Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Board Meeting Recap

October Board Meeting Recap

An overview of the committee meetings, work sessions and formal public meeting

Topics

  • School Start Times
  • Finances
    • Ten Year Plan Update
    • General Fund Reserves
    • PSERS Reserve
  • Transportation Report
  • Dr. Sanville's Annual Review



School Start Times

This month the steering committee sent out a survey requesting input from all stakeholders.  Over three hundred community members have shared their thoughts with the steering committee.  The input from the survey contains valuable insights and key questions that need to be answered as part of this process.

An invitation to volunteer to be on a newly formed community advisory committee was sent out this month.  There were over 80 volunteers, well over the target size for the committee.  The steering committee thanks all who volunteered.  Final selection, based largely on choosing representatives from all stakeholder groups, has been made, and the first meeting will take place in early November.

Dr. Judith Owens, a renowned expert in the sleep science  field  will be on hand November 7th at 7:00 at Patton Middle School for a presentation and Q&A.  The community is encouraged to attend, to learn about the science and to have their questions answered.  The event will be live streamed on the UCF website.

Click here to go to the UCF School Start Time website - there you will be able to learn more about the evaluation and how to get involved.



Finances

Financial considerations dominated the discussion this month.  The discussions centered around reserves, budget forecasting  and the Ten Year Plan.  

Ten Year Plan Update

The Ten Year Plan is a facilities plan that lays out the needs and costs for capital improvements and maintenance.  The plan looks at needs and costs over a rolling ten year period. The benefit of this approach is that it provides a mechanism for predicting cash needs, allowing the Board to better provide funds when needed, through a combination of taxes and borrowing.   

Here is a link to the actual plan so you can see the types of items included.

~$3.7M of facilities expenses are planned for the next year.  The Business Office proposes using the 2015-2016 surplus, reserves on hand and savings from the recent debt refinancing to fund these needs.

To date (since 2014), the Ten Year Plan has been funded without additional borrowing.  The first round of additional borrowing is currently forecast to be $4.3M in the winter of 2017-2018.


General Fund Reserves

School districts commonly set up reserves.  Reserves are set up as a kind of "rainy day" set aside - intended to be used when the unexpected happens (either extraordinary expenses or unexpected revenue shortfalls).  Reserves provide a buffer to help minimize the negative impact of these unexpected fluctuations in the budget.  Setting the correct size of reserves is important - too low and the Board is not providing enough buffer, too high and the Board is creating an unnecessary burden to current taxpayers.

The Board had a lively debate on this topic.  The Board reasserted that the Business Office should target general fund reserves in the range of 5% to 8% of the total expense budget.  It should be noted that members of the Board have varying opinions on whether the actual general reserve should be closer to the low end of the range (5%) versus the higher end of the range (8%).  

Click here to watch the meeting video and listen to the General Reserve discussion

Another part of the discussion on reserves had to do with budget forecasts.  The Business Office explained that they develop a budget plan that should be within 2% of actuals at the end of the year.  Last year (2015-2016) the Business Office met this goal.  The variance to budget was a surplus of about $600,000. The Board agreed to apply the surplus to the reserve balance for the current fiscal year and discussed eventually using this money to fund the Ten Year Plan (that discussion will be part of the  2017-2018) budget review later this year).


PSERS Reserve

The final piece of the reserves conversation centered around what is commonly called the PSERS reserve.  This reserve was established years ago to help cushion the impact of rapidly increasing (mandatory) PSERS contributions.

A recent auditor recommendation was that the remaining $2.5M in this reserve be moved and managed as part of the general reserve (unassigned fund balance).  These PSERS funds, although now moved to a new "bucket" will still be able to be used to offset the impact of future PSERS increases.  The auditor's recommendation was based on accounting simplicity.

After some discussion the Board agreed with the recommendation.  The downside to the move, noted by some Board members is that eliminating the PSERS reserve "bucket" reduces the visibility of the original intent of these funds and that over time UCF would have less available in overall reserves.

Click here to watch the meeting video and listen to the PSERS Reserve discussion.



Transportation Report

~4,000 students, 77 square miles and a million miles driven a year - the Transportation Department provided its annual report to the Board.

Click here to view the report




Dr. Sanville's Annual Review

The Board (as per policy) reviews the superintendant performance against goals on an annual basis.  Dr. Sanville received a rating of Distinguished for the 2015-2016 school year.

Click here to watch the meeting video and listen to the report on Dr Sanville's performance evaluation.

Click here to go to the website and learn more about the evaluation criteria.



Link to Oct 24 Public Meeting Video

Link to Oct 17 Work Session Video

Link to Board Documents


Comments and questions - communications@ucfsd.net





Unionville-Chadds Ford School District would like to continue connecting with you via email. If you prefer to be removed from our list, please contact Unionville-Chadds Ford School District directly. To stop receiving all email messages distributed through our SchoolMessenger service, follow this link and confirm: Unsubscribe

SchoolMessenger is a notification service used by the nation's leading school systems to connect with parents, students and staff through voice, SMS text, email, and social media.