Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 5-4-2020

MAY 5, 2020


  • Public comments
  • Consent agenda
  • District finances
  • Board comments
  • Superintendent comments
  • Board policies


Board President Jodi Sourini and members James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Also attending were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was held remotely and lasted one hour.

Public comments

The Roxboro Elementary physical education teacher, Vince Nemeth, expressed the importance of having a full-time physical education teacher at each of the schools, and identified the various ways that these teachers strengthened the educational experience of students. He was responding to the cuts made in physical education positions in the schools.

Consent agenda

The board unanimously passed the consent agenda. Two items were pulled out for separate votes. They were:

Approval of administrative resignation and approval of rehired staff. On both items, four board members voted yes, while Beverly Wright voted no. There was no discussion as to why she voted no or the others voted yes. More details can be found on boarddocs [accessible from the board of education webpage].

District finances

Scott Gainer told the board that the five-year forecast would be presented at the next meeting. He delineated the reasons for the delay: He still did not know the extent of budget cuts from the state and the still unknown costs of the EdChoice vouchers. He estimated that the state cuts could be around $750,000, or 21 percent of the next two month's payment from the state.

Other budgeting concerns discussed were the impact on property tax payments due to the economic impact of COVID-19 on the 2021 budget, and how Medicaid cuts will impact the district.

Mr. Gainer contacted the state about conducting a performance audit. The contact he spoke to said that an audit can take around six months, would take a while to be scheduled, and would cost the district about $80,000.

Board comments

Board Member Heintz brought up the unique problem of busing students while maintaining social distancing.

The board discussed the levy defeat, its impact, and whether a new levy should be put on the ballot in the fall.

Superintendent comments 

Superintendent Kirby wanted everyone to know that the additional cuts to the students and the district will be very difficult.

The superintendent addressed the district’s planning in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. On the operational side, the district has served 75,000 meals by May 5, 2020, showing that provision of those meals is important to the community. On the academic side, the district has commenced the tier three academic plan, which focuses on the educational aspect of distance learning. The district is also planning for the return to school in the fall and continues to work on the strategic plan.

Board policies

The board approved Policies: Group B on the third and final reading. Specifics of these policies can be found on boarddocs.

The next meeting will be a virtual work session on May 19, 7 p.m.

LWV Observer: Robin Koslen. 

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 9:20 AM, 05.28.2020