Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 1-3-23
JANUARY 3, 2023, organizational and regular meetings
- Election of officers
- Treasurer’s report
- Committee assignments
- Board comments and announcements
Present were President Malia Lewis, Dan Heintz, James Posch, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The organizational meeting for election of officers was followed immediately by the regular meeting. The organizational meeting lasted about 20 minutes, the regular meeting was about 45 minutes, and the entire session was 1 hour 5 minutes.
Election of officers
President Lewis presided over the nomination and vote for Beverly Wright as board president for 2023. After presiding over the election of Beverly Wright as board president, Malia Lewis surrendered her seat, and Beverly Wright accepted her position, agreeing to her duties and promising to serve the students, staff, and community members.
Beverly Wright presided over the rest of the meeting and the regular meeting that followed.
Jodi Sourini was elected to the position of Vice President, Dan Heintz was elected to continue as treasurer pro-tem.
Mr. Gainer presented three topics related to goal five of the district’s strategic plan. First, the ACFR (Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, formerly the CAFR) was completed for fiscal year 2022 and submitted to Government Financial Officers Association and Association of School Business Officials. All Ohio districts are required to complete audited financial statements. The CHUH district chooses to use the ACFR because it is more transparent.
Second, maintenance of effort, as it relates to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, requires that the district demonstrate spending local funds for special education at the same level as the previous year. Many Covid-related impacts must be explained and addressed sufficiently to the Ohio Department of Education. The district met the department’s requirements. If the district had not, the department could request that federal funds be refunded. Ms. Lewis drew attention to distributed funds that make a huge impact on the community. For example, because the district is a Title 1 school, it receives federal grants to provide students with meals because students cannot learn if they’re hungry. Ms. Lewis also observed that this rule forces districts to continue to support or increase support for students with disabilities. She emphasized the importance of identifying students with disabilities.
Third, inside millage relates to unvoted mills that are not subject to HB 920. These mills may grow with inflation and change as property values change. Each city controls its own inside millage, which may cause fluctuations in homeowner’s tax bill. The inside millage allocated to the school district is 4.45 mills.
The board discussed potential committee assignments including a representative to the Northeast Ohio Board Consortium, the legislative liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), and representatives to the Reaching Heights Board of Directors and the Ed Choice lawsuit.
President Wright suggested a conversation with Superintendent Kirby to clarify the list of community committees to be presented to the board for board participation.
Board comments and announcements
A policy review meeting will be held on Jan. 16.
Mr. Heintz proposed to consider that the public comment be limited to only community members.
Mr. Posch recommended considering a policy regarding who can run for school board, i.e., adding a residency requirement, as proposed by OSBA.
The grand opening of the MetroHealth Clinic Wellness Center will be at Heights High on Jan. 17.
Upcoming meetings are a work session on Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m., which will include a career and technical education update, and a regular meeting on Feb. 7.
LWV Observer: Rosemarie Fairman.
Documents for all board meetings can be accessed from the Board of Education webpage: www.chuh.org/BoardofEducation.aspx. Go to “BoardDocs” in the menu; on BoardDocs go to “MEETINGS” in the top menu; click on “Agenda.” Board meetings are livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/CHUHSchools) and recorded for later viewing.