BOARD OF EDUCATION
Upcoming Board Meeting Schedule
March 6, 2014 - Special Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Capac High School Library, 541 N. Glassford St., Capac
March 20, 2014 - Regular Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Capac High School Library, 541 N. Glassford St., Capac
Board of Education Letter to Community
February 28, 2014
Dear Community Members:
We are writing to address the issues surrounding the financial status of the school district. There seems to be a lot of misinformation which needs to be corrected before it becomes accepted as fact.
Let us begin by explaining how the school got to its present financial state. Six years ago the district had a fund balance, or reserve, of approximately $2.6 million. This represented 18% of the operating budget. Fund balance is the reserve used in case of unforeseen emergencies or economic downturns. The recommended fund balance for a school district is around 15%. But as we all know Michigan has experienced a significant economic downturn. The fund balance has been used to avoid a deficit budget and today stands at approximately $632,000 or 5.4%, well below the recommended amount.
How did this happen? The answer is found in declining enrollment coupled with reduced per pupil state funding and increased costs. The district's enrollment has declined by approximately 532 pupils over the last six years resulting in a loss of $4.0 M. The district's state per pupil funding (foundation allowance) has been dramatically reduced. In 2008-09 the foundation allowance was $7,316 per pupil. Today it is $7,026. Thus the district's state funding clock got turned back six years. Health care costs have significantly increased. The state imposed retirement rate has also skyrocketed. As a percent of payroll, the retirement expense went from 17.74% in 2006-07 to the current rate of 29.8%. These are all areas of expenses over which the district has no control.
The district has not sat idly by while its fund balance was melting away. The district has cut over $2.4 million in expenditures in the last few years. Often you hear that the school administration has not made any sacrifice. This is simply not true. Administration has been reduced by 50%. Positions eliminated include curriculum director, high school assistant principal, facilities supervisor, technology director, transportation supervisor, human resources/payroll position, athletic director, and latchkey supervisor. Also, our superintendent is a part-time interim with no benefits or retirement costs. Administrators salaries have been frozen since 2007-08 as well as a corresponding health insurance premium contribution increases. The total result is an 8% reduction in costs.
What about the other employee groups? Have they made concessions? The bus drivers took a wage freeze from 2008-2011 and a 6% wage reduction in 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14. Their contribution to dental care went up to 40%. They also gave up cash in lieu for health care which resulted in no one taking the coverage. The support staff (secretaries, aides, custodians and cooks) took the same wage freeze and then took a 10% pay cut beginning in 2011-12 and now in their contract until 2015. The board of education has taken reductions in their stipends three times. Thus, all of the employee groups mentioned so far have taken deep concessions to help the district stay afloat.
However, the teachers have voluntarily given up essentially nothing. A salary freeze was in place for 2008-12. However teachers still received their steps and degree increases until 2012-13. These steps and degree increases were frozen in 2012-13 pursuant to Public Act 54. Their contribution to their health care was a mere $525 per year starting in 2012-13 and they started paying 20% of their health care costs per Public Act 152. It should be noted that both the step/degree increase freezes and the 20% contribution to health care were implemented by the district under new laws which were passed. In other words, these "concessions" were mandated by law. In terms of voluntary concessions, while other groups were giving deep concessions, the only thing the teachers union had done was a small contribution to health care. The teachers had been given a pass on the type of concessions all other groups gave.
Beginning in February of 2012 teachers and the board began to negotiate a new contract. On June 12, 2013, after meeting 24 times without sufficient concessions to reach 8% fund equity, the board made their last best offer. The board of education met on June 15, 2013, and adopted a resolution to implement the district's last best offer. The last best offer imposed a 2% pay reduction for 2012-13, a 10% pay reduction for 2013-14, with continuation of the 10% pay reduction to remain in effect until a successor agreement is reached. Health insurance changed to a MESSA $1,250/$2,500 health savings account after December 31, 2013. Often you will hear that the salary concessions are 22%. This is simply not true. After the 2% concession the salary reverted back to previous levels. Then the 10% reduction was applied and stays in effect. This is a 10% not a 2% + 10% + 10% = 22% concession.
Capac is an excellent school district and continues to get better every day. We have dedicated, hardworking teachers and staff. However, with all the misinformation being spread now is a good time to tell you what has taken place to insure the continued financial stability of the school district.
Capac Community Schools Board of Education
Agenda 2/26/2013-Special - CANCELLED
Agenda 8/21/2012-Special - CANCELLED!!!!
Agenda 3/15/2012-Regular - NOTE: This meeting begins at 7 p.m. the time shown on the agenda is incorrect.
Regular Meeting Schedule
The Capac Board of Education meets at 7:00 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at:
Capac High School Library
541 North Glassford Street
Capac, Michigan 48014
Exceptions to this schedule:
All meetings are open to the public.
Board Meeting Minutes
Our Board Members
Secretary Pro Tem
Barry S. Geliske
Treasurer Pro Tem
School board members may be contacted by e-mail.