KONZ | JCPS school board to discuss budget, approve staffing pla - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KONZ | JCPS school board to discuss budget, approve staffing plans at three schools

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Happy 2015! I hope everyone had a great winter break.

The first Jefferson County Board of Education meeting of the year will take place on Monday, Jan. 12. According to the agenda, the meeting is broken down into four parts: 

3 p.m. - Discussion with the internal audit firm (Dean Dorton Allen Ford). 

In December, the district contracted with this firm for $165,000 as it transitions from its traditional internal audit processes to an enterprise-wide risk management system. The state audit and previous audits recommended JCPS revamp some of its traditional audit processes. Officials told me Friday this system will "fulfill all audit recommendations and let the public know that the school board has established the highest level of oversight possible." 

4 p.m. - Work session about the draft budget for 2015-16 year

The current year's budget is $1.3 billion, and next year's budget is expected to be in the $1.3 to $1.4 billion range, with $1.1 billion being funded by the general fund. Here is how the JCPS budget process works:

The draft budget is the first of three budgets that will be approved by the school board this year -- it includes estimates for school allocations and specific assumptions.

Schools won't get their specific allocations until February and individual school budgets won't be submitted until March. District-level budget meetings with Superintendent Donna Hargens and her cabinet will be held during March and April to go over budget requests. That is when new budget requests, if any, are added to the tentative budget which be up for board approval in May.

If there is a tax rate increased needed, that won't be advertised until August. The final working budget, which includes tax rates and negotiated salary adjustments, will be up for approval in September.

5 p.m. - Executive session to conduct the formative evaluation of the superintendent (See my story about how Hargens is hoping for a contract extension. Her four-year contract expires on June 30).

7 p.m. - Regular meeting. 

No action or discussion items, but there are several things of note:

First of all, the two new school board members (in addition to the two members who were re-elected) will be sworn in by Court of Appeals Judge Denise Clayton. Stephanie Horne is taking over the District 3 seat that was vacated by Debbie Wesslund and Lisa Willner is taking over the District 6 seat that had been occupied by Carol Haddad.

(Previous Story: Two newcomers win seats in hotly contested JCPS school board race)

(Previous Story: Ousted JCPS board member says she will continue to work with children)

Secondly, JCPS and the Jefferson County Teachers Association have come to a modified agreement involving the staffing at three schools -- the Catalpa School at Maupin Elementary, the Louisville Reach Academy at Atkinson Elementary and the new Alex Kennedy Elementary School.

The Catalpa School and the Louisville Reach Academy were the two winning concepts in the district's School of Innovation Design Competition last year, after the Kentucky Department of Education designated JCPS as one of four school districts in the state that would be allowed to break out of the traditional structure of public education and experiment with learning.

The two schools will open at the start of the 2015-16 year, but JCPS and JCTA had to work out issues in terms of how the schools would be staffed. 

(Previous Story: JCPS board approves creation of Louisville Reach Academy at Atkinson Elementary)

(Previous Story: JCPS school board approves creating Catalpa School at Maupin Elementary, hears two other school proposals)

At Maupin, all instructional staff members (teachers, goal clarity coaches, librarians, etc) will be overstaffed at the end of the 2014-15 year. The founders of the Catalpa School will be given the first opportunity to be assigned to the new Maupin Elementary.

In addition, a six-member committee (comprised of three JCTA members and three people selected by the district) will interview and select applicants on the following criteria: current Maupin teachers who want to teach at the new school and teachers who already have Waldorf training. 

Waldorf training is a requirement to teach at the new Maupin Elementary and the district will reimburse to employees the cost of obtaining Waldorf training, which must be completed before the start of the 2015-16 year.

The committee will have authority to select or not select from those pools. If vacancies exist after that process is completed, the positions will be filled in accordance with the district's transfer process.

At Atkinson, all instructional staff members (teachers, goal clarity coaches, librarians, etc) will have the option of remaining at the school or they can voluntarily overstaff themselves and apply for a transfer to another school. The founders of the Louisville Reach Academy will have the first opportunity to be given a vacant teaching position at Atkinson. 

The remaining positions will be filled by six-member committee (comprised of three JCTA members and three people selected by the district) will interview and select applicants.

Alex Kennedy Elementary School in Jeffersontown will also open this fall in an effort to reduce overcrowding at some district schools in eastern Jefferson County. As of Friday, officials say JCPS still debating where to move Alex Kennedy Metro Middle alternative program.

At Alex Kennedy, a six-member committee (comprised of three JCTA members and three people selected by the district) will interview and select applicants. Any applicants who are current Maupin Elementary teachers will receive an interview, otherwise the need to interview will be determined by the six-member committee. 

The other positions will be selected from the pool of available applicants for vacant teaching positions. After that, positions will be filled in accordance with the district's transfer process.

Each of Monday's meetings are open to the public, with the exception of the executive session. They will all be held at the VanHoose Education Center, 3332 Newburg Road.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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