Lawrence school board to hear update on Futures Planning Committee progress

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The Lawrence school board on Monday will receive an update on the district’s committee designed to structure recommendations for next year’s budget and building usage.

Board President Shannon Kimball called the special meeting to hear a report on the Futures Planning Committee’s progress. The district in August hired RSP & Associates, an outside consulting firm, to produce a demographic profile and enrollment projection as well as facility and school boundaries recommendations.

As part of RSP’s $120,000 contract, the district selected a group of school staff, students and community members to serve on the Futures Planning Committee and provide input during the process. An overview of what the committee worked on during its first four meetings is included in Monday’s report. Members have so far discussed the budget, teaching and learning goals, and facility recommendations.

The committee generated three district finance priorities: to “achieve competitive wages for staff,” to “allocate funds for annual cost increases” and to “increase district cash balances,” according to the report. The first two goals have widespread support among committee members, but the goal of increasing district cash balances is supported by 55% of the committee, according to the report. The committee’s financial belief statements emphasize “increasing salaries 5% within one to two years.”

The committee also discussed budget reduction possibilities, including options for staff cuts, program or activity cuts, and facility or utilization reductions.

A survey will be released to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 8 and remain open through Friday, Nov. 18, with a goal to “connect the community to inform them of the process, invite them to public input sessions, and prepare for the possible changes,” according to the report.


To conclude Monday’s meeting, board members will hold a closed-door executive session in which they will discuss personnel matters, with possible action to follow.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Meetings are open to the public, livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel and broadcast on Midco channel 26. Full meeting agendas are available at this link.

To give public comment virtually during the board meeting, email by 6 p.m. on the day of the meeting to sign up to participate by Webex video/phone conferencing.

The school board typically meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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