Flint, MI–Before losing quorum, the Flint Community Schools (FCS) Board of Education moved forward with several human resources and financial decisions at its Nov. 9, 2022 meeting. 

Here’s an overview of what the board authorized, all of which will be up for a final vote at the board’s Nov. 16 meeting:

Authorized personnel recommendations

The board voted 5-0 to pass personnel recommendations, with Allen Gilbert being absent. Before voting, however, some board members questioned the necessity of some non-teaching positions for a district with declining enrollment and ongoing fiscal concerns. 

“How long can we continue to exist as a district running a deficit every year drawing on the general fund?” board member Chris Del Morone asked. 

Both FCS Superintendent Kevelin Jones and Assistant Superintendent Keiona Murphy highlighted the need to fill the non-teaching assignments—a Title I field monitor and administrative assistant—that were up for the Board’s vote. 

Sharita Galloway, executive director of human resources for FCS, added that the board has been taking aim at hiring spending without making much headway in other areas where the district could address its financial woes.

“We’re not closing schools,” Galloway said. “We’re not making the movement to build schools, to bring new students, which is going to bring in revenue. But we’re starting at the personnel recommendation area … to save money after we’ve already offered positions to people.” 

All in all, the hiring of two teachers, two student success technicians, a Title I field monitor and an administrative assistant will be up for approval next week. 

Authorized the purchase of Discovery Education Curriculum 

The board voted 5-0 to pass the purchase of the Discovery Education curriculum as part of the science education for kindergarten through fifth-grade students in the district.

If approved next week, the curriculum will cost a little over $285,000 and will be paid from the district’s third round of COVID relief funds, or Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds, for the fiscal year of 2023.

The district’s ESSER III dollars total over $99 million, 20 percent of which Jones said had to be spent on curriculum.

Authorized an audio-visual consultant for the renovation of Potter Elementary School’s Auditorium

The board voted unanimously to bring in an audio-visual consultant for an auditorium renovation at Potter Elementary. The remodel involves installing new technology and ensuring the right acoustics of the auditorium, Jones said. If approved next week, the agreement will cost more than $19,500 from the general fund. 

Authorized the purchase of a telephone management system

The board approved 5-0 the purchase of a Sentinel Technologies Telephone Management System. The purchase costs almost $245,000 between the system and a monthly service fee of nearly $7,500. The resolution was approved with general fund dollars, but its language noted the district was seeking approval to pull the money from ESSER III funding instead.

Because the system was deemed “time sensitive,” this purchase was approved without a need for a final vote on Nov. 16.

The Nov. 9 board agenda also included authorizations for spending over $82 million in ESSER III funding on items detailed at an Oct. 12 board meeting and a little more than $1 million from a literacy grant. Those items were not addressed before the meeting lost quorum and will instead appear at the board’s next meeting on Nov. 16.

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...