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Ferndale School Board Hears Updates on Budget, Taft Security, Bond Vote

Here's a wrap-up of Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.

The Ferndale Public Schools Board of Education made adjustments to the district's budget and discussed security and the upcoming school bond issue in its meeting Tuesday night. Here are the highlights:

  • The board approved a budget amendment to the 2011-12 budget, which was needed due to changes in a state aid bill reducing per-pupil allowance. The district will still stay within its budget, but will not have a surplus, or possibly only a small one, said Maureen Adams, executive director of finance for Ferndale Schools. Adams said that thanks to the warmer-than-usual winter weather it is possible expenses will be less than anticipated, allowing the district to "finish the year with a small surplus, as we usually do."
  • The district is working on measures to increase security at , including the installation of security cameras at the building, said Gary Sophiea, Ferndale Schools director of operations. Increased police presence at dismissal times and reinforcing staff protocols and procedures are among other safety measures. These actions  come in response to the  in which a student was shot in the leg in what police called a failed robbery attempt.
  • Board members congratulated Melissa Auchter, who serves as director of technology services for the district, on her department's appearance in the most recent edition of EdTech Magazine. "She has taken technology to an entirely new level," Superintendent Gary Meier said.
  • Jim O'Donnell, a Ferndale resident and parent who also serves as vice president of the Board of Trustees, addressed the Board of Education during public comments in support of the upcoming . He encouraged residents to vote for the and reminded residents who need an absentee ballot to request one with the city.
  • Ferndale Schools community relations director Stephanie Hall said residents officially have until Jan. 30 to register to vote Feb. 28, which will include a vote on the . She said a Frequently Asked Questions page is available on the school district website to address questions about the school bond issue.
  • Hall said the saw about 2,100 clients this month, which is down by about 600 from last month. The center reported more job leads and job attainment than in previous months, she said.

Check back to Ferndale Patch for more in-depth articles from Tuesday night's meeting.

Ferndale Resident January 23, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Best security measure they can do for Taft is to get rid of that program, or move it to Southfield as was mentioned by someone else. No matter how much security to delegate there, more problems like this will inevitably happen. I feel very, very bad for the people living nearby. I'm going to be honest here. I dislike the thought of the district funding a new football field for FHS before removing asbestos, especially since I'm sure the district was aware of this at the time. Is asbestos not high on their "Pyramid of Priorities"? I can support the kitchen upgrades for the other schools, since I can see how those would be needed. In regards to the kitchens, I want to know if that'd introduce some new jobs for cafeteria workers. Ultimately, I feel almost obliged to vote yes on this since the kids need a safe school, but I'm not happy that this wasn't done sooner.

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