Board of Ed. mulls change to absence policy, investments

Published 1:13 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Clark County Board of Education discussed the possibility of investing excess funds during its meeting Tuesday.

Aleisha Ellis, the BOE’s director of Finance, asked the board to consider allowing her to request proposals for investment banking. Ellis said she would feel comfortable with investing $3 million from the general fund for a two to three year period and about $26 million from the construction fund.

Ellis said the investment from the construction fund would have to be a layered timeframe investment based on meeting monthly pay application needs of the construction projects.

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Board member Gordon Parido said he would consider investing the construction funds, but he didn’t agree with investing general funds.

Parido said the excess money in the general fund could be used to go back into schools, teachers and students.

“Until I can sit in this very room and look at every principal and they tell me they don’t need anything, I’m not investing anything from general funds,” Parido said.

Board Chairperson Scott Hisle said there could be a bare minimum amount from the general fund they could invest.

The cash balance in the general funds at the end of February was about $22.4 million, Ellis said. The balance in the construction fund is about $126 million.

“To just meet payroll, we need $2 million a month,” she said.

The money earns about 1.75 percent as is, she said.

Board member Michael Kuduk said he was concerned with losing the liquidity of the funds if they invest.

“We have no idea what the legislature is going to do in the next two weeks,” Kuduk said.

However, Ellis said because of the uncertainty of looming budget cuts, now is the time to invest. Ellis said the board could consider layers of investment, mentioning Ohio County’s board had invested money in layers for a longer time and had averaged around a 3 percent return.

Parido said the board had to be careful comparing themselves to other districts.

“We don’t know their needs,” he said.

Hisle made a motion to put out a request for proposals for investment of $1 million from the general funds, but no board member seconded; thus the motion failed.

Ellis said the board needs to decide on a draw schedule for payment in regards to the current construction projects. Doing so will make choosing an amount to invest easier, she said.

The board moved to call a special meeting next Monday with a time to be determined to discuss a draw schedule so they could move forward with the discussion on investment opportunities.

Director of Pupil Personnel Greg Hollon also spoke to the board about the consideration of new language in the excused absence policy to reflect the wording in the procedure.

The policy up for consideration was to require a written statement from a health care provider for each additional absence after a total of 12 cumulative full-day absences because of illness.

Board member Ashley Ritchie said while the policy is good in theory, in practice, it can be a hassle for parents who are trying to abide. Ritchie said her child had used all 12 absences at once because of an illness, and now has to go to a doctor to get the form filled out each time her child misses school for something unrelated to a previous absence.

“I shouldn’t have to run my child to the doctor every time,” Ritchie said.

There was much discussion on the exact wording of the policy change, but the board ultimately decided to confer with other school districts to consider additional or alternate phrasing. The board will discuss the policy more at the next regular meeting.

The board also went into closed session to discuss disciplinary hearings.

In other action, the board members:

— led a moment of silence to honor those affected by the school shooting in Maryland.

— recognized several student groups including the Baker Intermediate Academic Team, Baker’s Odyssey of the Mind team, GRC students’ participation in Meals and Mentors and others.

— approved a pay application to RossTarrant Architects, for construction administration services and reimbursable expenses on the GRC High School gymnasium and athletic fields project for $9,067.84

— approved pay application to Performance Services Inc., for the guaranteed energy conservation savings project for $99,151.30

— approved entering into an annual contractual agreement with Piper Media for the provision of public relations work not to exceed $3,000

— approved pay application to Codell Construction, Contractors, and Suppliers for the GRC High School gymnasium and athletic fields project in the total amount of $579,385.13

— approval some items of the Bates Security bid package to address physical and electronic security upgrades; the board will reconsider other items in the package after more research into the costs.

— approved a Project Graduation 2018 donation for $2,500

— approved GRC’s Smoke Signals Trip to Washington D.C. to experience Newseum April 18 to 21

— approved GRC’s softball to participate in KHSAA State Tournament in Owensboro through June 6 to 9

— approved GRC’s Bass Fishing Team to participate in the Lake Cumberland State Open

— approved Baker Intermediate School Odyssey of the Mind Team Trip to participate in State Competition in Union on March 24.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email or call 859-759-0015.

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