From the Boardroom
Wayne County Board of Education Meeting Recap
Board enters Closed Session & takes other actions
Following closed session for personnel and to consult with legal counsel, the Board amended its Meeting Agenda to reflect business items listed as action items. The Board of Education then approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Brigham Young University & Wayne County Public Schools which will be used to facilitate internship opportunities and educational experiences for students. The Board later approved its Consent Agenda, which included a General Personnel Report.
Board approves budget amendment
WCPS pays off $5 million Debt
Interim Superintendent, Dr. David Lewis, reminded the Board that this time last year, the district’s former auditors informed the Board that the district owed $3 million to the USDA School Nutrition Program [The money was borrowed in 2019 from the program’s local savings held by WCPS.] In addition to having recently paid off its State debt [WCPS overspent $2.2 million in State funding in 2019-2020], Lewis shared that the district is also positioned to pay off its Federal debt. He recommended using savings to repay the debt and any interest that may also be owed to the School Nutrition Program.
During the discussion to follow, it was shared that the State and Federal debt payments were the result of strategic budget cuts implemented by the district administration to align spending with revenue, coupled with the rebuilding of savings and the utilization of identified unencumbered funds from allowable accounts.
Board Chair West commended former Interim Superintendent, Dr. James Merrill, School Operations Specialists, LLC president Aaron Beaulieu, and district leadership for their efforts to ensure the district was able to pay off the debt quickly. Following the Board’s approval to repay the School Nutrition Program, Aaron Beaulieu shared a few brief comments. After first complimenting the Board for its efforts over the past year, he recognized the changing of culture under Dr. Merrill’s leadership and the “phenomenal work” of Dr. Lewis and Mrs. Rouse who helped carry his efforts forward to make Wayne County Public Schools fiscally responsible.
Board approves Interim Budget Resolution
Chief Finance Officer, Leslie Rouse, presented the following Interim Budget Resolution for the 2021-2022 Interim Budget, The budget resolution, which reflects the first 6 months of the 2021-2022 fiscal calendar, was approved by the Board.
Board approves contracts & Increases funding for Communities Supporting Schools
This increase was based on a request made at the June 7, 2021 Board of Education meeting by Selena Bennett, Executive Director of Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County. Bennett told the Board that she wanted to add reading support and mentor services at Carver Elementary in Mount Olive and Brogden Primary in Dudley, and asked the Board to consider increasing funding to support the organization’s expansion efforts to help address learning loss due to the global health crisis. Lewis shared that a State funding source had been identified for the increase and told the Board that he believed a long term funding source could be identified for sustainability in subsequent years.
Board Meeting Resources for June 29, 2021 Meeting
DISTRICT 1: Mr. Don Christopher West (Chair) - firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRICT 2: Mr. H. Len Henderson - email@example.com
DISTRICT 3: Ms. Patricia A. Burden - firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRICT 4: Mrs. Jennifer S. Strickland - email@example.com
DISTRICT 5: Dr. Joseph W. Democko (Vice-Chair) - firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRICT 6: Mr. Wade Leatham - email@example.com
AT LARGE: Mr. J. Tommy Sanders III - firstname.lastname@example.org