The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Special Meeting at 8:00 a.m., in the Board Room, at the Dr. Vernon McDaniel Building, 215 West Garden Street, Pensacola, Florida, with the following present:

            Chairman:                     Mrs. Cary Stidham                   

            Vice Chairman:             Dr. John DeWitt           

            Board Members:           Mr. Gary Bergosh (was not present)

                                                Mr. Ronnie L. Clark (entered at 8:03 a.m.)

                                                Ms. Linda Finkelstein

            Superintendent of Schools:         Mr. Jim Paul   

                    I.               CALL TO ORDER/ADOPTION OF AGENDA

Mrs. Stidham called the Special Meeting to order at 8:00 a.m.  On motion by Ms. Finkelstein, second by Dr. Dewitt, adoption of the agenda, was approved 3 to 0, with Mr. Bergosh and Mr. Clark absent for vote. 

(NOTE: Mr. Clark entered the Special Meeting at 8:03 a.m.)

                 II.               BUDGET/STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS

Budget/Strategic Planning Prioritization

General discussion took place regarding several of the following budget priorities, which were established by the Board and the Superintendent at the March 9, 2004 Special Meeting: 

Priority #1 – Protect Technology budget

Priority #2 – 1:5 ratio for all schools (modern computers)

Priority #3 – Parent access to student information 

Priority #4 – Teacher training and support staff

Qualified Staff

Priority #1 – Technology training for all levels of staff (applications, data access, etc.)

Priority #2 – IT support for each school

Priority #3 - Maintain staff levels  (educational level): Pre-K

Priority #1 (Tie) – Adequate facilities for Class Size Reduction

Priority #1 (Tie) – Plan for growth and educate public 

Priority #3 – Additional facilities (open/close)

Priority #4 – Research secure campus (fencing)

Materials/Contract Services
Priority #1 – Develop technology matrix with evaluation 

Priority #1 – Greater teacher salary according to Task Force Plan

Priority #2 – Compensate teachers for in service

Priority #3 – Wellness Program

Priority #4 – Job Study (year 2)

Curriculum & Instruction

Priority #1 – Maintain Title I funds as allowed

Priority #2 – Maintain ESE budget

Priority #3 – Enhance evaluation process and react accordingly (Vocational Middle School)

Priority #4 – Enhance effort to improve student wellness

Dr. Doug Garber, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services, alerted the Board to the fact that they had no budget priority listed for maintaining employee benefits (i.e., dental, health, prescription drug).  He advised that the District was facing a projected $5.2 million increase in the cost of health insurance alone for the upcoming year.  Mrs. Stidham requested that staff provide the Board with different scenarios (i.e., increase in Board contribution, plan design changes) for dealing with those projections. 

Mrs. Laura Shaud, Director of Budgeting, indicated that once the Legislative Session adjourned, information regarding funding for the 2004-2005 fiscal year would be available.  She hoped to be able to provide that information to the Board around mid-May, at which time the Board could then provide direction on how they wanted staff to proceed with accomplishing the budget priorities that had been established. 

The Superintendent indicated that his number one priority would be raises for personnel. 

Motion was made by Ms. Finkelstein, seconded by Mr. Clark, that the Board’s number one priority be to ensure that the “Compensation Task Force salary schedule is implemented every year.”  Motion was approved 4 to 0, with Mr. Bergosh absent for vote.

      The Special Meeting recessed at 9:28 a.m. and then reconvened at 9:33 a.m. with Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Clark, Ms. Finkelstein, Dr. DeWitt and the Superintendent present. 

      General discussion then took place regarding the following issues: 1) staff development; 2) in-school suspension; and 3) zero-based budgeting. 

               III.               ADJOURNMENT

      Motion by Ms. Finkelstein, seconded by Mr. Clark, to adjourn the Special Meeting at 9:51 a.m., was approved 4 to 0, with Mr. Bergosh absent for vote. 

     Attest:                                                              Approved:

________________________________                    ________________________________

Superintendent                                                  Chairman