Paris School Board to seek joint meeting with town, foundation

paris-signcropThe Paris School Board will seek a joint meeting with Paris Town Board and Paris School Foundation representatives in an effort to seek creative solutions to the school district’s financial crunch.

District administrator Roger Gahart, at the regular monthly School Board meeting Thursday night, said the idea grew out of discussions by School Board committees. It might provide “an opportunity to share ideas …”

Board member Connie Bevry proposed broadening the meeting to include Bristol and Kenosha representatives, since part of the district lies in those municipalities, and also including the school’s parent school organization and the Paris Yes group. She also suggested creating a committee with a set charge as opposed to the joint meeting of different boards.

Other board members thought the committee was a good idea, but that just the Paris Town Board, the school district and foundation boards ought to meet first.

Gahart was instructed to try to arrange a good mutual meeting date.

The resulting meeting would be open to the public, School Board members said.

“It’s definitely an open meeting,” board member Glenn Bennett said. “There’s no reason whatsoever to make that closed.”

The school’s financial future consumed much of last school year for the Paris School community. A referendum failed in April. A second attempt in June passed after the district took the first steps toward dissolution.

Meanwhile, a group of community members formed the foundation, which could raise funds for school programs other than salaries and benefits. One reason for forming the foundation was to provide a conduit for the town, which has $22 million in savings, to make a donation to the school. The town has not committed to making any donation to the foundation, however, citing the need to see the school try harder to address its financial crisis, such as negotiating concessions from the teachers’ union in contract talks currently under way.



  1. Northwestern Mike says:

    I wanted to see how much State Aid, teachers’ salaries, benefits, and Post Employment Benefits(PEB) have changed since 2002.
    I established a baseline at 2002 and calculated the amount above or below this baseline to get the amount of change. Call this Base Diff.
    I then added up these amounts for a Sum Diff.

    On the Expense side
    The Total amount spent for PEB over 7 years was $1.347 million. The Total amount spent for salaries was $1.255 million and the amount for benefits was $838,819.
    This is NOT a year to year difference, but the amount spent over this time.
    The total amount spent for teacher expenses was $3.44 million

    On the revenue side
    The Total property tax used over this period was $2.284 million and $1 million from the Fund Balance was spent.
    State Aid varied over these eight years, sometime above and below the baseline. It decreased $190,464, mostly in the last two years.
    The revenue above the baseline was $3.1 million and the majority was from the Fund Balance and Property Taxes.
    Conclusion: Paris’ financial problem is not related to declining State Aid. The 3.44 million spent for teachers came from Property taxes and the Fund Balance.

    In the news: No cost of living for Social Security recepients. Kenosha employee unions willing to take a pay freeze for 2010.

  2. Northwestern Mike says:

    Darren left out many things.
    Roger announced his contract is up for renewal.
    To School Board: make sure you remove Post Employment Benefits from his contract.
    An election deadline is approaching Nov. 24. Not sure if this is for Spring elections. No information was presented on the Special Meeting Date/Time for Tax Levy Certification. Another contract negotiation meeting is being held October 26 at 6:30pm, a closed meeting of course.
    A budget meeting was held October 5 after I was told in September no meetings were scheduled and they happen only as needed. No notice on school’s website either.
    No comments from the school board on my rebuttal to Mr Moore’s remarks at the contract negotiation meeting. I passed out a handout and read the above to the school board and asked it to be included in the minutes. The part timer would not even look at it, as expected. Beth Labell said State Aid is still an important factor in Paris’ financial situation. I agreed, but based on my analysis of the amount over the baseline it is only 6% of the problem.
    I’m convinced this school board is still in denial of Paris’ financial problems. This board is also in denial of what the Town Board stated at their special meeting, COMPLETE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS FIRST.

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