KUSD collective bargaining agreement with S.E.I.U. modified

At Tuesday night’s KUSD Board meeting, it was voted to ratify the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the district and Service Employees International Union (S.E.I.U.), Local No. 168, effective January 24, 2012.  On Monday, January 16, 2012, the S.E.I.U. local voted and agreed to modify the current collective bargaining agreement between the union and the KUSD.  The terms of the MOU are as follows:

Benefits:  a 5.8% employee contribution to Wisconsin Retirement System; and a 12 % employee contribution to healthcare premium costs.  Deductions will start on January 25, 2011.  The board stated that it appreciated the contribution.

In other business conducted at the meeting:

  • Four visitors from the HaiDian District Experimental Middle School in Beijing, China, were in attendance at the meeting tonight.  They have been visiting local schools and staying with host families, sharing their language and culture with the students at Whittier Elementary, Stocker Elementary, Somers Elementary, and Dimensions of Learning.  They presented the board with a hand-painted scroll as a token of their appreciation for the district’s hospitality.
  • Mary Modder, president of the Kenosha Education Association, was the only one who spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting.  She stated that “effective communication has broken down in the district.  On Wednesday, a major transformation plan was shared by school principals to their staffs.  There was no input from teachers or parents.  One principal said that he would be ‘selling’ the idea at his next PTA meeting.  It has been shown that reform initiatives are the most effective when parties buy into the plan.”
  • Carl Bryan and Mary Snyder gave brief reports from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) convention they attended in Milwaukee last week.  Bryan said that Scott Walker’s plan for new reading and math standards was discussed.  During the delegate assembly, Bryan stated that the WASB opposed private school aid and the expansion of vouchers.  An amendment was passed that a student must have attended public school for at least a year in order to obtain a voucher.  Bryan stated that he agreed with this amendment.  “It just makes sense.”  Also, they are granting discretion to each school district on the length of waiting time before rehiring Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) retirees.
  • Snyder also told the group how impressed she was with a speaker named Wes Moore, who wrote a book entitled, “The Other Wes Moore.”  Two men who were the same age with the same name lived within ten blocks of each other in Brooklyn.  One has a life term in prison, and the other travels all over the country selling his book.  His speech was very intriguing to Snyder.  “How did this happen?  How can one man be successful, and the other one not?”
  • Snyder stated that she participated in the recent Reality Check Day at Tremper.  She encouraged others to also participate in future events.  “It’s fun to watch the teens try to act like adults for a day.”
  • The PTA Council will host its annual Founder’s Day dinner on February 27th.  All are encouraged to attend.  There will also be a silent auction.
  • Dr. Michele Hancock gave the superintendent’s report.  She stated, “The Transformation Plan will be put into action.  On February 14th, the Budget Council, the superintendent, and the Leadership Council will share with the community and the board how they will achieve this transformation.  We can no longer accept the status quo.  We must bring about positive change for all.  To do anything less is unfair to the community and to the students.  Many are thrilled at what they’re hearing.  I value the past, but I also love the future.  This is about the youth, for all children.”
  • The district’s 2010-11 annual report card was reviewed and filed.  Administration recommended that the Office of Educational Accountability (OEA) continue to monitor student achievement related to academic indicators and submit the 2011-12 annual report card to the school board in January, 2013.
  • The district’s auditor, Schenck Solutions, concluded their financial audit of the June 30, 2011, financial statements.  Tina Schmitz, chief financial officer, stated that the district had come through with a “clean audit.”  The auditor’s report on communications, single audit, basic financial statements, notes to the financial statements, and the management discussion and analysis were presented and discussed by the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee on two occasions at prior meetings.  The 2011 comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, was finalized in December.  Starting in 2000-2001, the district began presenting the financial statements in the form of a CAFR.  This process is considerably more involved than preparing the basic financial statements that were previously prepared and presented to the Board of Education by the auditors.  KUSD is one of only a few school districts within the state to prepare their financial statements without relying on the financial auditor to prepare the complete set of financial statements.  The 2010-2011 financial audit report results were received and filed.  The complete audit will be available on the KUSD website for public viewing.
  • School Board Policy 8411, titled “Appointment of School Board Officers,” was revised to eliminate wording regarding term limits for officers.  This policy was approved as a first reading on Tuesday night, and will have its second reading at the board’s February 28th, 2012, regular meeting.  (Currently, the policy limited the term of officers to no more than two consecutive years, with the exception of the school board secretary).  Bob Nuzzo, the school board member who proposed the policy change, said that “officers are elected every year anyway.  We don’t need a term limit.”
  • Several donations were received and acknowledged by the board.




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