School Board Update: 1/14/20

Iowa City Community School District Board Meeting Summary

Climate Action Plan

Superintendent Murley reported that the Climate Action Plan was presented and discussed at a work session in December. Murley provided a brief overview of the plan.

Discussion included:

  • Adopting a timeline
  • Sustainability
  • Reduction efforts language added
  • Where we were vs. where we are today
  • Solar and power purchase agreements
  • Concrete data
  • Comparison of electric buses vs. biodiesel buses
  • Power companies
  • New technology
  • Discussing with legislators to drive energy companies to make changes
  • Curriculum

Next steps include:

  • Quantification of work to be done
  • Start developing timelines and costs associated
  • AmeriCorps staff provide an update
  • Targets of educational program and outline where this is currently covered in curriculum
  • Look at HVAC and transportation

Directors stated an annual review is important, more concrete plans are needed prior to adopting, and inquired if running data on an annual basis for measuring progress is possible.

Secondary Voluntary Transfers

Assistant Superintendent Matt Degner provided feedback on the pros, cons, and things to consider from secondary administrators regarding secondary voluntary transfers.

Discussion included:

  • Integrity to boundary process
  • Consistency
  • Value of choice vs. balance
  • Uniform policy is important
  • Athletic eligibility
  • Junior high is very different from high school
  • Transportation barrier

Directors discussed that the only change that would be considered for next year is to open Liberty High to transfers. This topic will be added to the next board agenda for discussion.

Comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan

The Comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan was unanimously approved by the Board. The full plan can be found HERE.

Final General Obligation Bond Sales

On January 14, 2020, the District completed the sale of $65,925,000 of General Obligation Bonds Series 2020. This sale is the third and final sale of general obligation bonds from the September 12, 2017 bond referendum of $191,525,000 as approved by district voters. The other general obligation bond sales were completed on January 8, 2019 (Series 2019) for $66,645,000 and November 29, 2017 (Series 2017C) for $58,955,000. The District holds the highest bond rating for any school in the State of Iowa as awarded by Moody’s Investors Service. This high rating and favorable market conditions have allowed the District to sell these bonds at interest rates lower than projected in 2017 and realize a combined premium of $13,885,431.45 on the three sales. The bond proceeds will fund the District’s 10-year Facility Master Plan (FMP) approved in 2013 and the District anticipates completion of these projects during the calendar year 2021. Premium amounts realized from the sales will be used for alternative project options of the FMP.

During the bond referendum process, the District projected to incur a debt service property tax levy of up to $1.95 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. However, the favorable market conditions and strong District financial rating noted above have allowed the District to complete the sales at lower than anticipated interest rates, with the savings impacting the taxpayers within our community. The maximum projected tax rate from the sale of these bonds is anticipated to be $1.80 per $1,000 of taxable valuation.

Our Goal

The Iowa City Community School District values transparency and community involvement. A key factor is for stakeholders to understand and stay up to date with the work of the School Board and the District's administration team.

The School Board Update is a communication tool that summarizes the discussions and actions taken by the Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors during their meetings. It does not cover every agenda item.

Complete meeting minutes and meeting agendas are available through BoardDocs. Board meeting broadcasts are streamed live on the District’s YouTube channel and replayed on City Channel 4 each Monday night at 8:30 pm. Past school board meeting videos can be found on the YouTube channel, as well as in BoardDocs.

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