The Paso Robles School Board met last night, although it was a virtual meeting. The district using Zoom to conduct their meeting.
Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Gaviola set the tone by reviewing the “Journey of Reduction” as she described the effort to cut spending so that the district, with the help of Diana Larson of the County Office of Education, could rebuild the district reserves. Those reserves fell from 10% ($6.5 million) when Superintendent Kathy McNamara retired to about 1.5% shortly after the resignation of Superintendent Chris Williams. The School board voted to extend the closure of school through May 16th. If the county extends the shut down on Friday, then they will extend it through the end of the academic year. Teaching will continue, however, through distance learning. The board voted unanimously, 7-0, to redefine job descriptions for credentialed school nurse, health assistant, registered nurse, and behavioral assistant.
The meeting became more divisive when discussion addressed how to deal with district finances. The board voted 5-2, with trustees Arend and Bausch casting the dissenting votes, to authorize the borrowing of funds for the next fiscal year through the sale of tax and revenue anticipation notes, basically short term notes. The board tabled until next meeting a proposal to allow temporary inter-fund transfers of special or restricted fund moneys.
The board voted 3-1 against authorizing a petition to establish the Almond Acres Charter Academy Charter School. Three trustees recused themselves. The remaining four needed to vote unanimously to pass any resolution. The results of the 3-1 remain in question. So, effectively, no action was taken on that charter school proposal. The board also voted to form a 7-11 committee to consider school consolidation and possibly the sale of surplus district property. The first step will be recruitment of 7 to eleven people to serve on the committee. The formation of the committee inspired by recent discussion of the possible closure of Speck Elementary School.
The trustees learned that Assistant Superintendent Carol Kenyon is leaving the district to accept a position with the County Office of Education. The meeting was a long one, starting with closed session at 5:30 and continuing until 11:30.