Mill Levy Oversight Committee

Mill Levy Oversight Committee Meeting May 7, 2019
@ Garfield Re-2 School District Office
Present: Ed Weiss, Katie Mackley, Mandy Wells, Mike Rynkiewicz, Brent Curtice, Elizabeth Rinaldi, Theresa Hamilton

Absent: Brock Hedberg, Gina Thompson, Kari Meskin, Terri Aragon

Director of Human Resources Elizabeth Rinaldi presented a brief history (attached) of the process leading up to the 2018 $4.9 Mill Levy Override and of the conversations that Collaborative Solutions, the District’s negotiating body, had with individual employee groups that had concerns about their placement on the salary schedules.

Director of Finance Mike Rynkiewicz presented a high level overview of the property tax collections for the general fund, bond fund, and each Mill Levy Override that Garfield Re-2 has passed over the years (attached)

The committee then asked several questions of the Garfield Re-2 administrators present:

Was the MLO effective in reducing turnover? Was the District able to be competitive in the salary schedules?

Supt. Curtice indicated that the passage of the MLO in 2018 has changed perception of the school district. People feel valued. Although we are not finished with the school year, Overall, it has had a positive impact on our turnover rate to date. Currently we have about 40 fewer teacher openings than we had this time last year.

If we are $4.3 million now, and the MLO is for $4.9 million, what happens as people gain years of experience, or increase their education level. Will that exhaust the money?

This year based upon the state long bill, we are anticipating an increase in per pupil funding of about $1 million. The improved state funding should support the salary schedule in the foreseeable future. Collaborative Solutions (CS) is also in the process of negotiating for some additional modifications to individual groups on the salary schedules.

In general, a 1.8% increase for all staff and a 1.5% for administrators annually results in a $700,000 expense. (There is an additional $100,000+ expense for health insurance benefits and required PERA contributions bringing the additional revenue to spend to about $250,000). CS negotiates the use for the difference. They will be presenting a priority list they would like the board to consider for salary adjustments in addition to the steps and lanes increases.

The additional $600,000 from the MLO will help support as staff increase their educational credits, and/or we retain more veteran teachers as those are recurring costs to the general fund.

CS has discussed salary schedules in every meeting beginning in November 2018 through May 3, 2019. A sub-committee from CS has met with approximately 15 groups of employees in November, January, February and May to hear any concerns from employees about their salary schedule and their competitiveness.

New contracts will be issued to staff following the May 14, 2019 School Board meeting.

What is the largest group of turnover?

Exit survey data from last year showed it was 2-5. The new data is not available.

The number one reason for leaving was relocation - following a spouse, supporting ailing family members, etc. Salary was on the list but not the top reason for leaving. Additional reasons were

affordable housing and the cost of insurance. We will compile this year’s data after hiring season slows down.

Was part of the MLO to bring salaries to be competitive?

Yes. In our comparison of neighboring school districts, our certified BA+0 was competitive. Based upon the market analysis conducted by CS, they decided to put the bulk of the money into making teachers with masters’ degrees and additional educational credits more competitive.

Since then, surrounding districts have also made salary adjustments.

Does all of the money have to go to the salary schedule?

The official ballot language is provided:

SHALL GARFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT RE-2 TAXES BE INCREASED $4.9 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR THE RECRUITING, TRAINING AND RETAINING OF QUALITY TEACHERS AND STAFF, BY A PROPERTY TAX TO BE LEVIED AT A RATE SUFFICIENT TO ANNUALLY PRODUCE THE AMOUNT SPECIFIED ABOVE, WHICH AUTHORIZATION SHALL NOT BE EXERCISED IN THE EVENT THAT AMENDMENT 73 WHICH ADDS A SUBSECTION TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION KNOWN AS THE “QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION FUND” TO SUPPLEMENT PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING IS APPROVED BY VOTERS STATEWIDE AT THE 2018 GENERAL ELECTION, WITH SUCH TAXES TO BE DEPOSITED INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE DISTRICT, TO BE IN ADDITION TO THE PROPERTY TAXES THAT OTHERWISE WOULD BE LEVIED FOR THE GENERAL FUND AND SHALL CONSTITUTE A VOTER APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE?

Although the language included a little room to maneuver, the school board was clear that they wanted the dollars to go all toward supporting the salary schedule.


How can we see that the money went to salaries and only to salaries? Can you see the account number and track the money?

The School Board approved a supplemental budget that shows the specific account numbers for both the anticipated revenue and the anticipated expenditures.

CLICK HERE: [February 12,2019 Approved Supplemental Budget]

The committee recommended that the minutes be posted on the Garfield Re-2 web site and that a notice be posted on the web site indicating that the committee has met and here was the information they collected so that the citizens know the promises of the school board were followed through upon.

The committee also recommended that after the majority of the revenue is collected late into 2019, that a mailer be designed to thank the community and illustrate that the money has been collected, and spent where we said it would be spent. Information about staff retention could be included as well. The audit should be complete about that time so the audited expenditures could be included although all of the revenue would not have gone through that process.

Presented by Elizabeth Rinaldi, Dir. of Human Resources 5_7_19
Timeline of Events
2.5 years ago WGEA (Western Garfield Education Association) - Local chapter of the Colorado Education Association and the collective bargaining agent for the District’s teachers worked in conjunction with Collaborative Solutions - (District negotiating body that makes recommendations to the Board of Education on various policy, academic calendar, salary negotiations, and health insurance), to begin development on the new proposed salary schedules.

Collaborative Solutions in conjunction with District leadership completed a Listening Tour last spring 2018 with the proposed new salary schedules at all District locations.

November 6, 2018, ballot initiative 4A, a $4.9 million Mill Levy Override (MLO) to fund the salary schedule proposed by the Garfield Re-2 School Board was passed by voters.

November 13, 2018, the board discussed implementing the new salary schedule in February 2019 with retroactive pay provided in one lump sum in February

November 30, 2018

Collaborative Solutions reviews salary schedule modifications
December 4, 2018 School Board Meeting

School Board adopts new salary schedules for Garfield Re-2 staff
School Board adopts a resolution establishing oversight committee for revenues collected through 4A
January 28, 2019

All staff received the salary rate information as to what they could expect beginning on their February 2019 paycheck.
February 12, 2019

A supplemental budget for the additional revenue was approved by the board
February 15, 2019

First payroll using new salary schedule including pay retroactive to the beginning of their contract year, which was approximately July 1, or August 1, 2018
Based on board approval, the district was allowed to go below the general fund reserve limit to pay retroactively in February, knowing the property taxes would be collected to replenish the reserve
February 26, 2019

Board updated on MLO property tax collection progress
April 9, 2019

Board updated on MLO property tax collection progress
May 14, 2019

Board update on MLO property tax collection progress
Related Meeting Dates

Collaborative Solutions met on the following dates to discuss the new salary schedule:

November 30, 2018
January 11, 2019
February 1, 2019
February 22, 2019
March 8, 2019
April 5, 2019
April 26, 2019
May 3, 2019 - Final Meeting of the Academic Year
Salary Committee - (Sub-Committee of Collaborative Solutions that is comprised of two administrators, two certified staff members and one classified staff member) that addresses Salary Concerns, Discuss Salary Schedule Changes, Make Recommendations to the large Collaborative Solutions group). The Salary Committee met on the following dates regarding the new salary schedule:

November 28, 2018 - First Meeting
January 10, 2019
January 29, 2019
February 13, 2019
February 27, 2019
May 1, 2019

Presented by Mike Rynkiewicz, Dir. of Finance 5_7_19


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