

     

    How does Idaho/ Blaine County Compare?


    1. Regarding the reserve fund policy, what percentage do other school districts typically designate in policy for such a fund? 

    Information about other District’s unassigned funds balance and how they treat these monies is not readily available.  Since these types of monies are “off budget” they are either not discussed or are references in language that is inconsistent across districts.

    Nearly all districts across idaho include a contingency reserve within their General Fund budgets, and most try to meet the 5% threshold.  The contingency reserve should not be confused with the unassigned or often called unappropriated fund amount.  A large number of districts will have an unassigned/unappropriated amount of money that is available to spend for unexpected needs beyond their contingency, but you will not find these monies included within their budgets.  

    I am unaware of any other District in Idaho (but they could exist) whose Board has established a sequestered amount of monies that must meet certain requirements in order to be accessed and spent.

    Unassigned/unappropriated funds are becoming more of a need for school districts.  They provide a broader asset base and higher liquidity, which credit rating agencies such as Moodys like to see when determining a District’s bond rating.  The bond rating helps Districts access more abundant and cheaper debt.  While the District is not currently interested in tapping the debt markets, the future is uncertain, and may wish to do so at some point.  And just like an individual’s credit rating, a bond rating takes quite some time to move in a positive and maintained direction.  The better the rating the cheaper the interest rate the borrower will pay.  

    Other benefits of unassigned/unappropriated funds is the additional monies that we can access to smooth out cash flow from month to month.  Since our revenue stream is inconsistent and uneven each month having funds in some type of reserve allows for the District to pay salaries and bills in a consistent and fluid manner.

    Finally, these funds allow for a rainy day fund of sorts.  These idle monies can be deployed should an emergency take place or a significant economic recession impact the funding needs for the District.            

    2. How do the BCSD benefits compare to other comparable districts and entities?

    The Blaine County School District benefits package is very similar in structure to other Districts across the State.  Nearly all District provide health, dental, vision, and a modest life insurance package for employees only.  Very few if any District pay for family coverage.  They also provide for leaves in the form or sick, personal, bereavement, and vacation days for full year staff.  

     There are three areas where Blaine County provides a rich benefit to employees compared to our peers.  The first is paying for all (certified and admin) or a portion (classified) PERSI employee required contributions.  For certified/admin staff this is 6.79% of their salary, and 2.79% for classified.

     The second item is the amount of the deductible for the insurances.  Our health insurance coverage provides for a $750 deductible.  This is a richer deductible than many district’s across the State who have $1,000 or greater as a required deductible.

     The third item is an Employee Assistance plan, which provides limited counseling and support services for staff in times of need.  While this is a modest cost to the District, and has traditionally be a benefit to employees in many Districts, reductions in expenses have forced many Districts to cease providing it.

     The fourth item is limited to administrative staff, and is deferred compensation in the form of a contribution to a 401a plan.  

    3. Does the District have solid information about the Cost of living in Blaine county as compared to the rest of Idaho?

    According to the website Sperling’s Best Places which sets the US national average cost of living index at 100, Boise is 103, Hailey and Bellevue are the same at 118, Ketchum is 156, and Carey is 94.  The only noted difference in Blaine County communities is the cost of housing.  All other aspects that were measured in this data are the same.  

    COST OF LIVING

     

    Hailey, ID

    Boise, ID

    United States

    Overall

    118

    103

    100

    Grocery

    102.6

    95

    100

    Health

    114

    103

    100

    Housing

    145

    109

    100

    Utilities

    92

    94

    100

    Transportation

    106

    103

    100

    Miscellaneous

    105

    101

    100

    COST OF LIVING

     

    Ketchum, ID

    Hailey, ID

    United States

    Overall

    156

    118

    100

    Grocery

    102.6

    102.6

    100

    Health

    114

    114

    100

    Housing

    264

    145

    100

    Utilities

    92

    92

    100

    Transportation

    106

    106

    100

    Miscellaneous

    105

    105

    100

    COST OF LIVING

     

    Hailey, ID

    Carey, ID

    United States

    Overall

    118

    94

    100

    Grocery

    102.6

    102.6

    100

    Health

    114

    114

    100

    Housing

    145

    70

    100

    Utilities

    92

    92

    100

    Transportation

    106

    106

    100

    Miscellaneous

    105

    105

    100

    https://www.bestplaces.net/compare-cities/boise_id/hailey_id/costofliving

     4. How big are average class sizes in other states?

     Class size is an important factor in school district spending. Recent federal data pegged average class size in Utah’s primary schools at nearly 28 students per non-departmentalized class. By comparison, Maine, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming reported averages of fewer than 18 students per class. Comparable dissimilarities are found among high schools. Nevada’s departmentalized high school classes have an average of 31 students - the largest size nationally and nearly twice as many as in some other states.

    The Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) for the 2011-12 school year from the National Center for Education Statistics shows the average Idaho primary school class size ranges from 25 to 28.

    http://www.governing.com/topics/education/gov-education-funding-states.html

     5. How does Idaho's state school system rank in the U.S.?

     In December 2016, Education Week's annual rankings of state school systems gave Idaho the fourth-lowest grade in the nation:

    • Idaho received a D-plus, topping only New Mexico, Mississippi and Nevada
    • The ranking was unchanged from 2016
    • Idaho received a failing grade for school spending, in part because of low per-pupil spending. Education Week based its rankings on 2014 data, when Idaho’s per-pupil spending exceeded only one state: Utah
    • The percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds attending preschool was the lowest in the nation at 29.6 percent
    • The percentage of Idahoans over age 25 who hold a post-secondary degree was 11th lowest at 35.9 percent

    http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/2017/state-highlights/2017/01/04/idaho-state-highlights-report-page.html

     6. How much does Blaine County spend per student compared with the rest of Idaho? 

    The 2017-18 average cost per student is $14,800, versus a 2014 Idaho state average of $6,352. Idaho ranked 50th out of 51 - only Utah spent less. The 2014 national average was $11,009. New York spent the most at $20,610.

    *The 2017-18 average cost per student in the General Fund budget is based upon the current estimated enrollment (Pre-K through 12) of 3,470 students. (This average is computed using General Fund monies only, and does not include the contingency amount, Federal, Plant, or State special funds)

    http://www.governing.com/topics/education/gov-education-funding-states.html#data

    https://plot.ly/~governing/728/instruction-employee-salaries-instruction-employee-benefits-pupil-support-instru/

     7. How did Idaho's spending on schools compare with the rest of the country in 2013?

    In 2013 Idaho had 284,834 students enrolled in a total of 719 schools in 149 school districts.

    • On average Idaho spent $6,791 per pupil in 2013, ranking it 50th in the nation (including DC). Only Utah spent less, partly due to a relatively higher student population than other states. The national average was $10,700. New York spends over $20,000 per student.
    • Idaho had the second fewest administrators relative to students, 1:448. The national average was 1:295.
    • Idaho has a teacher to student ratio of 1:19.6 students, compared to the national average of 1:16.
    • Hispanic students comprised 16.5% of the student population in Idaho, versus 40% in Blaine County and 24.28% nationwide.
    • The average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools declined by 1.3% from 1999-00 to 2012-13. During the same period in Idaho, the average salary increased by 2.4%.

    https://ballotpedia.org/Public_education_in_Idaho

    https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865629944/Census-report-Utah-still-last-in-country-in-per-pupil-spending.html

    8. Why are our students' average SAT scores lower than the nationwide average?

    It is hard to compare Idaho with the US in general, as 99% of students in Idaho take the SAT (it is funded by the state). Across the US only 50% of students take the SAT, and those students are more likely to be continuing their education after high school. Blaine County's large number of English language learners also affects our average scores.

    https://ballotpedia.org/Public_education_in_Idaho

    9. How do Blaine County's revenue sources compare with state and US averages?

    Blaine County’s General Fund has two primary sources of funding; (1) Local property taxes which make up 60% of funding, (2) State funding which makes up 35%.  The remaining portion comes from miscellaneous local dollars.

    The local property tax piece is made up from the Stabilization and a permanent Supplemental levy.  Both are for a fixed dollar sum and do not increase or decrease with changes in the property values, or inflation.

    All Districts receive funding from the State of Idaho which makes up the revenue in their General Fund, and pays for the operating and maintenance aspect of running the District.  The funding level is determined on a complicated calculation that is based upon the District’s average student attendance.  In this manner Blaine County is like every other District in the State.

    Most District in the State of Idaho enhance their revenues by way of local property taxes in the form of a Supplemental levy some of which are permanent, but most which are voted on by local patrons on an annual or every other year basis.  Again in this manner Blaine County is much like the other Districts across the state.

    Blaine County is only one of four Districts within the State of Idaho that are allowed to receive funding via a Stabilization levy.  The Stabilization levy dollar amount for each District is different from one another. In this manner all four of these Districts are unique from the remaining ones within the State who do not enjoy this additional funding mechanism.

    Looking at the entire District budget, which includes all funds for last year (2016-17) the Blaine County School District’s funding sources are:

    Local = 66% (includes property taxes and misc local sources)

    State = 31%

    Federal = 3%

    Comparing this to the national school district averages for the 2013-14 year:

    Local = 45%

    State = 46%

    Federal = 9%

    https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cma.asp

    10. What does Blaine County's certified staff salary schedule look like versus Boise's? 

    Salary schedules have a starting salary for someone with a bachelor of arts degree and no experience. From there for each year of experience there is a "step" or "longevity" increase (sometimes 0), and for each increased level of education, a "lane" increase (sometimes 0). In the past, additional raises on the base have been awarded as well. All salary increases result in higher FICA, Medicare, workman's comp, and PERCI retirement payments.

    Blaine County's 2017-18 schedule has steps for 20 years of experience. There are generally 3% salary increases each year for the first 16 years, and 1% longevity increases for years 17-20. An education increase of 9 credits generally results in an additional 4-5% increase in salary. The biggest education lane increases are for 27 credits over a bachelor's degree. The lowest paid teacher earns a salary of $41,534 and the highest earns $87,537.

    Boise's 2017-18 schedule has steps for 17 years of experience. Less experienced teachers have 0.0% to 1.4% steps. More highly educated teachers have 4-5 years with 5% steps and 2.5% steps in years 10-17. The biggest education lane increases are for those earning a master's degree. The lowest paid teacher earns a salary of $38,121 and the highest earns $70,261.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Human Resources > Salary Schedule > 2017-18 Certified Salary Schedule.pdf, or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_i45Wn9_OMpc0VHSDJ0QVZaaFk/view

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz1gltnu95RLcTd2NUhEdV8tNGc/view

    11. What does Blaine County's certified staff salary schedule look like versus Coeur d'Alene's?

    Salary schedules have a starting salary for someone with a bachelor of arts degree and no experience. From there for each year of experience there is a "step" or "longevity" increase (sometimes 0), and for each increased level of education, a "lane" increase (sometimes 0). In the past, additional raises have been awarded as well. All salary increases result in higher FICA, Medicare, workman's comp, and PERSI retirement payments.

    Blaine County's 2017-18 schedule has steps for 20 years of experience. There are generally 3% salary increases each year for the first 16 years, and 1% longevity increases for years 17-20. An education increase of 9 credits generally results in an additional 4-5% increase in salary. The biggest education lane increases are for 27 credits over a bachelor's degree. The lowest paid teacher earns a salary of $41,534 and the highest earns $87,537.

    Coeur d'Alene's 2017-18 schedule has steps for 15 years of experience. Steps vary from 0% to an occasional 4.2%. The most highly educated teachers have steps of 2.5% to 3.6%. Higher step increases are reserved for less and middle educated teachers. Education lane increases are 3-4%. The lowest paid teacher earns a salary of $38,121 and the highest earns $70,261.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > Human Resources > Salary Schedule > 2017-18 Certified Salary Schedule.pdf, or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_i45Wn9_OMpc0VHSDJ0QVZaaFk/view

    https://www.cdaschools.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=3676&dataid=1884&FileName=Certificated%20salsch%2017%2018.pdf

     

    Finance Committee


     1. Who is on the school board's finance committee?

     Community Members 

    • Bryan Evans 
    • Erik Nilsen 
    • Gerry Morrison 
    • Lara Stone 
    • Lyman Drake 
    • Sumi Sankara-Deal

    School District Members

    • Kevin Garrison, School Board Trustee
    • GwenCarol Holmes, Superintendent
    • Jamie Harding, BCEA Representative
    • Fritz Peters, Principal Wood River Middle School
    • Bryan Fletcher, Finance Manager

     

    Local Economy/ Blaine County Questions


    1. What is our cost of living (Hailey) compared to the national average and our salaries compared to the national average?

    According to the website Sperling’s Best Places which sets the US national average cost of living index at 100, Boise is 103, Hailey and Bellevue are the same at 118, Ketchum is 156, and Carey is 94.  The only noted difference in Blaine County communities is the cost of housing.  All other aspects that were measured in this data are the same.  

    COST OF LIVING

     

    Hailey, ID

    Boise, ID

    United States

    Overall

    118

    103

    100

    Grocery

    102.6

    95

    100

    Health

    114

    103

    100

    Housing

    145

    109

    100

    Utilities

    92

    94

    100

    Transportation

    106

    103

    100

    Miscellaneous

    105

    101

    100

     COST OF LIVING

     

    Ketchum, ID

    Hailey, ID

    United States

    Overall

    156

    118

    100

    Grocery

    102.6

    102.6

    100

    Health

    114

    114

    100

    Housing

    264

    145

    100

    Utilities

    92

    92

    100

    Transportation

    106

    106

    100

    Miscellaneous

    105

    105

    100

    COST OF LIVING

     

    Hailey, ID

    Carey, ID

    United States

    Overall

    118

    94

    100

    Grocery

    102.6

    102.6

    100

    Health

    114

    114

    100

    Housing

    145

    70

    100

    Utilities

    92

    92

    100

    Transportation

    106

    106

    100

    Miscellaneous

    105

    105

    100

    https://www.bestplaces.net/compare-cities/boise_id/hailey_id/costofliving

    2. How can communities help our public schools?

    Jamie Vollmer's book, "Schools Cannot Do It Alone", describes the challenges our students and our public schools are facing today, from an antiquated education structure to the unrelenting stream of negativity directed at our schools from the media and community.

    Mr. Vollmer offers an approach to addressing those challenges, which he calls The Great Conversation. The goal of The Great Conversation is to build community understanding, trust, permission and support.

    A must read for anyone wanting to help our public schools.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Schools-Cannot-Alone-Robert-Vollmer/dp/0982756909/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1508253851&sr=8-1

     3. What is the breakdown of voters in Blaine County by age group?

    Age Total People Percentage

    • 18 to 24 581 4.75%
    • 25 to 34 1,256 10.26%
    • 35 to 49 2,793 22.82%
    • 50 to 64 3,850 31.46%
    • 65+ 3,757 30.70%
    • Total 12,237 100.00%

    Source: Idaho Democrats

    4. How do I request an absentee ballot for an election in Blaine County? 

    Voters can request an absentee ballot be sent to them by clicking on the link below and sending the ballot by hand delivery, mail, fax, or email to:

    Jolynn Drage

    Blaine County Clerk

    206 1st Ave South #200

    Hailey ID 83333-8429

    election@co.blaine.id.us

    fax: (208) 788-5501

    For more details, call (208) 788-5510 or visit the website at www.co.blaine.id.us.

    http://www.idahovotes.gov/VoterReg/absentee.pdf

    http://www.idahovotes.gov/clerk.shtml

    5. How do I register to vote, or figure out where to vote?

    Click on the first link below to see whether you're registered to vote in Blaine County. Click Next. Click Select on your name, and click Next once more to find your voting location. Your precinct, legislative district, and congressional districts are displayed, along with where to vote and what elections you're eligible to vote in.

    If you're not registered to vote or need to change your name or address, click on the second link below to pull up the Idaho Voter Registration Form. To register to vote in Idaho you must be a U.S. Citizen, have resided in Idaho and in the county for 30 days prior to the day of election, and be at least 18 years old. You cannot register to vote in Idaho if you have been convicted of a felony and have not had your civil rights restored.

    You may mail or deliver your completed card to Blaine County at 206 1st Ave South #200, Hailey 83333-8429. If mailed, the card must be postmarked by the 25th day before an election. Call 208-788-5510 with questions. If you are a first-time voter in Idaho, a copy of a current and valid photo identification or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document showing your name and address must be submitted with the form or shown at the polls prior to voting.

    http://www.idahovotes.gov/YPP_NEW/AmIRegistered.aspx

    http://www.idahovotes.gov/VoterReg/voter_registration.pdf

     

    Trustee Related Questions


     1. How long has Trustee Shawn Bennion been on the school board? What is his background?

    Chairman Shawn Bennion was elected to the board of trustees in 2011.

    Shawn attended Ricks College for two years, spent two years living in Spain, and became a Journeyman electrician in 2007. He is currently employed by Sun Valley Company.

    Shawn came to Blaine County in 2003, and has enjoyed living here since. His wife is a Blaine County native. They have four children with all 4 currently attending school in Blaine County.

    He is excited to help bring the best education possible to all our youth.

    Chairman Bennion's term expires in 2019.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Member Directory or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/3634

    2. What is role of the school board?

    The Board of Trustees is the legislative governing body of the school district. Among other things the board is responsible for:

    • determining education and personnel policies
    • appraising and evaluating the school system as a whole
    • raising, spending, and accounting for the funds to support the school system
    • long-term planning and building maintenance
    • informing the community of the needs, purposes, values, and status of the schools
    • employing the superintendent and other necessary personnel as recommended by the superintendent

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > BCSD Policies > Policy 201.3 or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_i45Wn9_OMpYWtBSTJTcHlXck0/view

    3. How long has Trustee Rob Clayton been on the school board? What is his background?

    Vice Chair Rob Clayton was appointed in 2014 and elected in 2017.

    Trustee Clayton's term expires in 2021.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Member Directory or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/3634

    4. How long has Trustee Kelly Green been on the school board? What is her background?

    Trustee Kelly Green was elected in 2017.

    Kelly grew up in Green River, Wyoming and graduated from Green River High School. She attended the University of Wyoming and earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

    In 2005 she moved to Hailey with her husband Marc, a Wood River Valley native. She worked for Power Engineers as a civil engineer almost four years and then became a stay-at-home mother to her four children. She worked for Blaine County school district as a substitute teacher for four years, which inspired her to receive a certification to teach secondary math.

    Three of Kelly's children attend Blaine County schools. She is thrilled and eager to help our district and community by serving as a board trustee.

    Trustee Green's term expires in 2021.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Member Directory or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/3634

    5. How long has Trustee Ellen Mandeville been on the school board? What is her background?

    Trustee Ellen Mandeville was appointed to the Blaine County school district board of trustees in 2016.

    Ellen was born and raised in Southern California, and attended schools in the Glendale Unified School District K-12. She then earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at UC, Santa Cruz.

    She and her husband lived aboard their sailboat for eight years, sailing up and down the west coast from Canada and to Mexico, then across the Pacific and through the S. Pacific Islands to New Zealand. After three years living in New Zealand, they moved to the Wood River Valley twelve years ago.

    Their two children have been continuously enrolled in Blaine County schools since 2007 when their oldest entered kindergarten. She is excited to serve the Blaine County school district community as school board trustee.

    Trustee Mandeville's term expires in 2019.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Member Directory or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/3634

    6. How long has Trustee Kevin Garrison been on the school board? What is his background?

    Trustee Kevin Garrison was appointed in 2017.

    Kevin graduated from California Polytechnic State University, SLO with a degree in Industrial Engineering and from Boston College with a MBA specializing in Finance and Marketing.

    Prior to moving to the Wood River Valley, Kevin spent 30 years in the High Tech industry in a variety of engineering, marketing, sales and management roles. He now owns a local real estate development business based in Hailey.

    His term expires in 2019.

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Board Member Directory or try:

    https://www.blaineschools.org/Page/3634

    7. Who have been school board members in the past?

    Bates, Paul Elected May 2009 – January 2014

    Graves, Kathryn Appointed October 2010 – July 2015

    Nurge, Don Elected July 2011 – July 2013

    Bennion, Shawn Elected May 2011 – Present

    Baker, Kathy Elected July 2013 – July 14, 2015

    Elizabeth Corker (Schwerdtle) Appointed July 2013- May 2015

    Elizabeth Corker (Schwerdtle) Elected May 2015 - January 2017

    Roberts, Rick Appointed June 2014 – October 1, 2014

    Clayton, Rob Appointed December 2014 – July 2017

    Clayton, Rob Elected July 2017 - Present

    Carole Freund Elected July 2015 – June 2016

    Cami Bustos Appointed October 2015 - July 2017

    Ellen Mandeville Appointed November 2016 - Present

    Kelly Green Elected July 2017 - Present

    Kevin Garrison Appointed February 2017 - Present

    Navigate to www.blaineschools.org > School Board > Public Records Requests > Records Request History - 2015 > Julie Dahlgren's 10/20/2015 request, or try:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5zNVkwkWg3zX01aNGI3N0gzcDA/view

     

    A Teacher’s Day


    *Names changed to preserve anonymity

     

    “Woke up. Got out of bed. Dragged a comb across my head.

    Found my way downstairs and I drank a cup

    And looking up I noticed I was late . . .” - The Beatles

     

    The alarm is set to go off during the school year at 6:00 AM.  Laying in bed I squeeze my eyes shut, stretch, and ease into wakefulness listening to NPR’s morning edition. As a social studies teacher, I feel it is important to stay abreast of the latest news and politics and I often find myself making mental notes about clips I want to upload to Schoology, the online learning platform for my students.

    Mornings in my house are chaotic. Trying to get a family of four out the door has always been a challenge, and now that my children are in middle school and taking full advantage of all that their school offers, I feel like all I do is drive up and down the Valley to softball, baseball, cross country, music lessons and concerts, orchestra  and drama performances. While I may get annoyed by the lifestyle at times, I’m beyond grateful for the opportunities my children have in our schools. So we load up, full backpacks, violas, baseball bags, basketball bags and we head to the Middle School leaving the house by 7:25.

    My goal is to get to WRHS by 7:40. Knowing this is my only time to be outside today, I will pause in the parking lot to breathe in the fresh mountain air and stare at the alpine glow on the mountains as the sun rises. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to be a weekend warrior this weekend. Only after my grading and graduate work are complete will I get any chance to climb on a bike or skis.

    Lately, I have been beelining straight to the teacher workroom to make the copies I need for the day. My printer in my classroom is out of ink and because of the cost of cartridge, I’ve decided not to replace it and simply print from the copy machines. The budget crunch is real. We were told this year we are limited to two boxes of paper. At first, I cringed at the thought of this. While I know I can do better at conserving there are real valid reasons why I need to print tests for students to write on and annotate. Despite this I have drastically reduced my copies and am doing more and more online. This works great until the servers go down! While downstairs I try to prepare anything I need for class before going up to my room because I know there are students waiting for me and I will not have the opportunity to get anything done for prep before first hour.

    After making my (few and conservative) copies, I rush to my room to unlock it for the students who I know are there waiting for me. The first bus arrives at WRHS around 7:45 and with it comes several students who crave adult attention and interaction.  My morning begins chatting with students  about how they are feeling, did they sleep well, and what corny things their parents do on the car ride to school. From 7:45 to 8:30 my time is consumed with interactions like these. Some students needs more attention than others and I am addressing anything from a parent's death to a fight with a friend to a rehash of last night’s football game. I am a counselor. I am a confidant. I am an adult who listens.   

    The bell rings at 8:30 and I start class, finally, I get to be a social studies teacher, the job I thought I was signing up to do. But, Tina is late, Mike has lost his notebook, and Dylan’s grandpa just passed away and he is clearly upset and uninterested.. Somehow we make it through the 50 minutes of World History, usually with lots of humor and good natured teasing, usually of me. Over the course of the semester I go from being Mrs. Wolfrom, to Wolfdog or Wolfy. I once had a parent, appalled by the nickname her son bestowed upon me, declare that she was going to put an end to it. I cautioned her that nicknames can be a sign of mutual respect and it isn’t something they say about me behind my back. They use it to my face, we joke about it. The kids know I’ve got their back and I’ve earned the moniker. I wear it proudly!

    Next comes my APUSH (Advanced Placement U.S. History) class, today we are doing an Amazing Race game to learn about the 13 colonies. I’ve spent hours outside of class prepping for this activity. I’ve enlisted the assistance of the guidance counselors and the office staff to act as stations in the game. After dividing the kids into teams and going over the rules, I’m left standing in an empty classroom wondering if I was wise to let a bunch of teenagers run full speed through the school looking for clues. I take off after them to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing pleased that they are fully engaged in what they see as a fun activity. Kids arrive back in my class, breathless, trying to win the prize. All the while, they actually learned a little something, at least I hope they do!

    My prep is 3rd hour, today I have to call several parents including Frankie’s mom. Frankie is the sweetest boy but he has yet to turn in any assignments in my class. Mom doesn’t speak English so I coordinate with our ENL department to call mom and ask her to come to parent/teacher conferences so we can discuss strategies to help get Frankie back on task. After the phone call, I upload the next AP Unit onto Schoology and write the online pretest and test. Now, I’m a software expert managing multiple software programs and apps to incorporate technology in the classroom: Exam View, Schoology, Flipgrid, Kahoot, Turnit in, Screencastify, and Perusal. The GATE teacher wanders in and we discuss how to handle Brian who has stopped coming to my Class. Brian, feeling overwhelmed by the workload, has decided to bury his head in the sand and skip class. We strategize how to help Brian and establish a plan to get him back on track. The plan includes him coming to my room every day during my prep to get one-on-one instruction to make up the work he is missing. It is a good thing I make my copies in the morning!

    As the bell rings for 4th hour, I wonder how that 50 minutes got past me! I rush to the door to greet the next APUSH class. Megan comes in begging to listen to Hamilton one more time! Thad wanders in late after being with the athletic trainer again following a concussion that he hasn’t fully recovered.  He seems scattered. Thoughts wander and he often shouts out of turn in class things that are completely unrelated to what we are discussing. Dani, Jenna, Mick, and Bill all get their lunches out and start munching away. Kids are allowed to eat in my class. They are after all growing! In between bites, we discuss Andrew Jackson, the history of immigration in America, or the legacy of confederate monuments.

    Finally, the lunch bell rings. This is my 35 minute duty free lunch. For 10 years I’ve gone down to the staff room and eaten with my peers and engaged in a few minutes of adult conversation. I’ve enjoyed watching my colleagues decompress playing ping-pong and batting around witty repartee. This year, teaching 6 of 7 classes, I find I don’t have the time. So, I stay in my classroom and attempt to load work on to Schoology for my AP WORLD History independent study students. Kids have realized that I’m in my room and have started to join me for lunch. We sit and jest about the current state of politics or the silly plans the boys have to go camping when it is 30 degrees outside! My lunch is no longer duty free but a choice I’ve made so I can get what needs to be done accomplished. Thirty-five minutes goes too fast! I haven’t even gone to the bathroom yet!

    Bells rule my day. The 5th hour bell signals the beginning of my SST or Student Support Time. Three of my five AP WORLD students  and one exchange student arrive. While AP WORLD is an independent study, I have built the class online and engage with them and the material daily. The exchange student is there to work on his other classes and get assistance when he needs it. Today they are begging to watch Monty Python’s the Holy Grail as a reward for their completion of the unit on the Middle Ages. It’s hard to resist so I relent. The wonderful thing about the knowledge of history is that you get the jokes! We discuss the historical references in this and other satirical movies.  While they watch, I try to prep for tomorrow’s regular World History lesson or I try to crank out grading 10 of the 54 essays I collected yesterday.

    Another batch of APUSH student’s roll in for 6th hour. The students in this class, while wicked smart, have so much post lunch energy, the drive me a bit batty. Today, all they do is Donald Trump impressions. Every question I ask is answered in a Donald Trump voice and getting them to transition from one task to another is exhausting. “Sit down!” “Please open your notebook!” But, it is hard for me not to laugh, some of their jokes are pretty funny! Somehow, despite their antics we get through our analysis of the Indian Removal Act.

    As the bell rings signalling 7th hour, I pause and breathe for a minute. This last class takes some mental preparation. 9th  grade students can be squirrely and while I adore all the kids individually in the class, sometimes the combination of students is combustible and behaviors can derail an entire lesson. But, I don’t get to pick who comes and who doesn’t so I breathe. I have worn a path on the carpet in my room walking from student to student to keep them on task. Laying a gentle hand on a shoulder to remind Ken to get back to work, stopping to admire Chloe’s artistic rendition of her visual vocabulary I make a constant spiral through the room to check in on student progress. Carly, Jenny, and Juan are all ENL (English as a New Language) students and I pull them aside to work on a reading accommodations as a group. We build a word wall, read a passage, and take notes in our interactive notebooks.

    As the end of the day approaches, the students begin to pack up. I shout over the din of chairs being put on tables and kids prepping for the end of the day. “Please pick up after yourselves!” When the bell rings, a few shout thank you and the room quiets. I look around and there are Calvin and Juan finishing up the work. Juan, needing validation so we go over the work he completed today. I gotta give him props for trying to learn a new language! He really wants to do well.

    As I work with these students, I hear an announcement over the intercom that I’m needed in a 504 or IEP meeting. I ask the boys to finish up and turn out the lights on their way out and rush downstairs to discuss student accommodations with parents, counselors, and other teachers.

    Sometime after 4pm, I leave the building. I always feel weird leaving, my work isn’t done. But, at some point I have to walk away. My own children have needs too, so I rush out to pick them up and shuttle them to their various extracurricular activities. If I don’t do that I’m off to the Grading Committee, the Education as a New Language(ENL) committee, or some other meeting I’ve been asked to attend. On nights that I have meetings I may not get home until 9 or 10 at night (YAY School Board Meetings!). We try to eat as a family 3 nights a week so if I can, I head home to make dinner. While it is on the stove, I will grade 10 more essays. After dinner, I work on my own graduate school paper on critical race theory in the classroom - 15 pages are due at the end of the semester.

    Finally, after an hour of This is Us, I collapse into bed. Hopefully, sleep will come tonight but, this week I learned that 3 of my students are homeless and I worry about where they are tonight. Are they safe? Did they eat dinner? How will calling in Child Protective Services impact my relationship with this or that student. My mind spins as I lay in bed, reflecting on my day and the never ending to do list that awaits me tomorrow.

    My husband constantly asks if I’m ready to go move to a warmer climate and do something else. He claims I should open a Mediterranean restaurant and I do make a mean hummus, but in all honesty I can’t imagine doing anything else and he knows it too. These conversations happen on days when I’m exhausted, frustrated, and angry about the state of public education in the 18 years of doing this the demands have only increased and can be exhausting and infuriating. But he and I both know THIS is exactly where I’m supposed to be. I am reminded when we lose a student to an all too early death and I have to face a first period full of his best friends and an empty chair. I am reminded when one of my students texts me in the summer at 6 am on a July morning to share his excellent AP Exam score.  I am reminded when a senior comes running into my room to share the news of college acceptance letters.  I’m reminded when I run into a former student in the grocery store or at a restaurant and they excitedly share their post high school life story of a marriage, births, or career. I am reminded when 10 years later a young man approaches me and apologizes for being a jerk in 9th grade. I am reminded when one of my students begins work at the United Nations, becomes a classical soprano in Vienna, joins a presidential political campaign, joins the Peace Corps, or smiles at me from behind the counter of my local bank. We have no way of knowing the lasting impact we have on students but, I know that THIS is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

     

    The Ever Increasing Burden


    1. The Ever Increasing Burden: Introduction

    America’s first schools appeared in the early 1640s. They were designed to teach young people - originally, white boys - basic reading, writing, and arithmetic while cultivating values that served a new democratic society. The founders of these schools assumed that families and churches bore the major responsibility for raising a child. During the 1700s, some civics, history, science, and geography were introduced, but the curriculum was limited and remained focused for 150 years.

    By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, America’s leaders saw public schools as the logical place to select and sort young people into two groups—thinkers and doers—according to the needs of the industrial age. It was at this time that we began to shift non-academic duties to the schools. The trend has accelerated ever since.

    As you read what responsibilities we've added to the schools since 1900, keep in mind - we have not added a single minute to the school calendar in six decades! The contract between our communities and our schools has changed. It’s no longer “Help us teach our children.” It’s “Raise our kids.” No generation of teachers and administrators in history has had to fulfill this mandate. And each year, the pressure grows. - Jamie Vollmer, author of "Schools Cannot Do It Alone"

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    2. The Ever Increasing Burden: From 1900-1910, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    From 1900 to 1910, we shifted these responsibilities to our public schools:

    • Nutrition
    • Immunization
    • Health (Activities in the health arena multiply every year.)

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    3. The Ever Increasing Burden: From 1910-1930, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    From 1910 to 1930, we also shifted these responsibilities to our public schools:

    • Physical education (including organized athletics)
    • The Practical Arts/Domestic Science/Home economics (including sewing and cooking)
    • Vocational education (including industrial and agricultural education)
    • Mandated school transportation

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    4. The Ever Increasing Burden: In the 1940s, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    In the 1940s, we moved these additional responsibilities to our public schools:

    • Business education (including typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping)
    • Art and music
    • Speech and drama
    • Half-day kindergarten
    • School lunch programs (We take this for granted today, but it was a huge step to shift to the schools the job of feeding America’s children one third of their daily meals.)

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    5. The Ever Increasing Burden: In the 1950s, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    In the 1950s, we moved these additional responsibilities to our public schools:

    • Expanded science and math education
    • Safety education
    • Driver’s education
    • Expanded music and art education
    • Stronger foreign language requirements
    • Sex education (Topics continue to escalate.)

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    6. The Ever Increasing Burden: In the 1960s, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    In the 1960s, we moved these additional responsibilities to our public schools:

    • Advanced Placement programs
    • Head Start
    • Title I (Additional resources for schools serving students in poverty)
    • Adult education
    • Consumer education (purchasing resources, rights and responsibilities)
    • Career education (occupational options, entry level skill requirements)
    • Peace, leisure, and recreation education [Loved those sixties.]

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    7. The Ever Increasing Burden: In the 1970s, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    In the 1970s, the breakup of the American family accelerated and we added these additional responsibilities to our public schools:

    • Drug and alcohol abuse education
    • Parenting education (techniques and tools for healthy parenting)
    • Behavior adjustment classes (including classroom and communication skills)
    • Character education
    • Special education (mandated by federal government)
    • Title IX programs (greatly expanded athletic programs for girls)
    • Environmental education
    • Women’s studies
    • African-American heritage education
    • School breakfast programs (Now some schools feed America’s children two-thirds of their daily meals throughout the school year and all summer. Sadly, these are the only decent meals some children receive.)

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    8. The Ever Increasing Burden: In the 1980s, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    In the 1980s, the floodgates opened and we added these additional responsibilities to our public schools:

    • Keyboarding and computer education - Global education
    • Multicultural/Ethnic education - Nonsexist education
    • English-as-a-second-language and bilingual education - Teen pregnancy awareness
    • Hispanic heritage education - Early childhood education
    • Jump Start, Early Start, Even Start, and Prime Start - Full-day kindergarten
    • Preschool programs for children at risk - After-school programs for children of working parents
    • Alternative education in all its forms - Stranger/danger education
    • Antismoking education - Sexual abuse prevention education
    • Expanded health and psychological services - Child abuse monitoring (a legal requirement for all teachers)

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html
    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    9. The Ever Increasing Burden: In the 1990s, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    In the 1990s, we added these additional responsibilities to our public schools:

    • Conflict resolution and peer mediation - HIV/AIDS education
    • CPR training - Death education
    • America 2000 initiatives (Republican) - Inclusion
    • Expanded computer and internet education - Distance learning
    • Tech Prep and School to Work programs - Technical Adequacy
    • Assessment - Post-secondary enrollment options
    • Concurrent enrollment options - Goals 2000 initiatives (Democratic)
    • Expanded Talented and Gifted opportunities - At risk and dropout prevention
    • Homeless education (including causes and effects on children) - Gang education (urban centers)
    • Bus safety, bicycle safety, gun safety, and water safety education - Service learning

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    10. The Ever Increasing Burden: From 2000-2010, what did we start asking our public schools to do?

    In the first decade of the twenty-first century, we added these additional responsibilities to our public schools:

    • No Child Left Behind (Republican) - Bully prevention
    • Expanded early childcare and wrap around programs - Anti-harassment policies (gender, race, religion, or national origin)
    • Elevator and escalator safety instruction - Body Mass Index evaluation (obesity monitoring)
    • Organ donor education and awareness programs - Personal financial literacy
    • Entrepreneurial and innovation skills development - Media literacy development
    • Contextual learning skill development - Health and wellness programs
    • Race to the Top (Democratic)

    And we have not added a single minute to the school calendar in six decades!

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf

    11. The Ever Increasing Burden: Conclusion

    You've read what responsibilities we've added to the schools since 1900. Keep in mind - we have not added a single minute to the school calendar in six decades!

    The contract between our communities and our schools has changed. It’s no longer “Help us teach our children.” It’s “Raise our kids.” No generation of teachers and administrators in history has had to fulfill this mandate. And each year, the pressure grows

    Social and economic conditions demand that we unfold the full potential of every child. Our futures are tied to their success as never before. But this is a job for all of us. Everyone, in every community, must help remove the obstacles to student success. We must recognize our common interests, and do our part to help our schools create the graduates and citizens we need. Our schools cannot do it alone. - Jamie Vollmer, author of "Schools Cannot Do It Alone

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/poster.html

    https://www.jamievollmer.com/pdf/the-list.pdf