Board Meeting Highlights

March 10, 2020 TUHSD Board of Trustee Meeting

Second Interim Budget Report

Corbett Elsen, Chief Financial Officer, presented Second Interim Report slides, comparing the District's budget as of December to the current financial position. He gave background information and showed how enrollment growth, pension mandates, and special education costs have impacted the budget. Multi-year projections are being updated now that we know that the Parcel Tax Measure B failed, and Mr. Elsen reviewed those adjustments in his slides. Budget cuts that were proposed in the event of failure of Measure B will now need to be implemented to meet the budget deficits projected for 2020-21 and beyond. Of the District’s annual revenues of $94 million, $16.8 million come from the current parcel tax, which expires in June 2022.


The Board discussed what steps will be taken immediately, and what work needs to be done going forward. They voted unanimously to approve the 2019-2020 Second Interim Report with a positive certification.

Reduction in Particular Kinds of Service Resolution # 19-12

Mr. Christensen presented Resolution #19-12, which, to be effective, is required by March 15, in order to give initial notices of lay-off. The board asked clarifying questions, including why certain teacher release periods were specified in the Resolution. Dr. Taupier reminded the Board that the 2018-19 Fiscal Advisory Committee recommendations were used to make these initial decisions. This Resolution is not a final decision, but allows for the District to give notice, if needed, to teachers by the May 15 deadline.


The Board voiced their regret for having to take the steps necessary to reduce the budget, but reminded all that this was not a rushed outcome, but part of a process started many years ago to meet the challenges of enrollment growth in a Basic Aid District.


During Public Comment, many people spoke in favor of the TEAM program and were in the audience to support the continuation of the program next year. Students and teachers spoke in support of the Redwood Bark, Tam News, and the Jolly Roger school newspapers. They oppose the reduction of a release period for Journalism teachers.


The Board considered options on how to proceed, including changing or reducing the FTE listed in the Resolution. The Board emphasized their regret that the community did not pass Measure B despite their efforts, that $3 million in budget reductions have already been made in the past year, and that all programs are valuable. As financial stewards of the District, tough decisions to reduce the budget must be made, including additional reductions of about $6 million going forward in the next year's budget. The Resolution was passed with a vote of 4 Ayes (Harlander, Loebbaka, Roenisch, Saavedra), 1 Nay (Oppenheim).

COVID-19 Update

Dr. Taupier reported that the District is working closely with the County Office of Education and the Marin Health Department to closely monitor the best response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Global Studies field trips to Europe have been cancelled. As of the meeting date, school closures were being considered but not pre-emptively closed. Dr. Taupier noted that parents may choose to keep students at home with an excused absence, and that emails will be sent and the school website will be updated as needed.


As of Thursday, March 12, Superintendent Taupier announced pre-emptive school closures from March 13th through the 27th.

New Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services

Mr. Christensen asked the Board to consider a contract for Dr. Kimberlee Armstrong, to fill the position of Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. He read a paragraph to be added to the contract at the bottom of page 3, Item 9.2. The amended contract is available by request in the Superintendent's office.


The Board discussed why this position is being filled at a time when budget cuts are being implemented. Ms. Harlander reminded the Board that Dr. Taupier has performed two full-time jobs for two years, which is not sustainable. Dr. Armstrong will provide the leadership that is critical to uphold the quality of education our District expects, as well as ensuring equity for all students. The Board approved the contract with 4 Ayes (Harlander, Loebbaka, Roenisch, Saavedra); 1 Nay (Oppenheim).

Upcoming Board Meetings

March 24, 2020: Regular Board Meeting

April 14, 2020: Regular Board Meeting

April 28, 2020: Regular Board Meeting

2019-2020 Board Meeting Calendar

Tamalpais Union High School District

Superintendent: Tara Taupier, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources: Lars Christensen

Chief Financial Officer: Corbett Elsen

Board members: Leslie Harlander, President; Cynthia Roenisch, Clerk; Karen Loebbaka, Dan Oppenheim, and Kevin Saavedra.