The Monroe County School District met August 8th, 2017 in the Media Center at Coral Shores High School, for a scheduled School Board meeting and a Budget workshop for fiscal year 2017-2018. The meeting convened with four board members present. Board Member Ron Martin was unable to attend due to a family emergency.

Here are highlights from the workshop and meeting:

v  State Representative Holly Raschein spoke at the scheduled workshop, addressing questions from board members.

  • Representative Raschein addressed some pieces of the bill, including pencil/paper testing and mandated recess for students in traditional schools.
  • Board members addressed concerns about HB 7069, related to the considerations made for charter schools versus the traditional schools.
  • Superintendent Mark Porter mentioned the District’s concern with the cost per student station in HB 7069. Rep. Raschein noted she would bring that to the attention of lawmakers, with the help of the District supplying detailed language.

v  Executive Director of Assessment and Accountability David Murphy presented the assessment calendar, mentioning that all of the assessments have moved up in the calendar year.

  • Mr. Murphy discussed the state’s potential decision to replace placement testing with the PSAT in 8th grade, to drive curriculum alignment, with an opt-out option for parents.
  • Mr. Murphy said MCSD’s high school juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to take the SAT for free.
  • Mr. Murphy also presented further analysis of the NMSI program before members of the board voted on the installment of the NMSI program for a third year.

v  Superintendent Porter recommended the Board and District not join the lawsuit for HB 7069.

  • There was board consensus for a decision not to join the lawsuit at this time, but rather to seek modifications to this legislation in the next session.
  • Board Member Andy Griffiths, mentioned he was looking forward to attending the state’s Consortium of School Boards, where this will be a topic of discussion on August 24th.

v  Executive Director of Finance and Performance Jim Drake workshopped the tentative Budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Mr. Drake discussed the decrease in millage, and the increase in the property tax roll, giving any of the public the opportunity to comment on the increase on the taxes.

  • He discussed increased student enrollment and how the district has managed the enrollment based on state funding allocations for the budget.
  • Mr. Drake addressed the 5% increase in insurance premiums for district employees.
  • He also gave an explanation on property taxes and how they contribute to the School District’s budget. Mr. Drake said residents claiming homestead exemption on their properties are likely to see a decrease in school tax rates this year.
  • Mr. Porter pointed out the majority of the number of cost drivers are for personnel support.
  • Dr. Gerald Caputo spoke to the board about the Career and Technical Education department’s program plan 2017-2018 school year.

The School Board Members also approved the following items during regular meeting:

  • Approval of year three of the National Math and Science Institute program with a 4-0 vote.

For a look at the full agenda, or to watch the August 8th meeting, please click here. The meeting will be available for on demand viewing by Friday. Follow the District on Facebook @MYMCSD, Twitter @keysschools, and follow the Superintendent on Twitter @supt_porter, for Monroe County School District updates.