In consideration of the current health and safety concerns during the COVID-19 emergency, the workshop will be held virtually.  It will be live streamed through usual channels at www.brevardschools.org.

The meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m.

April 28, 2020 Board Workshop (Budget Update and Athletic Fees)

The School Board of Brevard County met for a virtual Board workshop regarding Budget and Athletic Fees on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. The meeting was live streamed via usual channels on www.brevardschools.org. Notice of the meeting was advertised in Florida Today on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 and a affidavit of advertisement may be found in the Board office. 

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A virtual meeting was held in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Opening Exercises
1. Call to Order

Chairman Belford called the meeting to order at: 2:16 p.m.

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There were technical difficulties prohibiting live streaming.  The meeting was delayed and restarted to allow for a remedy of these issues.

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Roll Call
2. Roll Call

The meeting was held virtually via Skype.

Board members present:  Misty Belford, Cheryl McDougall, Tina Descovich, Matt Susin and Katye Campbell

Staff members present: Beth Thedy, Deputy Superintendent/Chief Human Resources Officer; Stephanie Soliven, Assistant Superintendent Secondary Leading and Learning; Jane Cline, Assistant Superintendent Elementary Leading and Learning; Karen Strickland, Director of Budgeting and Cost Accounting; JoAnn Clark, Director of Accounting Services; Cindy Lesinski, Chief Financial Officer; Matt Reed, Assistant Superintendent Government & Community Relations; Russell Cheatham, Assistant Superintendent Information Technology; Jayna Jenkins, Director Student Services; Bill Macheras, Assistant Director Student Activities, Mark Mullins, Superintendent and Chris Moore, Assistant Superintendent Student Services

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance
Order of Business
4. Budget Update
Budget Workshop - 4.28.2020.pdf

Ms. Lesinski began the presentation.  She briefly reviewed that agenda which included both operating and capital outlay budgets.  As she reviewed the budget timeline, Ms. Lesinski stated that the budget process is year-round.  Beginning with the Operating Budget, Ms. Lesinski stated that the 2020 Conference Report results are based on pre-COVID 19 data. There is speculation on whether these numbers will remain the same; but these results are the starting point. Ms. Lesinski provided data on what is known from the 2020 legislative session.  She then moved into Brevard specific and how the committee's calculations affected Brevard locally.  Ms. Lesinski discussed the possibility of loss of FTE which compounds our financial challenges.

 

Mr. Susin asked if Ms. Lesinski could explain the difference between the 2019 and 2020 FTE number?  He clarified that we are pulling from the third FEFP calculation  and asked if Ms. Lesinski could explain that process and how we use that number. Dr. Mullins asked Ms. Strickland to confirm that the conference report  projections are the district's enrollment projections sent to the state by the enrollment committee. Ms. Lesinski clarified that the numbers may not reflect what our enrollment numbers will look like when we return in the fall as there are many unknowns at this time.Dr. Mullins provided further explanation that the graph on BPS FTE Growth - By Type provides a snapshot of revenue impact for the coming year.

 

Ms. Lesinski presented historical millage rates which has been reduced over the years which causes us to lose revenue and/or buying power which could have gone to schools and educating our students. Ms. Belford asked for an explanation of what that millage slide actually means to the average tax payer.  Discussion ensued.  Ms. Descovich stated she would like to have an additional column on that slide indicating what dollar amounts those percentages actually reflect.  Additionally she wanted to know if the rollback rates are for all properties or just for those with homestead exemptions.  Clarification was provided that the rollback rates are across all properties.  Ultimately, it is important that you consider you are paying less for schools on taxes. 

 

Moving on, Ms. Lesinski provided a revenue review which showed net funds available as 8.3 million dollars. After taking out the dollars for the growth of charter schools and the increase to the district for Florida retirement, we find ourselves with a 2 million dollar shortfall. In addition, the upcoming known expenses in the coming year (new Viera Elementary, longevity differential, as wells as hiring an attorney and auditor - both potentially cost neutral).

 

Challenges we face in the upcoming year include:  enrollment decline, FRS increase, employee compensation, self-insured medical plan, COVID-19 impacts and our overall financial condition. Ms. Lesinski said they expect to make new projections sometime in May.  She reviewed budget cuts which have taken place over the past five years with further clarification from Dr. Mullins. He stated that it does make it challenging to find areas to make further budget reductions. 

 

Ms. Lesinski went over next steps and told the Board there will be a Board workshop in May for another budget update with potential budget cuts. There was some discussion on possible funds from elementary and secondary emergency relief funds in response to COVID-19.  Moving on to the Capital Outlay Budget, Ms. Lesinski provided Brevard's tax assessment history and revenue estimates. It was noted that traditional schools do not receive PECO funds; only charter. Estimated LCI funding for 2021 is estimated at $18.5 million to cover capital projects. 

 

Ms. Descovich asked about the industry standard of what it costs per square foot to maintain a building compared to what the District has in capital funds to do the same thing. She would like for them to look at this again if that information is not readily available. Ms. Hann said the range for the industry standard would put us somewhere in the range for 45 to 70 million per year at a bare minium to do the physical upkeep of our buildings.  It varies depending on whether it is just maintenance, renewal and/or replacement.  The sales surtax revenue that has been used for facility maintenance is at 79%. Dr. Mullins stated that the deferred maintenance at the time the sales surtax was passed was at $720 million dollars.  The surtax has been a wonderful source in helping to address that maintenance but it has not been caught up through the life of the surtax. Ms. Descovich asked if there was a detailed list of what comprised the maintenance transfers of $10.3 million. Ms. Hann said that covers our maintenance team work on certain project numbers  that are eligible expenses on LCI (people and equipment). It does not cover grounds maintenance.

 

Ms. Lesinski continued relaying that a Capital Planning Committee convened earlier in the month to develop capital allocations by department.  Mr. Susin stated that a process was implemented last year by which Board members could recommend priorities along with staff.  Dr. Mullins stated that in the following slides, the recommendations and requests of the committee will be shown.  The Board will have an opportunity to review and follow-up.  Mr. Susin said he had reviewed but was trying to determine if part of the process is to sit down with Board members to see what things they would like to see funded.  Dr. Mullins said this is the preliminary process and additional discussion can be added if that is the direction of the Board. Ms. Campbell asked about locker room air conditioning.  Ms. Hann told her that due to budget constraints they would only be able to do one this year.  Mr. Susin interjected that funding both of these is probably a bigger priority due to health and safety needs over some of the other things. He wanted someone to explain the justification for not funding this.  Ms. Hann commented that they looked at the overall picture of district project funding. They will try to pick up EGHS the next year.  Mr. Susin feels strongly this is a health and safety issue. Mr. Susin differs with the priorities of the committee and feels strongly this should come before some of the other items listed.

 

Order of Business
5. Athletic Costs/Fees
Athletic Expenses - Board Workshop 4 28 20 cm3.pdf

Ms. Moore and her team presented information about athletic fees. Ms. Moore did a review of an earlier athletic fees presentation, answers to questions from the earlier presentation and are recommendations for 2020-21. 

 

The anticipated total for official fees for 2020-21 is $680,376 if we play every game in every sport. One of the questions from last time is how much is brought in vs how much is spent on officiating and transportation fees. Mr. Macheras explained further about athletic expenses. It was noted that all schools may  pay local municipalities for additional security during games which is an extra cost.  It is important to note than an enormous amount of fundraising is necessary to support an athletic program.

 

Since the last presentation, we have the added variable of COVID-19 and all we know right now is that we are in contract negotiations with the MCOA. Games and playoffs not being played due to COVID-19 have hurt us in terms of gate fees collected. We don't know how it will affect fall sports; our community partners and fundraising efforts. Pending legislation in HB 7011 may make it necessary for each high school to have available a "cooling zone" and a WetBulb Globe Temperature which will be an additional cost to programs. 

 

We will need to consider several options, but the recommendation at this time is to raise gate fees for all sports other than football which already seems in line with other comparable districts. Ms. Moore commented that raising those ticket fees alone will not close the gap between costs and rising officiating fees. 

 

Ms. Belford asked if any of the other comparable districts are discussing increasing their gate fees. Mr. Macheras said there were a couple of others he spoke with that were considering this option as well as cutting games.

 

Mr. Susin said that reducing the number of games not only hurts the kids, but also we lose the gate revenues. He believe that the freshman sports is cost neutral when you consider running the programs and the gate revenue. He asked Mr. Macheras if we have a plan to fund the "donut hole" that is going to occur.  Ms. Moore interjected that the plan is to raise ticket fees and give the schools the flexibility to make decisions on what is best for their program.   

 

Mr. Susin brought up equalization that we have given to schools.  One thing he recommends is to equalize all of our sports programs.  Ms. Descovich added she sees inequities among programs and asked if that is tracked.  Ms. Moore responded that the funds that are provided to programs through the district used to be called equalization funds; but now they are enhancements because there is not a way to truly equalize all programs for various reasons. 

 

Ms. Moore said the second recommendation is to maintain the current level of Board athletic assistance and third is to increase the Board contribution to each high school pending legislation of HB 7011 by $750 for each high school which totals $11,994.98 for the 2020-21 school year only.

 

Next Mr. Macheras discussed the bowling contract that is being negotiated for the 2020-21 school year.  Ms. Moore said that the recommendations in this arena are to move to a "pay to play" model of participation if the bowling proprietors are unable to continue to support financially as they have for the last ten years.  They are going to ask that the Board fund the $725 facility use fees for each of the high schools. 

 

In reference to LaCrosse, Mr. Susin asked which of our schools participated and asked the reasons why the schools not participating do not have the program.  Mr. Macheras believed the biggest reason was interest. Then Mr. Susin asked if Mr. Macheras felt the participation in bowling will drop if we go to "pay to participate."  Mr. Macheras would like to say that it would not hurt it as fundraising may offset some of those costs. Mr. Susin asked if we are able to sell banners in their facilities as a means of generating revenue.  Ms. Moore stated that was a better question for Government and Community Relations.

 

Ms. Belford asked each Board member to weigh in on the presented recommendations.  The consensus from all Board members was support for the presented recommendations. Ms. McDougall asked about the possibility of selling a season pass and also asked about using credit cards.  The season pass is not presently viable due limitations outline in the Internal Accounts Manual.  Mr. Macheras thinks the credit card option is good; but the logistics will have to be worked out. Ms. Belford had a request to find out the total for security costs that schools are paying to have 

 

Ms. Moore listed the takeaways from today's workshop. 

Recommendations Approved by Consensus

Requester

  1. Increase both adult and student ticket prices for all other sports other than football. Adults will go from $4 to $5 and students from $2 to 3

Board approved

  1. Maintain the current level of $200K for athletic assistance to be split among all secondary schools

Board approved

  1. The Board will cover the cost for a one-time expenditure, for each high school, to cover two immersion tubs and two WBGT per new legislation HB 7011 to go into effect 20-21. The cost is $749.68 per school for a total of $11,994.88

Board approved

  1. The Board will cover the annual facility use fee for bowling locations, beginning in 20-21 at $725 per school for an annual total of $11,600

Board approved

Follow-up Requested

 

  1. Total expense for security each high school spends on an annual basis, including both athletics and other activities.

Belford

  1. Follow-up on the marketing agreement Government and Community Relations finalized in March to garner progress toward increasing advertising and marketing funds for athletics

Susin

  1. Possibility of selling season ticket packages for athletics

Belford and Susin

  1. Possibility of credit card option for tickets

Belford

Closing Remarks
6. Closing Remarks/Direction

Board members expressed appreciation for the information presented.

Adjournment
7. Adjournment

Chairman Belford adjourned the workshop at 4:23 p.m.

For more information, please visit the meeting video found at www.brevardschools.org.

Chairman:______________________________________________ Secretary: ______________________________________________
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