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Liberty School District Board of Education Meeting — Monday, March 25

March School Board Meetings

Liberty School District’s Board of Education met Monday evening, March 25. From a policy standpoint, the highlights of the agenda were:

  • Proposed revision of district policy governing “School Board Ballot Issues
  • Unanimous approval of the Northland Advanced Career Studies Program “Memorandum of Understanding” and “By-Laws”
  • A stadium committee report proposing a new $8 million stadium at Liberty High School to be shared with Liberty North
  • A “Graduation Follow-Up Procedural Evaluation” showing that 81 percent of Class of 2012 graduates contacted are enrolled in traditional post-secondary institutions but only 38 percent “reported majoring or working in a career education field related to career education courses they studied in High School.” Followup recommendations included:

Continue to evaluate trends in typical career education fields to ensure career and technical education programs are addressing high needs that our students are interested in pursuing.

Investigate the capabilities of the software program Naviance for developing four-year graduation plans with specific career interest areas. Also, investigate the accuracy of the graduate follow-up reporting available through Naviance to determine if it meets our needs to analyze data regarding our graduates beyond the 180-day mark.

Adjust curriculum as needed to meet the changing demands of our students and the workplace.

  • A federal sequestration update. According to the agenda:

An estimated $149,873 of federal funding will be reduced next fiscal year as a result of the Federal Sequestration Order.

  • A report on state funding. According to the agenda:

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) currently indicates the funding level to be at a 92.710946 percent proration factor. The 7.29 percent reduction in funding means a loss of $3,636,464 for the District that will not be recouped.

  • A report estimating a 28 percent enrollment increase over the next eight years.
  • Information about financial constraints:

LPS is currently out of bonding capacity due to rapid growth and low assessed valuation.

LPS has the highest debt service $1.19, and total levy $6.09 of all peer districts in K.C. and St. Louis.

LPS has the lowest assessed valuation per child of all peer districts in K.C. and St. Louis.

Budget projections based on current economic conditions and growth projections for the next eight years show the district would need an additional local levy of more than $3.00 prior to FY21 to maintain current staffing and facility planning model.

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The KC Education Enterprise has a new sister site, KC Education Research Updates, with occasional news from researchers and neuroscientists of interest to educators.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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