Stillwater School Board Retreat: Discussing The Levy Election
Stillwater School Board held their retreat Friday to discuss the levy results
The Stillwater Area School Board sat down together Friday at Arcola Mills to discuss the levy election results and how they will move forward.
What they could have done differently?
The board discussed what they could have done differently to have the levy questions pass.
“I thought three questions was too much, that is what sinked us,” School Board member George Hoeppner said.
School Board Chairman George Dierberger stated he thought they were asking “a lot” after looking at the ballot and it would seem a lot to the average voter.
Why the questions failed
The board discussed reasons why they thought the questions failed.
Superintendent Corey Lunn stated he thought the new ECFC building affected the voter’s decision.
“I think the ECFC thing hurt us,” Lunn said.
Lunn has received emails from residents stating they were unhappy with the recently approved employee contracts.
“Some thought any increase was unacceptable,” Lunn said.
Dierberger stated the questions passed in Woodbury, but there was a low voter turnout in Woodbury compared to Stillwater.
“If one parent for each student in the district would have voted yes, it would have been a landslide,” Lunn said.
The board agreed they should have started campaigning for the levy questions earlier giving them more to reach voters.
“There wasn’t a sense of urgency,” Board member Mike Ptacek said.
Lunn stated they needed more time to have the cuts identified to cause a sense of urgency.
Lunn added, it was a hard message to get across to voters that the school district needed more money but were going to make cuts despite the passage of the levy.
“We shouldn’t make decisions right now, we need to get input,” Lunn said.
Lunn suggested developing focus groups and having a system to get feedback from the community on what should be cut from the budget.
The board hopes to have budget cut decisions done by March 8, 2012 while trying to protect the classroom.
“We gotta protect the classroom,” School Board Chairman George Dierberger said.
The next step in the budget adjustment process is the first meeting of the Budget Adjustment Advisory Committee.
The first meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 6:30 pm. The meeting is open to the public.