Board President Mark Stoker brought a revised budget proposal to the board of directors. As recommended by Director Dale Rice, the revised proposal adds an additional six full-time equivalent counselors for secondary schools. This revision brings the total to 18.6 additional FTE counseling staff as advocated by Directors Edri Geiger and Kathy Gillespie.

While both Geiger and Gillespie agreed that it was a step in the right direction, they continue to advocate for more support at the secondary schools in the form of drug and alcohol specialists, behavior specialists and counseling support.

“I’m trying to find a path forward, and I understand the desire for drug and alcohol [intervention specialists],” said Stoker, “We all have the best interests of kids in our minds. That’s why we’re here. We may have disagreements about how this money is spent, but it isn’t because we don’t have the best interest of every child in our school in our hearts and minds.”

The vote by the board to adopt Resolution 756 did not pass. Rice and Stoker voted for the budget; Gillespie voted no and Geiger abstained.

All board members agree that the social and emotional well-being of students is a priority, and all parties agree that they will continue to work to reach consensus and adopt a budget by Aug. 31.

Another board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 27, at 9 a.m. at the Bates Center for Educational Leadership. The board of directors will continue to meet through the weekend until the budget is approved.

An audio file of the entire board meeting is available on BoardDocs.