Board of Education meeting recap: prepayment of bonds saves district $233,250, allows debt service levy to remain $1.70
The Grain Valley School Board met August 18th for its regularly scheduled meeting, approving prepayment of $1.725 million of the Series 2019B bonds. The approval allows the district to maintain a Debt Service Levy of $1.70, and will save the district $233,250 in interest. The debt service tax rate will be set at a later date, but prepayment of these bonds allows the district to keep the rate at $1.70, where it has been since 2017.
Under informational/discussion items, the subjects of teaching of controversial issues and dress code policies drew discussion. Superintendent Brad Welle opened the discussion, asking for board input regarding student dress code. Jeff Porter specifically pointed to the vague language of the current dress code policy, and shared information from another district's policy, citing restrictions on holes in jeans. yoga pants, and clothing or accessories that can be construed as costume wear. Board member Jeff Coleman suggested bare midriffs should not be allowed in school. After a lengthy discussion on proposed restrictions to include in a revised student dress code, Welle indicated leadership would look at changes to the dress code policy and bring back to the board for further review. The District's current policy on teaching of controversial issues will also be brought back to the board for further review.
Reached for further comment regarding the dress code concerns raised during the meeting, Jeff Porter stated he would hold comments for the board meeting.
To view the District's current policy on teaching about controversial issues, visit View Policy INB: TEACHING ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES (eboardsolutions.com).
To view the District's current student dress code policy, visit: View Policy JFCA: STUDENT DRESS CODE (eboardsolutions.com).
During patron comments, several patrons continued to press for a board level response to the Stakeholder Engagement Report, which came as a result of the controversy this spring over the removal of "safe space" stickers. Additionally, a number of patrons rose to speak in support of the board.
Valley News reached out to district leadership regarding a board level response to the Stakeholder Engagement Report. Dr. Amanda Allen, Asst. Superintendent, School and Community Services, stated that the cover letter attached to the Stakeholder Engagement Report "was meant to represent all district leadership. As superintendent, Dr. Welle is the district spokesperson for the Board."
"An additional response to the Stakeholder Engagement Report will come in September with the adoption of annual priorities. These annual priorities reflect our Strategic Plan goals (2021-2026) and the commitments published by district leadership with the release of the CESO report. Through our annual priorities, the district will continue to pursue our goals of providing a learning environment that is collaborative, safe, and inclusive. These priorities will then be revisited three additional times this school year to monitor progress," Allen said.