Brentwood Schools Look at Finances, Bond Issue a Possibility
A special committee will report to the board in January.
On the first day candidates for school boards can file to run in April, Brentwood incumbents Chris Jones and Regina Gahr arrived at the district office at 8 a.m.
Brentwood Superintendent of Schools David Faulkner caught up current school board president Jones on a new committee tasked to look at the district’s bugdet and consider long-term financing.
The district cut $739,000 from the budget in February to stay in the black.
Though the committee is scheduled to report to the board on Jan. 15, which would allow time for an April vote on a bond issue, Faulkner said the purpose is to look at the district’s finances and say, “where are we?
“(A bond issue) is not a forgone conclusion,” he said.
The committee of 18 consists of staff members and parents from every level. Only two non-resident staff members are on the committee.
Faulkner said he answered questions about the school tax rate at the first committee meeting, on Nov. 29, and they’ll have more for the next, on Dec. 13. Five meetings are scheduled before the committee gives its recommendations to the board.
Jones said 10 out of 10 area school board members would say finances are the top issue.
“It may be some time until those property values get back up, so it’s not just balancing this year’s budget, but making sure we’ve got reserves to cover us for the next five to 10 years,” he said.
Jones said they’re faced with at least having conversations about a bond issue.
“I think the last time we went out (for a tax levy proposal) was 2002, and we told the community that would be enough to last us five years, and it’s been now 10 years.” he said.
Gahr recognized finances are an issue, but said maintaining standards and making sure decisions benefit the children are her top priorities.
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