Clark BOE discusses draft budget, goals

The Clark County Board of Education approved the 2019-20 draft budget Tuesday.

Aleisha Ellis, director of finance for Clark County Public Schools, told the board the draft budget is the first step in the budgeting process, and not much is known at this time.

The projected general fund beginning balance for fiscal year 2020 is $10 million, according to the draft budget. The budget also includes some new positions such as three additional student resource officers, an athletic complex groundskeeper and an athletic complex custodian. The draft budget also includes an approximate 1 percent increase to salaries and benefits as well as a 12 percent CERS retirement rate increase.

The draft budget also includes a 25 percent increase in its operations department budget for the athletic complex.

The board will vote on a tentative budget in May.

The board also approved the second quarter financial review for the general fund.

Lastly, the board discussed its goals for 2019.

Board Chair Gordon Parido said he would like to focus on supporting and recruiting quality staff.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that every year I try to put a raise on the salary schedule,” Parido said. “I think it’s important we try to close the gap that we have between us and Fayette County. And not only that but distance ourselves from the other people around us, making sure we are the clear choice.”

Parido said he is also passionate about the facilities at the high school.

Board member Ashley Ritchie said she agreed with Parido, and she would also like to see Phoenix Academy expand to include younger students. Ritchie said she would also to see a new preschool facility.

“My goal … is to build a new preschool, move preschool, put an elementary Phoenix where the preschool is now,” Ritchie said.

Superintendent Paul Christy said a new committee would be formed to determine future facilities projects that could consider a new preschool. The committee will make a four-year plan for facilities.

“They will be charged with a lot of things you all are talking about,” Christy said.

Board member Bill Taulbee said the reason he ran is not only for the schools, the students but also for the community. He said people look to the county schools when they consider moving, and Clark County hasn’t experienced much growth over the years.

Taulbee said expanding the Area Technology Center could an excellent first step. Taulbee said the completion of athletics complex and fields would attract families as well. He also agreed with Parido, saying taking care of the staff and teacher should be a high priority.

Taulbee also cited safety as a concern.

Board member Sherry Richardson said her passion is young children that need to be taken care of, so she likes the idea of growing the preschool and the Phoenix Academy. She also said the athletics facility would be great for families.

As a member of the Main Street Winchester board, Richardson said she hopes to be a liaison to connect CCPS with the community.

“We’re all excited for what’s going on and making it a community effort,” Richardson said.

Board member Scott Hisle said he would like to consider targeted tweaks to the salary schedule. Hisle said he would also want to make a more concerted effort to match the needs of the community. Hisle also said safety is one of the number one priorities and would like to CCPS constantly reevaluating their safety measures to ensure the schools are as safe as possible.

Hisle also thanked the board and the superintendent for what they have accomplished thus far.

“We think about the things we’d like to accomplish, but I’m thankful for what we’ve already accomplished,” Hisle said.

Parido said the board has to continuously consider what is going to happen 20 or so years from now and what they can do to help.

“I really believe our job on the board is that we don’t solve today’s problems, we try to solve the future problems,” he said. “We have to always be looking ahead.”