Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 6-2-2020
JUNE 2, 2020
- Recognition of retirees and Heights High swim team
- Public comments
- OSBA legislative platform
- Five-year forecast
- Superintendent’s report
The meeting, conducted remotely, was called to order at 7 p.m. and was adjourned at 7:58 p.m., after which the board went into executive session. Board President Jodi Sourini, members James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present.
Recognition of retirees and Heights High swim team
The superintendent and board recognized 21 retiring staff members, thanking them for their many years of service, acknowledging the unusual circumstances of their retirement during the pandemic, and assuring them that “Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger.”
Superintendent Kirby announced that all six senior class members of the Height High School varsity swim team had received Academic All-America Awards, and that all 17 members of the girls' varsity swim team had been named members of the All-America Scholar Team.
The superintendent also recognized the twelve staff members named as Tiger Team Members of the Month.
Recovery of taxpayer money: Resident Garry Kanter read aloud a Cleveland.com article about a state auditor’s task force recommending taxpayer money be recovered that the board had used to fund a voter survey relating to the March 17 school levy.
OSBA legislative platform
The board approved unanimously the adoption of a resolution recommending amendment to the Ohio School Boards Association’s 2020 legislative platform by adding the following language under the public/non-public school funding plank:
“OSBA supports legislation that:
- Requires all private non-public schools receiving public tax money to be held to the same accountability standards governing Ohio’s public schools including licensure requirements.
- Requires all private non-public schools receiving public tax money to be subject to the same financial reporting, audit requirements and sunshine laws as Ohio’s public schools.”
Before voting on the resolution, board members discussed their intent that the resolution put pressure on OSBA, the trade association for Ohio boards of education, to step up its advocacy for public schools during this time of attack by the Ohio Legislature. The full text of the resolution is included with the detailed meeting agenda at https://go.boarddocs.com/oh/chuh/Board.nsf/Public.
The board approved the updated five-year forecast, which Mr. Gainer presented with related assumptions. He noted that revision is likely to continue over the next two months as additional information regarding voucher expenditures and projected revenues becomes available. Mr. Gainer reported that the Lay Finance Committee met on May 27, 2020, to review the forecast and submitted requests for additional data. The committee’s next meeting will be June 25 at 4 p.m. The revised five-year forecast may be viewed with the meeting agenda at https://go.boarddocs.com/oh/chuh/Board.nsf/Public.
Board President Jodi Sourini reported that the Northeast Ohio School Board Presidents have been meeting every other week and sharing information on graduation ceremonies and athletic field openings, among other topics.
Superintendent Kirby commended the staff on their hard work this past year, quickly adapting to online instruction and providing students with social support beyond the virtual classroom. She also expressed appreciation to the community for its support of the Heights High graduating class, and to the board members for participating in the multiple graduation ceremonies.
She also reported on the ongoing end-of-year closure process, building improvements, and the district’s participation in a USDA Farms to Families food distribution.
She presented, for first reading, Board Policy 5460, relating to graduation requirements. The state has changed graduation requirements for 2021. The district is awaiting Ohio Department of Education guidance about implementation of those requirements. Dan Heintz pointed out that 2020 graduation requirements were also changed from 2019.
Board members commended the superintendent for her published statement on the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, the growing protests against institutional racism, and the importance of equity in education in addressing institutional racism. That statement can be viewed at https://www.chuh.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=6G0PI30&dasi=3Y2I
Upcoming meetings include several special meetings on June 16, 22, and 24, beginning in executive session and opening to the public at 7 pm. The next regular meeting will be July 7, 7 pm. All are virtual meetings streamed directly on the district’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/CHUHSchools) and recorded for later viewing. They can also be viewed at: https://stream.meet.google.com/stream/8f442366-4bbd-4160-aaeb-ece0f7ab6534
LWV Observer: Kathy Petrey.