It has been an interesting week. The collective bargaining bill that dropped on Tuesday is probably going to be the biggest change in labor relations that most of us will see in our respective careers. The changes to Chapter 20 are sweeping, and I am still in the process of digesting and reading through the proposed legislation. What we know right now is that the only mandatory subject of bargaining will be base wages, and an arbitrators award will be limited to 3% or the CPI rate, whichever is lower. This legislation is likely to become law and be on the governor’s desk by the end of next week. The two bills that came out of the House and Senate were identical in nature, so this is moving very quickly. If districts currently have reached a settlement or are in a settlement, those will be allowed to stand. However any district that is in the middle of negotiations that hasn’t settled yet will need to start completely over.
We have also made headway on some pretty big projects here in the district this week. Budget work on the FY 2018 budget began and we have the first draft of our preschool application completed. I have also filed paperwork and exhibits with the SBRC for an appearance in March (pending board authorization) and feel good about where we are with both those projects.
I also wanted to alert you to a preschool information night that we are planning for February 23rd in the middle school commons. We hope to answer questions and begin registration. As I shared last week, we are proceeding as if this is a go and encouraging families to dual enroll in case something falls through. We also had an opportunity to meet with both our community preschool providers and feel those discussions were helpful.
That is about all for now. A legislative forum is scheduled for this afternoon so I think I’ll head up to the AEA. Have a wonderful weekend.
The photo I am sharing this week is from our girls basketball game last night against Dunkerton. I think we will call this ‘David vs. Goliath’. Our Pirates knocked off the top seeded opponent in our bracket and were able to extend their season with this win! A great victory for this team and much needed boost!
Dr. Anthony D. Voss, Superintendent