Welcome back to July’s follow-up summary of the board meeting to try and help provide transparency for my decisions while on the board. All of the views, opinions and decisions in these summaries are my own. Here is the summary.
I want to remind everyone that if you would like to read the minutes for yourself you can go to https://go.boarddocs.com/oh/xeniaoh/Board.nsf/Public# and select meetings to see all of the past meetings. Then if you select a meeting there is a link to the agenda and minutes from that meeting. The minutes from the most recent meeting, however, will not be available until approved at the following meeting.
This board meeting was on July 11th. We had a couple people get up to address the board on a few topics. It seems one of the concerns was not renewing our membership in the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding. I’m afraid there is a bit of a misunderstanding as to what supporting vs not supporting their lawsuit means. Frankly their lawsuit at this moment is completely pointless. The bill hasn’t even made it out of committee hearings yet. Our school is not in danger of losing money, and really it is our job to offer the best education available so people want to come to XCS. I believe we are making great progress in this area. In the next couple of years Xenia will have new, incredible buildings, great programs, and an entirely revamped curriculum that will help our students excel. If that bill were to look like a great danger to our school we could address it at that time, but with the number of bills that morph and die in committee it is unnecessary to support litigation with taxpayer dollars at this time.
One of the items that I brought up was how low the GPA requirement is for our students in extra-curricular activities (1.5). It seems to me that we are underestimating the capabilities of our students. With the amount of awards and honors our students and especially our students in extra-curriculars have achieved, I think we can start moving that GPA requirement up to 2.0 over the next few years.
We passed a motion to accept the work to get replace the HVAC system at the central office building since the old one completely died. I’m glad we decided to continue to slowly make improvements to the building we have rather than rent a different building. We also passed a resolution approving the design phase of the new Warner Middle School. I’m excited to break ground sometime in August or September!
One of the big announcements at this meeting was that we have been officially approved for OFCC funds to help fund the new Warner Middle School and do some renovations to the high school. The $38 million from the state comes at the perfect time and will help us get two projects for the price of one. The treasurer showed us the impact this would have on the 5 year forecast and although we had to use some general funds to cover a portion of the OFCC local fund requirement, we still look really good for the next 5 years. Xenia is truly in a great place financially. I can’t emphasize enough how great it is for the schools and community to receive these state capital project funds. Now an important point of clarification. These funds are strictly for building or capital projects and cannot be used for school operating costs. School funding is pretty tricky. We have several “pots” of money and each of those can only be used for certain expenses. That is why it is extremely important we also pass the two RENEWAL levies this November. These two levies cover our operating costs to actually run the school and without them Xenia will not be able to operate in just 3 years. These are not new taxes or increases in taxes, it is only to keep funding the school to the same amount as before. I know inflation and expenses are hard on everyone right now but to decline these levies would be extremely detrimental to the schools and the programs we can offer. We passed the resolution to send the levies to the board of elections and they will be on the ballot in November.
Due to this meeting only being a couple weeks separated from last month’s meeting the agenda was pretty short. I am sure the agenda in August will be much busier as we start up the new school year.
Please send me any comments, concerns, feedback, or questions you may have. I serve you and I am here to represent you to the best of my abilities.