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GVSD Board May 21 Meeting At a Glance

The board appointed a new solicitor, delayed a vote on activity fees and agreed to let retiring teachers speak at graduation.

The Board of Directors business meeting Monday night ran a relatively trim two hours and 20 minutes. None of the major budget decisions—like secondary school reorganization, tax levels and activity fees—were voted on. Board vice president Stephanie Gunderson wielded the gavel, as president David Barratt and member Ted Leisenring were absent. 

  • Retiring teachers will speak at graduation—A graduating senior was about to read to the board her class's petition in favor of continuing the tradition, but Gunderson interrupted her. "We've actually read it, and we agree that if you guys would like the teachers to speak, you are more than welcome to have them talk to you," Gunderson said.
  • The proposed secondary school reorganization continued to be the elephant in the room, and most of the discussion about it came during public comments from parents and former students urging caution. The idea is to alter the and schedules, possibly saving $864,600, but also possibly decreasing the amount of time teachers spend with students and causing logistical problems.
  • Superintendent Alan Lonoconus ran through the latest 2012-13 budget presentation once again, relatively quickly and with little discussion. Not much had changed since the . Slides of the presentation are attached to this article.
  • The parent satisfaction survey sent out last Friday had some problems, and was recalled within hours. The district will re-issue the survey via email, and even those parents who have already completed it will need to do so again.
  • The average taxpayer would see an increase of $72 if the board votes to raise taxes within Act 1 constraints. If they file for all Act 1 exceptions, the increase goes up to $127.
  • A student activity fee increase nearly came to a vote, but was delayed because the per-family cap had not been ironed out. The proposed new fee would be 25 percent, which equals:
     -$95 in secondary schools
     -$40 in elementary schools
  • Bond refinancing—In a roll call vote, the board voted unanimously to approve refinancing of 2004 and 2009 general obligation bonds, which business director Chuck Linderman indicated was very favorable for the district. Details can be found on board docs (PDF).
  • The firm of Wisler Pearlstine LLP was selected as the new district solicitor, 6-1, in the only non-unanimous vote of the night. 
  • Board member Phil Foret was re-elected treasurer.
  • The board unanimously passed the consent agenda items, including the overnight field trips and CCIU contract. The board also voted on modifications to its contract with Krapf for busing that will save the district $50,000.
  • Chuck Linderman also relayed news of the death of former board president George Sees, who served from 1983-1991, calling it "a sad day for Great Valley."
  • Several students and teachers were recognized; more information on them to come.  
Tim Caban May 22, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Which board member voted against the hiring of the new solicitor?
Pete Kennedy (Editor) May 23, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Tim, Ellen Behrle was the dissenting vote.

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