OAKHURST — A regularly scheduled board meeting of the Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary School District will be held tonight, Wednesday, May 11, in the computer lab at Oak Creek Intermediate school, starting at 6 p.m.
The agenda includes the usual approvals of agenda and minutes, as well as approval of the monthly payroll for the district at $413,682.96. It features the approval of a request for dispensation of equipment, the resignation of a yard supervisor/instructional aide, approval of various stipends for teachers who double as coaches, and a stipend for a teacher who handles yearbook. The agenda further notes an opportunity for the board to approve donations, and various financial reports and budget revisions.
In addition to these agenda items and others, time is reserved for hearing of persons to address the board. Some community members are calling for action specifically to resolve an on-going assertion that the Bass Lake district has underspent for years during the economic recession. They are calling on the Board with a request to loosen the purse-strings, allowing money to flow toward raises for teachers, additional personnel, and in other ways that will directly benefit the classrooms and the students who fill them.
A flyer has been circulating recently at schools and online and, while no one person or entity is currently claiming responsibility for its contents, the goldenrod photocopy has some parents and community members anxious to attend tonight’s meeting to address the issues outlined in the document.
The flyer states, “Bass Lake teachers thought you’d like to know: Ed-code mandates that K-8 schools spend 60% of their budget on teachers and aides salaries and benefits. Bass Lake school district has underspent by an average of close to $200,000 a year for the last 5 years. This is money that could be used to hire more teachers and or aides which would directly benefit your children. This money is kept in the general fund or put into the reserves for a ‘rainy day.’ We believe that this money should be spent on your children. If you agree please contact your board members and attend the board meeting Wednesday, May 11, at 6 p.m. in the OCI library.”
While the email addresses of board members were included on the flyer, its author or authors remain anonymous.
One person said to be representing some of the BLUSD parent community adds, “The education code being referenced is Section 41372. School districts may apply for a waiver so they don’t have to meet the minimum expenditures, which is what our district has been doing since the recession. The parent community feels it’s time to put that money back into our classrooms, hire teacher aides and give the teachers a much-deserved raise. Please consider attending the meeting.”
To read the full board packet for May and the agenda for the meeting tonight, or to view an example of the above-referenced waiver, follow this link to the BLUSD website.
For more information, plan to attend the meeting at 6 p.m. at Oakhurst Intermediate School.
According to the agenda, “The public may address the Board on any matter pertaining to the school district that is not on the agenda. Unless otherwise determined by the Board, each person is limited to five (5) minutes. There will be no Board discussion and no action will be taken unless listed on a subsequent agenda.”
The next meeting of the BLUSD Board will take place on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.
Bass Lake School District website