Seasoned Board Member is Opposed to Receiving Detailed Budget Information (emails)


Laurel Young

School Board Member 
Representing District 6


Fellow Board member Rosemary Emery sent an email to all Board members prior to our retreat last week. She is requesting that the Board have better access and understanding to the school district budget:
From: Rosemary Emery
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 3:17 PM
To: Laurel Young; Tiffany Sandberg; Michael Clara; Heather Bennett; Doug Nelson; Kristi Swett
Subject: board meeting
Over the last two years it has become apparent that as a board we do not review in a thorough manner our yearly spending.
I would like to propose that we spend at least a half hour at the end of each meeting discussing issues of spending.  Clearly budget discussions and spending discussions are not co-partners.  As an elected official, I feel we need to review our spending not just how much money we have to spend.
For example, perhaps we could discuss elementary coaches vs science teachers,  or a minimum number of high school teachers for CTE and no minimum for English, Math or Science.  I assume we all have things that we would like to see discussed.
I hope this change could go into effect soon.  Perhaps we could put this issue on the July agenda.
Thank you for your time.
Rosemary Emery


Board member Laurel Young is opposed to the Board receiving a better understanding of the budget. She also is under the false impression that the Board can no longer ‘direct funds to certain programs’.

The reality is that board policy and state law give the school board all authority to direct the finances of the district (Board Authority).  

Laurel is the longest serving member of the board (over a decade):

From: Laurel Young <>
Date: Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Subject: RE: board meeting
To: Rosemary Emery <>, Tiffany Sandberg <>, Michael Clara <>, Heather Bennett <>, Doug Nelson <>, Kristi Swett <>
Cc: McKell Withers <>, Janet Roberts <>

Hello Group,

I would like to express my thought on this issue too. I do feel that we have had adequate information about our yearly spending in written form. Our SAP has directed our budget , and unfortunately,  has been very tight. “In years long ago”, it was possible for “The Board” to direct $$ to specific programs since we had some additional funds ($500,000).This has not been the case for many years and in the last 4 years since we have been cutting $$. I do think we can address some of the concerns of Rosemary , and I think some of this is proposed in upcoming agendas. I do reject the idea that we spend 30 minutes in our board meetings for these discussions. We only have 20 board meetings/year as currently scheduled or 40 hours/year to discuss the “business of the board. I don’t think we should spend 10 hours discussing what has been decided and implemented by past boards and policies. I do think we always need re-evaluation, if needed, and within our agendas. We all of opportunity to add to the agendas, if three board members agree. If not, then we need to be judicious with our time.

Thanks. I do hope to make it next Tuesday. …


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