Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Draft Interlocal Agreement

Below is the draft Interlocal Agreement from South Jordan attorney Mr. Wall.  My notes indicate some changes proposed by Ms. Andrews, the attorney representing the Jordan District Board.  I have not seen what was being sent back to the cities.  This one was from the school board meeting on Monday night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jordan Board Meeting About MOU with Cities

Below are my notes from today's special study session of the Jordan Board of Education.  South Jordan City feasibility study discussion on Wednesday, July 30 from 4:00 - 6:00 with public comment open at 6:00.  This will be at the South Jordan Community Center, approximately 11000 S Redwood Road.  Tuesday August 5 the SJC Council will decide whether or not to put a split on the ballot.

JSD board meeting about SJC split - Corbin is not here.

Attorney Joan said MOU is not legally enforceable. Inter local agreement is legally binding contract. They have limited term. MOU can be terminated at any time.

Mr. Crane says no to inter local agreement. MOU is fine.

Change the word "shall" to "may" become interlocal agreement. Mr. Crane and Mrs. Kennett want interlocal agreement out altogether. Mrs. Pulsipher and Mrs. Whitelock think it is more likely to be agreed to by the cities if a statement with the word "may" in it.  Attorney recommended adding sentence stating that the MOU is not a legally binding contract. Mrs. Pulsipher doesn't want them to think the board is not serious about the MOU.

Mr. Crane doesn't think the MOU doesn't need to be this long and a lot of items in this new document were not in the original. This is just getting deeper.  Making mountain out of a mole hill. Do not want to be overreaching. Requests in latest document are too overreaching. Mrs. Voorhies agrees. Some limit school board. Need flexibility to deal with needs of various cities. Constraints should not interfere with their ability to do their job as a school board.

Mrs. Pulsipher said generally speaking, the items are things the board should do. W haven't been doing them. Give cities a comfort level that the board will do these items. Mrs. Voorhies said there is no level of comfort for her. Nothing that says the city will change their behavior.  She will not sign if it doesn't include a guarantee of not putting a split on the ballot. Paid no attention to what board said.

Mr. Crane is fine with MOU. Fine to increase dialogue. Best interest of students to not split. Entered discussion with a degree of trust that if JSD entered MOU agreement, that would be the end of split talk. We want to avoid a split. The split cloud is still hanging there. (Chuck Newton from SJC council walked in and sat at the same table with School board members, attorney, and district level administrators.)

Mr. Crane said there are too many variables on when schools will be built. Need flexibility there. Mrs. Kennett said in the five year plan, the first year would be pretty set, but then the next years would need to change. Mr. Newton said their intent was that the focus could go to growing areas.

Prior to purchasing land, will work with cities to cite new facilities. Mrs. Voorhies said that they want kids to walk to school if possible, but there are many schools where that is not possible at this time. Mrs. Pulsipher said it states that the board will make reasonable effort to have walking schools. Mr. Newton said they are assuming the board will make reasonable efforts. Sometimes you have to deal with crisis issues and deal with less severe overcrowding. Not trying to lock you in to something that is unreasonable. Asking for good faith effort. Mayors are not aware of all the information the board has. Interested on action and delivery. When interlocal agreement is executed, will need to have more communication. This is not a static process. Mrs. Voorhies asked then why do we need MOU? Mr. Newton said originally that there was the six areas of concern. Were asked to provide detail of what was meant. He taught communication in college. Had them draw a tree, and all were different. Providing more details makes things more clear. Mrs. Voorhies said it is restrictive and it is stuff cities are interested in, but not what board needs. More than happy to communicate about schools with each city. This feels like a belt you keep tightening. Mr. Newton (said with respect again) said cities have to make plans. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Asking for plans so we are all on the same page. Mrs. Whitelock said the policy on safe walking routes is already in place. Mr. Newton (said personally again) said he is concerned about 10400 S. Is it wrong to make an interlocal agreement? How is this restrictive if you already agree to the items?

Mr. Osborn said everything here is based on old things, even though Mr. Newton said he doesn't want to rehash old things.  Mrs. Voorhies said she will give him a policy book. We shouldn't have to redefine the policy.  More effective if there is a general agreement that people refer back to. Senator Harper said he understood that the language was worked out. SJC resolution had six items to which the board responded. Suggested an interlocal agreement that focuses on the six items only and just work through them over the course of a year. Mr. Newton wants a binding interlocal agreement. Doesn't want to be involved in every little detail. Just want to talk. Want to keep schools out of high commercial areas. Thought meeting last week was the negotiation. Now the goal posts are moving again. Large concern here is that board in not delivering the items, but discussing moving the dates, which means the cities aren't getting what they want by July 30. Have to hope there is a good faith effort from the board.

Mrs. Whitelock said the board was prepared for the meeting last week with a different agreement. She asked Mr. Newton about the guarantee of no split. Mr. Newton said if they sign an interlocal agreement they won't put it on the ballot. He wanted to come so the board would understand the intent. He is happy to leave with information from Representative Cunningham.  If he leaves and the changes the board makes are too far, they will come back with an interlocal agreement.  Will ask if willing to sign, then it will likely go to the ballot. SJC attorney said he has talked with all the mayors who are very frustrated. A challenge the board needs to reconcile is that cities work with other government agencies through an interlocal agreement. There is no trust. These agreements force people to sit down together and talk. Look at six items in original SJC resolution. Mayor Freeman and Mayor Applegarth did not want to come to pressure the board into anything. Gain interlocal agreement for a year that they will work toward resolving issues. If board and mayors have an agreement, and no legislation is run to make splitting more difficult, then SJC can decide in a year if things are working with the district of not. Need to talk regularly around the table.

Mr. Osborn asked if it is not an interlocal agreement, will the cities agree? SJC attorney said it would make it more difficult for a city to split. More you change original six items, the more cities will push back. He doesn't want to go through another split. Mr. Crane said an interlocal agreement with this much detail is too far from the original six items. If it is general enough to allow flexibility, he could live with interlocal agreement.  Keep it under two pages. Could support interlocal agreement if it is short, general, flexible. Why is the mistrust always with the district? Probably goes both ways. Everybody wants to have good level of trust. (They really need some interest based bargaining training.)

Mrs. Kennett asked what happened to the boards response to the SJC council resolution. Mr. Newton was not present at July 3 meeting. Mr. Seethaler told him that those changes were incorporated into the copy given out at the meeting last Monday. Mrs. Kennett again asked about the intent document, because he didn't answer he question.

SJC attorney said they mayors agree that if the board wants to get this done, the district has not given mayors a lot of comfort. Board took serious actions. Mrs. Pulsipher said there has been tension for a number of years. More restrictive until trust returns. There are more guidelines and less have to, but there is more detail. As move forward in relationship, restrictions will lessen. This is not ideal. She sees the need for more detail. Hopefully a year from now, will not need the agreement anymore.

Mrs. Whitelock said the players all change regularly, the interlocal agreement doesn't change. SJC attorney said if you get the agreement in place, legislators will be watching board and mayors to make sure they don't misbehave again. If board has behaved badly, the legislators will make it easier to split. If cities misbehave, the legislature will revoke the law that allows a district split.

Attorney Joan talked about binding future school boards and a potential split at termination of agreement.  MOU isn't going to work from the citys' perspective. If go with an interlocal agreement, have a sunset provision. Senator Harper pointed out that Mr. Newton cannot speak for SJC council. If board sends an agreement to SJC council to work on original six items, then would that stop a split. Mr. Newton said the goal posts have moved significantly on one item and slightly on one. If we agree to interlocal agreement, there is no vote to put a split on the ballot. The discussion will be focused on if the board has delivered on items from resolution. Needs detail so there is no misunderstanding. Mr. Newton said what district gave cities is not sufficient.

SJC attorney said Mayor Freeman is concerned about the oversight committee. Mr. Crane asked who would draft the language of the interlocal agreement. Wants to work cooperatively. Okay if not too restrictive or overstepping of boundaries. Mrs. Pulsipher said time is the problem. Mr. Newton wants a draft to review on July 30 so they could make changes and finalize by August 5. He wants SJC attorney to draft agreement and then meet with Joan Andrews to revise. He is not concerned about drafting of agreement, but he wants deliverables on a building plan and construction timeline. In giving you more time, cities are moving forward and waiting for deliverables. He feels there is a risk. Mrs Pulsipher said the date has not changed. Mr. Newton said a tentative plan by July 30 is not good enough. Mr. Wall, SJC attorney, said interlocal agreement doesn't solve issues, but buys time. Gives SJC chance to not put split on ballot.

Mr. Osborn said all they need is time for thoughtful discussion. Mrs. Kennett would be comfortable with SJC attorney and their attorney to draft interlocal agreement. Joan Andrews said she is happy to do what they ask, but the timeline is very tight. She has concerns about not having enough time to review. Mr. Wall said it will be much like original MOU with eight items with timelines over the nest year. He wants to be a facilitating lawyer, not an advocate for one side or the other. Mrs. Andrews needs time to review and meet with the board. Mr. Osborn said district administrators need to review to see if timelines are reasonable. He handed a 1 1/2 inch binder to Mr. Wall that is the district response to the SJC resolution. Mr. Wall is going to work off the MOU from the meeting last week. Mr. Wall will fashion it based on benchmarks.

Mr. Wall will start with the MOU draft, but mayors cannot add anything else. Mr. Newton said there will be few specifics. This is the MOU post meeting last week. Final copy after redlines were deleted. Mr. Newton said the board should send specific concerns to Mr. Wall or Mrs. Andrews. She has the agreement from the July 14 meeting.

Mr. Crane concerned about attendance in closed session. He doesn't want the mayors telling district what kind of school to build. Mrs. Pulsipher said number four would be less specific and include some experts who build commercially and not schools to review. Mr. Newton said his perception is that the building review committee of parents and teachers would override the committee of experts. Mra. Pulsipher said item 2 and 4 had most concerns. Have outside experts look at construction processes to see if the district can save money on construction. Mrs. Voorhies wants in the interlocal agreement that SJC will not put it on the ballot. Mr. Newton said his concern is that we don't have the deliverables nor feedback on why it is taking so long. Despite what feasibility study will show, which is positive in many areas, staying in district is possible. A signed interlocal agreement gives a 90-100% chance that SJC will not put a split on the ballot. He said he received information from a legislator that changes things. Mrs. Voorhies said the board is going to trust SJC on this, so "Don't mess with us."

July 30 roll out feasibility study and have public input on it. August 5 vote on whether to put on ballot.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

South Jordan City Council Meeting

Below are the notes from people who spoke at the SJC Council meeting.  The feasibility study is supposed to be published before August 1.  SJC will need to hold a special meeting to discuss and decide whether to put a split on the ballot. I will put out information about that meeting as soon as I have it.  Looks like the special meeting to decide about putting a split on the ballot will be July 29.

JEA members in attendance: Heather Reich, James Maughan, Cyndee Bowser, Shannon Diotaiuti, Jenny Pedler, Michelle Robbins, Debbie Warner, Melissa Handy, Mary Meyer, Beth Glattli, Shelly Lloyd, Lori Munk, Mari Bean, Michele Larsen, Jeremy Butterbaugh

Three residents spoke in favor of the split and putting it on the ballot.

Lori Munk, Easltke, spoke against the split as a long time SJC resident.

I read my statement against the split including information from the JEA survey.

Michelle Robbins, Bingham theater teacher, who lives in Clearfield, spoke against a split.  Concerned about losing 5A status. Bingham is flagship of SJC. Cannot isolate ourselves.  A split will tax energy of teachers which will trickle to teachers.

Alexandra Eframo spoke against the split.  There will be extra taxes.  We have to work together. She goes to the school board meetings and has not seen any of them at the meetings.

Tim Ellingson spoke against the split.  Said SJC council bullied school board. Went to SJC university program to widen his perspective.  Council said if district bought land in Daybreak, split would go away, but it didn't. Council said if district made administrative changes, split would go away, but it didn't. Now if sign MOU, split might go away. Embarrassed to be represented by this body.

Cyndee Bowser, West Jordan Elementary, spoke against the split. She wants to make a footprint on the future. Worried that programs for special needs students will go away if split occurs. She will be done if the divorce goes through.

James Maughan, West Hills, spoke against the split. He was on Middle School Building and Design Committee.  He was impressed with priorities of safety, energy efficiency, and cost effectiveness of buildings.  He had just started teaching at time of previous split and the Initial proposal was to layoff over 200 teachers. Students wanted to discuss this, and they realized that class size and discipline problems would increase.  Beware of unintended consequences.

Heather Reich, Majestic, spoke against the split. She read a letter she had sent previously to legislators and mayors. She is a 10 year teacher being paid as a 7 year teacher. Administrative costs have gone up. Worried about loss of programs, curriculum specialists. Hurt students the most.

Mary Meyer, Copper Hills, spoke against the split. Copper Hills is overcrowded with average class size of 40. Previous split created an us versus them. Morale suffered like in a divorce. We had no say in the amount of money Jordan received. Lost collaboration with teachers from Canyons. Kids were worried about teachers leaving. She is breadwinner and concerned about her personal finances.

Gentleman spoke about turf wars of cities. West is the only place for people to move to. Creating more bureaucracy is not the answer.

Mindy Dummer, Valley, spoke against the split.  She teaches at Valley. Canyons students attend Valley, because Canyons did not establish an alternative high school. Consider unintended consequences of a split on students who need an alternative high school setting.

SJC resident visited ASB to help district and West Jordan look at how to develop that area.  He saw efficiencies of economies of scale in touring ASB. Work together as a whole community. He wants to support young families since others supported his students through the education system.

Shannon Diotaiuti, Majestic, spoke against the split.  She remembers what the previous split was like. She knows what it is like for her child to attend inadequate schools. Her son attends West Jordan middle where they really need air conditioning.  The district is trying to equalize things. Nothing goes as fast as we want when it is for our children.  We need to educate all children. Not all future dentists, lawyers and teachers will grow up in your town. Change is hard on kids, but especially hard on special needs kids.

Mayor Alvord pointed out that SJC would need a high school which would cause taxes to increase.

Mr. Newton said the citizens need to have the opportunity to vote.

Feasibility study will be out prior to August 1.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jordan School Board - Cities Memorandum of Understanding Notes

I attended the Western Growth Coalition Meeting today to listen to the discussion about the requests from South Jordan City and a draft Memorandum of Understanding on communication and collaboration between the Jordan School Board and the Cities within Jordan District.  I have highlighted key comments in red.  See the Salt Lake Tribune article as well.

In attendance: Susan Pulsipher Kayleen Whitelock, Peggy Jo Kennett, Lynn Crane, Janice Voorhies, Dr. Johnson, Scott Thomas, Steve Dunham, Brad Sorensen, Todd Quarnberg, Don Findlay, Dave Alvord, Carmen Freeman, Bill Applegarth, Kim Rolfe, Mayor Timothy, Jim Bird, Rich Cunningham, Ken Ivory, Wayne Harper, Chuck Newton, Mark Seethaler, Jen Atwood, Teresa Atherley, Alexandra Eframo, Gary Whatcott, John Dearing, 2 city attorneys, several reporters, a dozen other people I don't know

Board shall make reasonable effort to Promote walking to school - school board has to look at the entire district - busses are less expensive

Mr. Newton - Elk Meadows recent boundary change. City problem with needing to supply crossing guards at 10600 S. He said the JSD policy allows for a bus for those south of 10600 S. Intent of item is not to lock things up. Want to make walkable.

Mrs. Whitelock - there are many areas in the district where the walking routes are hazardous, but the state doesn't reimburse at 100%.

Mrs. Pulsipher - the purpose of the memorandum of understanding is to create an environment of collaboration.

Representative Cunningham - this is an unusual situation. No one entity that can take responsibility for this.  Put everything behind us, start new, move to next level. Children and grandchildren taken care of. Need to support superintendent in her leading education of students.

Mr. Seethaler - Monday, August 4 is deadline for putting on ballot. Would like to see a conclusion here on what to expect. Society has so many interests, that it is difficult to trust and agree. Quality of education is high. Issues have to do with collaboration. Do not have a good history of being collaborative.  SJC has been told to "butt out" of the JSD issues in the past. Next meeting is Tuesday, August 5. SJC will need to call a special council meeting. If the memorandum is not executed, will have to propose split.  Wants to discuss high level ideas, then let JSD make edits to the document.

Senator Harper - most are in agreement that splitting would harm students.

Mrs. Kennett - provide cities with information on future buildings. When working on building or purchasing facilities, JSD will share information with cities.

Mrs. Pulsipher - would like the city involved before starting a building process.

Mayor Freeman - would like to have a third party outside the school board to look at the buildings before. We don't have to spend $1 million on a football field or have a college level weight room.  Who cares about a 70 year school? Even in 40 years, the demographics will be different. We haven't done our homework.  That is why the bond went down in flames.

Mrs. Pulsipher - talking about a 5 year plan. JSD may not know what funding mechanism is going to be used for a school to be built in 5 years. This plan will be updated every year. 

Mrs. Kennett - cities should work with district to identify school sites.

Mayor Alvord - wants mayors to speak up about changes if they are uncomfortable signing.

Mayor Applegarth - he will not sign anything today.

Mrs. Pulsipher - concerned about being locked in to a plan, and having to get approval of cities.

Mrs. Whitelock - board is elected and not under the jurisdiction of cities. Cities do not have to approve everything the district does. Discussion and collaboration is good, but not approval.

Mr. Newton - historical problem is the district purchasing prime commercial property. Want discussion with mayors about why school needs to be on certain property.

Mrs. Whitelock - mayors can already attend meetings.

Mr. Seethaler - mayors are welcome in open meetings, but not in closed study sessions, where real estate is usually discussed.

Mrs. Pulsipher - this board is trying to change (emotional voice). We want to change the way doing business.  The memorandum says the cities don't trust us.

Mayor Rolfe - strike approval line.

Representative Ivory - he said mayors just need reasonable notice on changes to building plans.

Mayor Applegarth - he doesn't want board making decisions in his city (Riverton), and he respects the boards role.

Mrs. Whitelock - read section on mayor or designee attendance at board meetings. Property could include cities, but only the appropriate city, where potential site is.  Mayors should not be included on personnel or appeals items.

Jennifer Boehme - JEA does not want mayors in closed study sessions when negotiations are being discussed.

Mrs. Kennett - wants included that cities must update contact information so that the district is not accused of excluding someone.

Mrs. Pulsipher - dates of meetings being discussed.

Mayor Applegarth - Riverton cannot change their city meetings, because they are already planned for 1st, 3rd, and 4th Tuesdays. He does not want to confuse his residents.

Mrs. Pulsipher - JSD is going from 3 to 2 meetings a month. They are making a sacrifice.

Mayor Applegarth - if he need to attend a meeting when a Riverton meeting is scheduled, he can leave his pro tem in charge and attend the JSD meeting as needed.

Mr. Crane - said JSD moved their meetings to 2nd and 4th Tuesdays to accommodate city meetings.

Mr. Osborn - need to add words about additional special meetings beyond the regularly scheduled meeting.

Mr. Newton - wants mayors to sit on dais at a meeting. Board would need to point at each mayor for input.

Mrs. Whitelock - said it would be easy now because mayors don't show up.

Mrs. Pulsipher - mayors can participate and sit up front. Just have to raise hand to make a comment. Could provide tables and microphones.

Mr. Newton - this makes him uncomfortable. He shouldn't have to raise his hand.

Mrs. Whitelock - we usually raise our hand.

Mayor Alvord - this is the school board.

Mayor Timothy - mayors should already know what's going on. He will not invite JSD board to his closed session, and he does not think JSD should invite them to closed session.  If things aren't going the way we want, there is the power of the vote. He knows he is the minority when he says this.

Dr. Johnson - read section on non-school buildings and properties.

Mr. Seethaler - what do you call property you are not going to build a school on?

Mrs. Whitelock - land was acquired for a school, but the plan has changed.

Mr. Newton - wants to find out what JSD board knows in relation to what cities know. The JSD staff has not given some info to board.

Mrs. Kennett - wants cities to provide list of properties for which they are considering RDA, CDA, or EDA to JSD.

Mayor Applegarth - this information has come directly from different entities that want to do the RDA, CDA, and EDA.

Mayor Freeman - someone on his staff meets with JSD staff once a month and provides updates on current and approved development.

Rep. Cunningham - Scott Thomas should report where district is right now on property.

Mr. Bird - this document is a one way street. Nothing in here says the cities have to do anything.  He has been to lots of JSD board meetings.  He has not seen mayors attend in the last 8 years. No place that says that the city has to tell the district about developments that would impact schools.  He would tear it up and walk out of the room. There has been no negotiations.

Mayor Applegarth - this is just the starting point.

Mrs. Whitelock - she doesn't feel this is a discussion. Given a week timeline. JSD board did not get document until 2:00 today. Wants more collaboration.

Mr. Newton - the 6 point SJC resolution was given to JSD board on Friday prior to the July 1 meeting.  The details were just received.

Mayor Applegarth - received this draft last Friday at 2:00.  Most recent one today at 2:00.

Mr. Crane - estimated value of property is going to be fair market value.  This is a moving target.

Mrs. Whitelock - read about selling raw land.

Mrs. Pulsipher - sees the benefit in selling some land, but cities need to see where the land is and what best use is going to be. Already given staff direction to dispose of property know JSD will not used.

Rep. Cunningham - this is getting out of line on this point. Let district evaluate each piece of property.

Mr. Newton - if it is not in there, we won't be required to revisit this.

Rep. Cunningham - meet again if needed.  Cut this out and move on.

Mr. Newton - property might be more valuable as commercial property rather than school property. 

Mrs. Whitelock - do the mayors really want this in the document?  The information will be provided by the district.

Mayor Rolfe  - this piece can be removed.

Mayor Timothy - if the designation says type of school, that is the type of school that the land was purchased for (elementary, etc).

Mr. Thomas - will look at all the property and decide if it can be used for a school.  Some was purchased 30-40 years ago, and things have changed.

Mayor Alvord - this is important in passing a bond.

Mrs. Kennett - it is more expensive to buy land in 5 years than to hold onto land for 10 years.

Mayor Alvord - this is just advice to get a bond passed.

Sen. Harper - cities should meet at least annually with JSD to look at changes to master plans and different housing types.

Mrs. Voorhies - read item about moving administration buildings to less prime commercial real estate.

Mrs. Whitelock - asked if the administration building at Jordan landing is a problem for West Jordan. 

Mayor Rolfe - the building at Jordan landing is fine, but West Jordan would like to redevelop the ASB area.

Mr. Newton - thinks this item needs to stay in the memorandum, because district is spending money on administration buildings that could be spent on schools.

Mrs. Voorhies - would like to strike this item.

Mr. Rolfe - the ASB will not be at 7800 S Redwood in two years.

Mr. Thomas - the July 30 deadline could work as long as being collaborative.

Mr. Crane - read item about facilities construction.

Mrs. Pulsipher - this is where Mr. Freeman's request for third party review would fit.

Rep. Cunningham - new law has to do with accountability to taxpayers.  State office of education reviews these plans.

Mrs. Pulsipher - will supply mayors with reports from the Building Utilization and Design committees that met throughout last year.

SJ attorney - new language from Mr. Freeman about committees to review including teachers.

Mrs. Whitelock - who is paying for the costs of these committees?

Mr. Newton - you already pay to make changes to an architect.  Reviewing by committee will require less changes.

Mr. Crane - have to make changes to previously used plans based on sites.

Mr. Newton - wants other people to review to keep the fancy stuff out of the schools.

Mayor Applegarth - will not spend city money for these committee meetings.  Riverton city would need to have a benefit for any money spent.

Todd Quarnberg - Copper Hills high is 20 years old this year. Missing cafeteria, technology, and storage space.  Need to keep pace with technology infrastructure. It is going to take more than 4 walls to build a building.  It costs money. There will be 2750 students at CHHS. They along with Bingham and Herriman are three of the largest in the state. He gets about 200 permits from Kearns high, because the facility is better. CHHS is smallest HS by square footage in the district. Theater space is not good. He does not see fluff they are talking about.

Mrs. Pulsipher - is willing to pay costs associated with bringing in experts to review plans.

Mr. Osborn - read item about giving cities info on costs of legal counsel.

Rep. Cunningham - this does not need to be included.  All groups have legal counsel.

Mrs. Kennett - read item about supplemental funding from CSD split.

Mr. Crane - said this will be addressed as part of regular budget process.

Mrs. Pulsipher - JSD agreed to original number 6. Strike number 7 (already done with the mutual agreement of Mr. Jolley to leave JSD).

Mayor Applegarth - you are always looking at and evaluating personnel.  Look at philosophical changes in board when hiring new staff.  Open dialogue with cities. Will address issues as raises by mayors.

Mrs. Pulsipher - give mayors opportunities to meet in closed session about potential personnel issues. (I don't feel comfortable with this at all.  I talked to Susan Pulsipher and Peggy Jo Kennett after the meeting about including language that says "district level administration", because the way the statement is currently written would take teacher due process rights away.)

Mr. Osborn - read item about supporting legislation on land use approvals.

Rep. Cunningham - said meet with cities and school districts to write legislation. Traffic issues that are out of control. Willing to pay a little more if getting quality and value. Some lawsuits have come up due to location of some schools, usually charters.

Dr. Johnson - read item about legislation on busing distances.

Mrs. Pulsipher - if reduce elementary requirement from 1.5 miles to 1 mile, then it will cost the district a lot more.

Sen. Osmond's rep - said the 1.5 mile requirement doesn't provide flexibility if a 1.7 mile route was easily walkable and a 1.4 mile route was dangerous.

Mr. Osborn - suggested funding dangerous routes.

Sen. Harper - some of this is out of control. Legislature increased distance from 1 to 1.5 miles and reduced the funding available. This is a big issue.

Mrs. Pulsipher - cities will engage in discussions about statewide equalization legislation.

Mayor Alvord - here because of legislation that cities cannot leave a school district. Will not entertain membership by force in a large district.

Rep. Cunningham - nobody wants to take rights away from anybody. Meetings over last couple of weeks can provide agreement. Greater cause is children and grandchildren. This is not easy. Need to forget what has happened in the past. We have lived through one mess.  We don't want to live through another. This involved all on west side. Legislators are united to help the west side on education and infrastructure. Let's get this thing done.

Mrs. Whitelock - thanked everyone for coming. When we sign off, need to know whether a split will be on a ballot or not.

Mayor Alvord - this is a great step. Appreciates the board bending over backward for us. He wants commitment from Sen. Harper to not put legislation forward about the taxing ability being close if a district were to split. Will take this to the SJC council. Does not want the right/ability to split to be taken away.  (He would not commit that SJC would not put a split on the ballot.)

Mrs. Voorhies - would like on memorandum an intention from SJC to not split.  Give it a couple of years to work. We need assurance. Students will be hurt.

Mr. Applegarth - even if SJ leaves, the rest of the cities will be together.  This has been about working with the cities and JSD.

Mayor Freeman - here because of communication problems. Great day. Set precedent today to not let communication break down again. Mayors don't show up because they feel like they are not being heard.

Mrs. Pulsipher - optimistic.  Change in procedure and attitude through this memorandum. JSD will become shining star in state.

Rep. Cunningham - has not has one voter tell him that they want to split. How we come about a bond is needed. Needs to be more specific. This is what we are going to do going forward. Need baby steps.

Todd Quarnberg - principals are all friends.  If I lose SJ as sister schools, we will be hurt.  We stick together. Great friends in Canyons, but those connections have been lost.  On a collaborative, grassroots area, high schools are working well together.  We are the best district.

Mr. Dearing - thanks for participating and using the Western Growth Coalition to work through these issues. His viewpoint is economic development.  Need to be unified in education, because education is connected to economic development.

NEA Representative Assembly Summary

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Possible WJC Split

We were successful last night!  The West Jordan City Council did not vote to have a feasibility study done.  It sounds like they are going to wait to see what South Jordan City decides. If South Jordan puts a district split on the ballot, West Jordan will use a 2007 feasibility study to meet the legal requirements to put a split on the ballot.  West Jordan City voted to split from Jordan District at the same time the now Canyons District voted.  The vote in West Jordan was 70-30% opposed.

Now we need lots of teachers to attend the South Jordan City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 15 at 6:00 at the South Jordan City Hall (1600 W Towne Center Drive [10610 S]).  Please

For your information, I have included the list of "demands" made by South Jordan here.

Here are notes from Vicki Olsen, JEA Negotiations Team, who attended the school board study session where these issues were addressed.

All Board Members were present.  Dr. Godfrey was acting in Dr. Johnson's capacity while she is out.  All cities had representation at the meeting except for Herriman.  The Mayors are meeting on Monday the 7th followed by a meeting with all Mayors and the School Board on the 14th.  South Jordan Councilman Seethaler was at the table with the Board.  The meeting started at 8:45 and we ended at 10:45.

They proceeded with discussion in order of the resolution.
#1.  Richard Osborn has no problem with the concept but does have a problem with the 30 day request.  Susan Pulsipher suggested making a plan and be allowed to make modifications to it every year based on need and economic circumstances.  Peggy Jo Kennett likens this process as similar to the calendar process.  1 year is set in stone and 2 future years are tentative and are changed as needed or as feedback comes in.  Someone pointed out that the District does have a plan.  The Administration have looked at potential growth and when schools may be needed.
Mark Seethaler would like to see this plan published where the public has access to it.
Bluffdale Mayor pointed out that some cities can't split and must work with the District.  He likes some of the resolution but it doesn't answer/resolve all their questions.  Being all one school district is the key!  Communication needs to be both ways.  He agreed that sometimes Bluffdale doesn't communicate well with the District.
Susan Pulsipher said the 6 items represent a change of process.  We need to all work together, Board and Cities. 
Janice Voorhies & Dr. Godfrey will work on a document for a written response for mayors that will be ready for their meeting on the 7th.  The Board directed Administration to bring info about schools, property owned, use etc. to Board Meeting on the 22nd.
#2 Trying to find weeks that there are no conflicts with meetings.  The Board noted that WJC changed their meetings to Wed.  Herriman holds meeting on Thurs.  The Board is willing to change their weeks to the 2nd & 4th weeks.  Asked Bluffdale to consider changing their meetings as well.
There is a concern about mayors being in closed session for certain parts like student appeal, personnel.  All concerned agreed that if the communication process is working, cities would already know in what meetings property would be discussed.  There was a discussion on what is the best way to notify of upcoming meetings.  Who should receive emails with agendas, etc.?  This will be worked out and administration directed to send notice of all meetings via email to all cities.
#3 Need to create a list of all properties owned by District.  This list would tie into #1.  This document will be given to the Board at the next meeting on the 22nd.  This list will also be reviewed every year along with the 5 year plan.
#4  The Board will share building reviews already done by various committees the past year.  The Board is supportive of multiuse features on buildings.  Will work with the cities to determine best places for schools.
#5 Worth exploring.  Have directed Administration to put out an RFP for legal counsel.  They are okay with RFP since they don't have to accept and buy.
#6 Currently the money is dedicated for new schools.  When the funds stop, the District will have to Bond.  Peggy Jo Kennett pulled out some document that showed where the money had been spent and gave it to Mark Seethaler to look at. 
West Jordan Mayor says he does not want to split.  Wants to stay together.  Only reason to put on ballot is to let citizens have a vote. 
At this point someone pointed out that cities are allowed to hire lobbyists while school districts cannot.  Susan asked if cities would hire lobbyists to help with legislative issues concerning education.  All cities agreed that if everyone worked together it would make a difference.
There was a State Senator in attendance.  I believe his name was Wayne Harper.  He liked what he had listened to over the course of the evening. 
Overall it was fairly positive.  It sounded to me like there is going to be effort on both sides to work things out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

SAGE Information from UEA

The following is from UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh.
Thank you for all of your feedback on the SAGE computer adaptive test. Many members contacted me and shared personal experiences, frustrations and hopes about the SAGE test. More than 3,000 members participated in our online survey and shared their experiences with SAGE. This input was extremely valuable in understanding the problems and potential of the new tests for students and educators. Based on this feedback UEA met with the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) to discuss SAGE and request specific action.
We specifically requested that the Utah State Board of Education address, correct or implement several critical issues related to SAGE:
·         Technical glitches
·         Technology infrastructure
·         Accommodations for special education students
·         Testing protocols
·         Loss of instructional time required to administer assessments
·         Clear communication plan to engage educators
As part of the effort to keep educators more fully informed about SAGE, please see the letter from USOE Associate Superintendent Judy Park. The letter outlines corrections and changes that will be made to the test, the timeline for release of testing data and next steps in the SAGE development process.