Budget Hearing for 2019-20 School Year
Business Administrator John Larsen presented the proposed 2019-20 budget of $683.7 million to the Board of Education during the District’s annual budget hearing. The Board adopted the 2018-19 final amended budget, the 2019-20 proposed budget and authorized any budget adjustments necessary to reflect funds received from the Certified Tax Rate. The Board also voted to move forward with a Truth in Taxation Hearing on August 6, 2019.
Dr. Patrice Johnson thanked Board members for their diligent work throughout the year. She reflected on the goals set forth in July 2013: to ensure a successful bond campaign, properly and competitively compensate employees and to make education number one with legislators in appropriating additional money for public education. The Superintendent applauded the Board for making those goals a reality. Dr. Johnson reviewed budget allocations for Ends policies regarding student achievement, empowering employees, customer service, as well as security and safety during her presentation. Dr. Johnson stated that the District is committed to the mantra, ‘Every Child, Every Day,’ and she thanked the Board, employees and parents for working as a team to take care of children. She commended Mr. Larsen, his staff and the Board for their outstanding work preparing the budget.
Mr. Larsen summarized three main points of the 2019-20 budget, which were: 1) JSD has a balanced budget; 2) the proposed certified tax increase; and 3) negotiated agreements with employees.
- Mr. Larsen then reviewed the following aspects of the 2019-20 proposed budget:
- WPU: The Utah State Legislature increased the weighted pupil unit (WPU) value from $3,395 to $3,531 (a $134 increase).
- Enrollment: Student enrollment is projected at 57,397, an increase of 2,532 students.
- Assessed Valuation: The District’s assessed valuation is projected at $22.9 billion in 2019-20, up from $22.4 billion in 2018-19.
- Employee Compensation: The budget includes compensation increases for all employee groups. Overall, the District saw no increase in insurance premiums.
- Bond School Construction: Work continues on all bond school construction projects with five new schools opening in the 2019-20 school year and two more opening in the 2020-21 school year. Because of cost efficiencies, the District is able to build an additional school under the bond plan – an elementary school, which is located in west West Jordan.
The budget will reflect a proposed tax increase to generate $8.5 million to be used solely on teacher salaries.
- Patron Comments
- Amy Martz, teacher, expressed support for raising teacher salaries.
- Mike Glenn, principal, said he appreciates the Boards efforts to raise teacher salaries and supports a tax hike to make the teacher salary increase happen.
Special Business Items
The Board approved the REAL Salt Lake Academy Charter School Land Trust plan, the 2019-20 negotiated agreement for Licensed employees and the Teacher and Student Success Act (TSSA) framework.
Dr. Patrice A. Johnson, Superintendent of Schools, said leading Jordan School District over the past eight years has been an incredible journey and phenomenal experience. She thanked the Board for staying the course in supporting teachers and retaining them. She said the Board has increased teacher salaries 31% since 2011 which shows their commitment to educators and young people. Superintendent Johnson thanked Cabinet members for the tireless work they do on behalf of students and she thanked Roxane Siggard for her extraordinary work and constant support. She also recognized Scott Thomas for helping make it possible to open five new schools in the upcoming school year and the Office of Communications for all they do supporting and sharing the stories of Jordan School District. She also thanked Dr. Anthony Godfrey for his friendship and support. She called the people who work in Jordan School District some of the grandest she has ever known.
- Patron Comments
- Heather Reich, teacher, thanked the Board for listening and seeing her Majestic students as more than numbers and for looking at solutions to serve our most vulnerable students.
- JL Coon and Dan Going expressed some concern about the weight room equipment bid for Mountain Ridge High School.
- Vicki Olsen, JEA President, said she appreciates the willingness on the part of the Board to hold a Truth in Taxation hearing to raise teacher pay because it will benefit students as well as teachers. She raised concerns some educators have about the Teacher Grant program.
- Board Comments
- Bryce Dunford attended the graduation ceremonies at Bingham High and River’s Edge School and said he is so proud to be part of a District that values every student.
- Tracy Miller attended Valley High, Bingham High and South Valley School graduation ceremonies and said it was a delight to see the outstanding students. She was also delighted to tour the new Mountain Creek Middle School in South Jordan.
- Marilyn Richards thanked Board members for filling in for her at graduation ceremonies so that she could attend to a sick family member.
- Jen Atwood said it was a wonderful pleasure to speak at West Jordan and Valley High School graduation ceremonies. She thanked staff in the Office of Communications for their support in photographing graduation ceremonies and assisting with summer parade preparations.
- Janice Voorhies said it was a pleasure to attend graduation where student speeches were extraordinary.
- Darrell Robinson said he was impressed with the Herriman High School graduation where Principal Todd Quarnberg gave what he described as a phenomenal speech. He also attended RSL Academy graduation where the graduating class doubled since last year. Mr. Robinson said the last day of school was filled with great activities in our schools and he thanked Transportation for the great job they are doing.
Closed, Study Session
In closed session, Board members discussed personnel, property, potential litigation, security and negotiations. In open session, the Board discussed the TSSA framework and received an update on safety and security. They received information regarding costs of NSBA student representation and discussed school closure policy. They also reviewed summer projects and discussed plans for the upcoming Truth in Taxation hearing.
– Sandy Riesgraf, Director of Communications
Bryce Dunford, President – Precinct 5
Tracy J. Miller, Vice President – Precinct 3
Matthew Young, Secretary – Precinct 2
Jen Atwood, Member – Precinct 7
Marilyn Richards, Member – Precinct 4
Darrell Robinson, Member – Precinct 1
Janice L. Voorhies, Member – Precinct 6