Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New trustee, Montessori charter petition on board’s agenda

From page A1 | April 06, 2014 |

Two major issues — appointment of a new trustee and a Montessori charter school petition — will confront the Davis school board when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The board will meet in the Community Chambers at Davis City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

A midterm opening was created on the board when trustee Nancy Peterson announced her resignation March 6. The agenda packet for the meeting includes a template application form for the vacant seat; those interested in being considered for appointment would need to complete the form and turn it in by 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 15.

The board then would interview the applicants in open session, but no date has been set yet. An appointment needs to be made by May 9; after that date, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools Jorge Ayala could step in and appoint someone on his own.

It is not yet known whether the appointee would serve out the remainder of Peterson’s term, until November 2016, or just until this November, and then voters would elect a candidate to fill out the term.

Three seats on the board already will be on this November’s ballot; all are for four-year terms.

Monday’s agenda also includes a state-mandated public hearing on the charter school petition that was submitted to the Davis school district on March 6. The petition is a voluminous document, running over 300 pages, addressing the education and financial plans for the proposed Montessori Charter School of Davis.

Supporters are hoping to open the school this fall, initially accepting up to 120 students in transitional kindergarten through grade two, and expanding one grade level each year through grade six.

Monday’s public hearing will be the first time the board has formally addressed the petition. Supporters will make their case for the proposed school and trustees will listen and perhaps ask questions, but they’ll make no decision Monday.

The next step could come at school board meetings on April 17 or May 1; the date has not yet been determined. By then, school district administrators will have studied the petition and prepared a report, including a recommendation to approve or deny the charter school.

Other items on Monday’s agenda include:

* A second reading and approval of amended school board bylaws relating to conflict of interest on the part of trustees.

* An update on the school district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, which is a new requirement under the state’s recently adopted Local Control Funding Formula. The plan, which must be submitted in early summer, deals with how the school district is using state funds allocated to support students from low-income households and students who are English learners.

* Public disclosure and input regarding compensation for the Davis Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association, the district’s two bargaining units, and the school district’s administrative team. The district recently reached tentative agreements offering a 2-percent pay increase for both bargaining units, with a similar 2-percent increase going to administrators and confidential employees.

Under the new salary schedule, teachers will start at an annual salary of $35,784 and top out at $79,525, with a master’s degree and 20 years of service.

Trustees are being asked to ratify the tentative agreements and approve the new salary schedules.

* A report on the district’s recent retirement incentive. Several dozen employees opted to retire or resign and take the incentive offer, which involves a $20,000 lump-sum payment for qualifying teachers, and a smaller amount for other staff positions.

The incentive has an essentially neutral impact on the district’s budget, since the costs are offset by savings that result from hiring lower-paid employees.

* A closed-session item refers to a conference with real property negotiators, referencing the school district’s property on Grande Avenue in North Davis and in Wildhorse (Nugget Fields). Both parcels have been declared as surplus property that the district ultimately will sell, but have remained unsold for the past few years due to the decline in real estate value during the recession.

The agenda indicates that the closed session will concern the price of the two properties, indicating that the board might be considering a deal for one or both parcels. Alternately, trustees simply might be providing staff with guidance regarding what they would regard as an acceptable price.

Any actual deal for either property would be discussed in open session before a sale or property exchange could be approved.

Monday’s meeting will be carried live on Davis cable Channel 17 and as live streaming video at www.djusd.tv.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.






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