Employee Memo Re: Update on Transition Process to WCUUSD

Posted by Bill Kimball on 4/25/2019 10:00:00 AM

MEMORANDUM

To:         All WCSU Employees

From:     Bill Kimball, Superintendent

Date:      April 24, 2019

RE:         Update on the Transition Process to WCUUSD

As you are all aware, the State Board of Education ordered the six school districts in Washington Central to merge into one school district, Washington Central Unified Union School District (WCUUSD), on July 1, 2019.  This past April 8, 2019, a special meeting for the new organization took place to establish an annual meeting of the new WCUUSD on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at which time a new ten-member board will be elected to govern.  In the meantime, a Transition Board has been seated in order to put together a recommended budget for WCUUSD, prepare amendments to the Default Articles of Agreements, and warn for the election of the new merged board.

In preparing for the changeover to a single district, the Transition Board will be examining the first draft of a merged budget and transitional timeline issues.  Since last fall our fiscal team has been planning and completing the necessary work to ensure a smooth conversion for staff payroll and benefits.  Throughout our board's discussions, ensuring our staff is protected from governance issues has been first and foremost to them.  I believe that sentiment was evident when they determined they wanted to pass local budgets to ensure employees would have contracts by the usual deadline. 

In preparing for the next fiscal year, many of our benefit providers (health insurance, retirement, unemployment insurance, etc.) have begun asking us to notify them of our district configuration for next year.  I feel it is necessary to discuss the notification timeline with the Transition Board and ask them to approve notifying outside providers that we will be moving to a single district on July 1, 2019. 

Once the new WCUUSD board is elected, they will need to warn a budget for voter approval.  Currently, the budget is potentially scheduled to be voted on by Australian ballot on June 25, 2019.  This late date for approving the school budget is problematic, in that after a successful budget vote there is a  required  30 day waiting period before we can expend funds. The proposed timeline will cross into the summer months for setting property tax rates, collecting taxes and borrowing money.  We are working with the WCUUSD Transition Board, representatives from our lending bank, and our auditor to find options that exist to borrow money and use fund balances to bridge the gap in revenues until that 30 day period is over. 

I want to assure all of you that we are committed to ensuring that we meet all of our financial commitments.  As July 1 approaches, we are learning about new requirements and changes daily, as well as watching for any changes the legislature may pass for the 14 newly merged districts state-wide. We will share more information in the coming weeks about purchasing processes, course sign-ups, and other procedures impacted as we move forward with this transition.  If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.