• BRS: The Path Forward

    This page is designed to share information about BRS' Financial situation. It will feature Frequently-Asked Questions, the latest updates/news, a document repository and contact information. This page will be updated as frequently as new information is available to be shared.

  • Frequently-Asked Questions

  • If you are reviewing privatization, could you look at bringing back custodial in house? Any savings?

    Posted by:

    The district has conducted the following reviews with these entities for 2019-2020:

    • CGRESD Ancillary Services - No savings available for 2019-2020; IDEA Flow-Through funding covers expenses.
    • CGRESD Technology – No savings available. The CGRESD houses the District’s server.
    • Chartwells Food Service – A Request for Proposal (RFP) was sent out. Only three companies provided bids and two dropped out.  Chartwells received the contract.  It is cost prohibitive to bring food service in-house.
    • Hi-Tec Custodial Services - It is cost prohibitive to bring custodial services in-house.
    • Hi-Tec Maintenance Services – It appears that there is potential savings to outsource maintenance workers and maintenance supervision via Hi-Tec. Discussions with Hi-Tec is in progress.
    • Transportation – An RFP is being prepared for distribution to various transportation companies (i.e. Auxilio Services, Dean Transportation, Inc., First Student, Inc.). Quotes will be gathered for further consideration.
    • Beaverton Activity Center – Savings available; the yearly contribution by the district has been reduced to $10,000/year for the remainder of the lease agreement. The BAC already saves the District at least $18,000/year in gymnasium use alone.
    Comments (-1)
  • What is the auditor’s 2017-2018 Single Program Audit and were there findings?

    Posted by:

    Weinlander-Fitzhugh’s 2017-2018 Single Program Audit was food service. There were no findings. This is reported in the final audit report.

    Comments (-1)
  • Why would you move sixth grade to BJSHS? Are you serious and when would you do this?

    Posted by:

    There are many potential benefits to moving sixth grade to the BJSHS including:

    • Providing BES with space to house its own Daycare Room
    • Michigan may mandate Preschool for all students, and when this happens, BES will need additional space to house that program
    • BES needs space to house a Young Fives Program slated for Fall, 2019
    • Sixth grade students will have a much broader opportunity for higher-level instructional programming at BJSHS (i.e. accelerated learning, potential gifted/talented opportunities)
    • Sixth grade students will be better equipped with study skills throughout their secondary-level academic career
    • Grades 6-8 students could certainly be housed at one end of BJSHS (i.e. utilizing their own grades 6-8 bathrooms/lockers; grades 6-8 dances; joining grades 6-8 Student Government)

    Administration is researching this option for future programming. This venture would not occur until thoroughly vetted with the Beaverton community, staff and students involved. These conversations would occur throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

    Comments (-1)
  • Is all the money accounted for and can the detailed information be provided?

    Posted by:

    Yes, all money is accounted for and stakeholders may make an appointment with the business manager and superintendent any time for further details.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the board goal for fund equity?

    Posted by:

    Seven percent.

    Comments (-1)
  • Can we sell the district's forest property, and do we have to give a percentage back to the state?

    Posted by:

    No, we can't. According to the Property Deeds and a March 26, 2007 communication from Thrun Law Firm, relative to Municipal Forest Property, we learned that District-owned parcels have a clause in the Deeds stating, "it is expressly understood that the land herein described shall be used solely for forestry purposes and when same ceases to be used for such purpose, it shall revert to the State of Michigan." 

    The properties originally being considered were those parcels other than the School Forest where the cross country course and walking path exist.  There are no plans to sell district-owned properties based upon our investigation with the District’s law firm and the State of Michigan.

    Comments (-1)
  • What are our current classrooms designed to house?

    Posted by:

    Approximately 35 students.

    Comments (-1)
  • How will you take class size into consideration?

    Posted by:

    Class size is always an important consideration when balancing student enrollment with staffing. Several other variables also play into class size decisions including Michigan’s Read by Grade Three Law and general education/special education students’ developmental, social, and emotional needs, instructional facility space and student/teacher safety. Teacher certification and/or additional endorsements are also a primary consideration.

    Comments (-1)
  • When you look at cutting staff numbers, will you also look at individual class sizes?

    Posted by:

    Yes. Administration agrees that individual student groups matter when preparing class rosters each year. Careful consideration, with teachers’ input, is a priority when developing classroom cohorts.                                            

    Comments (-1)
  • What are the “RED for ED Rally” dates?

    Posted by:

    #RedforEd Rally at the Capitol

    www.mea.org/redfored  

    Start: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10:00 AM

    End: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 11:00 AM

    Rally will be held at the State Capitol at 100 N. Capitol Avenue, in Lansing

    Comments (-1)
  • Can we go back to the 1.5 FTE for special education?

    Posted by:

    More attention on special education per pupil funding must be a focus of our legislators.  All students, whether they are general education or special education, receive 1 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) of State Aid Funding (SAF) per year.  Special Education students used to receive 1.5 FTE.

    If you wish to contact our legislators, they are:

    Jason Wentworth, Michigan House Republicans, District 97: http://gophouse.org/representatives/northernmi/wentworth/

    Jim Stamas, Michigan State Senator, 36th State Senate District:

    https://www.senatorjimstamas.com/

    Comments (-1)
  • What are the extra expenses related to special education? Are there grants available to write?

    Posted by:

    There are several extra expenses relative to special education programming dependent upon students’ Individual Education Plans (IEP) and supports deemed appropriate via each student’s IEP Team. All supports are aligned to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and may include a paraprofessional ($23,000), hearing impaired specialist ($30,000), and other ancillary social/emotional/behavioral supports provided by CGRESD personnel (via IDEA Flow-Through funding).

    Grants specifically geared toward special education are not offered by Michigan Department of Education.  State funding of public schools is simply broken.

    Comments (-1)
  • Is the check on the business manager normal?

    Posted by:

    Yes, it is customary to provide supports to the business manager throughout each fiscal year via the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO), Clare-Gladwin RESD’s Finance Personnel monthly meetings, local auditors, and local support from the Superintendent.

    Comments (-1)
  • Specifically, what will you do to ensure this NEVER happens again?

    Posted by:

    All Central Office and Business Office staff will strictly adhere to the BRS Corrective Action Plan submitted to Michigan Department of Education and Michigan’s Department of Treasury and work closely with Michigan School Business Officials, the Clare-Gladwin RESD’s Chief Financial Officer, and auditors.

    Comments (-1)
  • Can you outline the “internal controls” referenced?

    Posted by:

    See the document “BRS Corrective Action Plan,” which outlines internal controls within the district’s Business Office.

    Comments (-1)
  • How many empty classrooms are in each building?

    Posted by:

    There are three (3) vacant classrooms at BJSHS and one (1) vacant classroom at BES, currently serving as a Teachers’ Lounge.

    Comments (-1)
  • How has the District arrived in its current financial state?

    Posted by:

    The current financial state cannot be attributed to just one cause. The District’s hired a new business officer over the past year after the position had been vacant for some time after the previous business officer resigned. The District conducted an audit of its accounting records and the accounting firm and the Department of Treasury have recommended better accounting practices that the District should utilize when documenting District finances. While serious, these issues are not insurmountable and we believe that the District has the right people and guidance to put the finances back on the right track. The Board and Administration are working diligently to produce a balanced budget by June 30th that takes into account as many fiscally responsible considerations as possible.

    Comments (-1)
  • Who’s responsible for the current financial state?

    Posted by:

    The Superintendent and Board are responsible. A Corrective Action Plan was submitted to the District’s auditors, Weinlander Fitzhugh, and to the Michigan Department of Treasury that clearly outlines increased, strict, quality-control protocols, which were immediately put into place.

    Comments (-1)
  • How does Beaverton’s situation compare to that of the Gwinn School District?

    Posted by:

    The Department of Treasury advises that Gwinn’s model is not applicable to Beaverton. Gwinn is IN deficit; Beaverton is NOT in deficit.

    The Department of Treasury separates schools into three different categories when working with them:

    Category 1 – Pre-Deficit or Treasury’s Early Warning (Beaverton is here);
    MDE Deficit Schools – Schools projected to be in deficit less than 5 years.  Required to submit Deficit Elimination Plan (DEP).

    Category 2 – Treasury Deficit districts (project to be in deficit greater than 5 years or “rapidly deteriorating”)
    Required to submit Enhanced Deficit Elimination Plan (EDEP). (Gwinn is here due to rapidly deteriorating financial circumstances)

    Category 3 – Financial Emergencies (Emergency Managers, Consent Agreements, Bankruptcy, etc.)

    Comments (-1)
  • What about the notion of consolidating with Gladwin Community Schools to share costs?

    Posted by:

    While we have to investigate all potential avenues to overcome our current fiscal challenges, the Board is not considering a consolidation with any other school district at this time. While the state of our finances are certainly serious, the Board considers a consolidation a last resort, and the District’s financial picture simply isn’t that dire.

    Comments (-1)
  • Is it a viable option to sell the administration building?

    Posted by:

    This scenario would require relocating Central Office staff to another location, and the District is currently reviewing the process to sell a property that is owned by a school entity. The Administration Building, as well as vacant parcels that the District currently owns, will be reviewed for potential sale.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the $5,000 Superintendent concession?

    Posted by:

    The Superintendent has volunteered $5,000 as a decrease in her salary toward the District’s financial situation.

    Comments (-1)
  • How does the superintendent’s salary compare to her counterparts in surrounding districts?

    Posted by:

    Superintendent base salaries from surrounding districts, ranked from highest to lowest, are:

    • Clare: $112,320
    • Gladwin: $111,581 (MA +26)
    • Harrison: $104,707
    • Beaverton: $103,030  (MA+30)
    • Farwell: $100,500
    Comments (-1)
  • Did the Business Manager get a raise? Is he getting a raise next year?

    Posted by:

    The Business Manager has not received a raise for the 2018-19 school year. Upon his hire, the Board and Business Manager discussed his potentially receiving a $5,000 wage increase if the Business Manager’s performance and the District’s financial status justified the raise.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is the business manager’s salary? How does it rank within the region?

    Posted by:

    Business Manager base salaries from surrounding districts, ranked from highest to lowest, are:

    • Gladwin: $74,292
    • Harrison: $66,155
    • Clare: $67,000
    • Farwell: $60,500
    • Beaverton: $60,000
    Comments (-1)
  • How much money do we have in the bank?

    Posted by:

    The District’s budget is comprised of several Federal, State and local revenue streams that fluctuate throughout a fiscal year. As revenue deposits and expenditures occur throughout the fiscal year, the amount of funds “in the bank” is best referenced through monthly “real-time snapshots” via bank reconciliations, which are communicated to the Board through a monthly dashboard. Currently, the District is forecasting a $217,000 fund balance as of June 30, 2019.

    Comments (-1)
  • How do we compare to other districts our size financially?

    Posted by:

    Michigan’s Department of Treasury is currently in the process of providing the Board and administration with this data. The Department of Treasury is visiting the district on Wednesday, May 29th to learn more about our demographics and provide specific guidance. More information is forthcoming. Generally speaking, yes, our district’s staff sizes, other costs and comparable items are similar to Class C rural school districts.  

    Comments (-1)
  • What did the teachers’ raise cost the district?

    Posted by:

    The adjustment to Schedule A was an increase of $225,000.00 per fiscal year. The intent of the scheduled increase was to stay competitive with surrounding districts and generate interest in new teachers coming to the district while retaining and rewarding our current staff. While this increase helped us to be more competitive, our staff still remains at the mid to low-end of teachers’ wages of surrounding districts.

    Comments (-1)
  • Regarding class size, what role does that play in the board’s consideration of teacher reductions?

    Posted by:

    The Board is well aware of the need to balance proper class sizes with its district-wide financial obligations. The District will take every measure to maintain class sizes that are aligned with safety for quality instruction to occur each day. A “Flex Room” (resource room) is anticipated at Beaverton Elementary for the 2019-20 school year.

    Comments (-1)
  • How do other administrative positions compare to surrounding districts?

    Posted by:

    Because not all districts are built the same, sometimes it takes more research to compare apples to apples. The district is in the process of gathering that data and will have an answer soon.

    Comments (-1)
  • Compared to other districts our size, do we have fewer or more administrators?

    Posted by:

    Michigan’s Department of Treasury is currently in the process of providing the board and administration with this data. The Department of Treasury is visiting the district on Wednesday, May 29th to learn more about our demographics and provide specific guidance. More information is forthcoming.

    Comments (-1)
  • How much of our total budget is spent on staff? Is that comparable to others?

    Posted by:

    The 2017-2018 fiscal audit indicates that 79.57% (80%) of our total operating expenditures are staff costs. Based upon information received from Michigan Department of Treasury, our percent is slightly higher than that of other districts similar in size and demographic.

    Comments (-1)
  • Are other districts cutting staff?

    Posted by:

    Many school districts in Michigan are right-sizing due to student enrollment projections from their longitudinal data collections. The State of Michigan’s demographer projects a significant decrease in the number of school-age children in Michigan. Michigan’s K-12 school-age population will decrease by more than 100,000 by 2024. It is projected that Michigan will not see population similar to our current 2018 level of 1.54 million until 2040.

    Comments (-1)
  • Are we having developmental (Young 5) kindergarten?

    Posted by:

    Yes, this program is planned for the 2019-20 school year at Beaverton Elementary School to attract new families to our district.  Currently, 15 new students are enrolled.

    Comments (-1)
  • A classroom for specific behavioral issues at BES has been discussed. Is this happening?

    Posted by:

    BRS administration has carefully researched this important consideration. Yes, there is a strong possibility that this program will exist for the 2019-20 school year. The model would emulate a “Flex Room” (Resource Room) format where one highly qualified teacher and two or three paraprofessionals would manage students in a single, larger space (possibly the current Title I classroom in the south end of the building).

    Comments (-1)
  • Could the district privatize the maintenance services we currently have in place?

    Posted by:

    The district has had some preliminary discussions with third party providers to investigate the opportunity for maintenance and will continue to do so in an attempt to garner additional savings.

    Comments (-1)
  • Could the district privatize busing? What would the potential savings be?

    Posted by:

    The district has investigated privatization of busing in the past and it did not seem to generate a significant amount of savings at that time - more than five years ago. The district will contact surrounding districts for a more recent and current idea of what the potential looks like today.

    Comments (-1)
  • Could the district sell the Beaverton Activity Center (BAC)?

    Posted by:

    The district supports the integral partnership that exists between the BAC and Beaverton Schools. The Board of Education has contacted the BAC Board President to initiate talks to review potential opportunity to save the district money as it pertains to the BAC while maintaining support to keep this fabulous achievement and community centerpiece alive and well.

    Comments (-1)

  • CONTACT US

    Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.


    Susan Wooden

    Superintendent
    Beaverton Rural Schools

    468 S. Ross
    PO Box 529 
    Beaverton, MI 48612

    PH: 989.246.3000
    EMAIL: swooden@beavertonruralschools.com


    Board President Adam Zdrojewski

    PH: 989.424.8799
    EMAIL: adam.j.zdrojewski@gmail.com