Racine Unified is scheduling a second attempt at a public hearing about the 2016 budget after their last hearing was a no-go because too few school board members attended.
Community residents will have the chance to listen to a presentation about the upcoming budget at 6 p.m. Sept. 28 at the administration building, 3109 Mt. Pleasant Street.
The first hearing Aug. 17 was only attended by four board members because Dennis Wiser and Julie McKenna boycotted the meeting, making it impossible for the Board of Education to vote on a controversial measure to change the employee handbook regarding pay increases for faculty and staff.
In a nutshell, Haws wants to raise salaries according to steps, or levels, so teachers get an average of a 2.5 percent increase. Teachers who are already at the top of their salary range are not eligible for a step increase but will receive a 1.62 percent raise.
The Aug. 17 did include a public hearing about the budget, but because there wasn’t a quorum, the board did not conduct its regular business other than opening and closing the hearing.
Trustees in Sturtevant objected to even that much business being conducted, and they sent a letter dated Aug. 28 expressing their concern.
“Press accounts of the public hearing indicate that the RUSD school board lacked a quorum to undertake the business meeting portion of the … agenda,” the letter reads. “Therefore, the question that arises is, if the Board lacked a quorum to undertake the business portion of the meeting, did it also lack a quorum to undertake the public hearing on the budget? The Village Board simply wants to ensure that RUSD has satisfied itself that all applicable legal requirements for the budget process have been satisfied.”
Racine Unified Chief Financial Officer Marc Duff told The Journal Times that district attorneys told him a quorum isn’t necessary for a public hearing and that the district was “on solid ground” last month.
Pastor Melvin Hargrove agreed.
“We believe the public hearing was legitimate, was valid, but just in case anyone tries to throw a stick in the spokes (we will hold another),” he is quoted as saying.
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