Economics Driving TESD’s Budget Woes . . . EIT to Be Explored

Ray Clarke attended the TESD Budget Workshop last night and provides the following commentary.  I am fascinated that the school district is bringing EIT out of hiding.   There is much misunderstanding about Earned Income Tax – we need an open and thorough airing of EIT.  I would suggest that the TESD and township partner for the discussion, have an outside expert give a presentation (like Easttown Twp did for its residents).  The presentation should be taped and then shown repeatedly on both the school district and township cable networks.  Some people hear ‘tax’ in the Earned Income and then simply shut-down. 

Whether it is the township or the school district we are talking about — we are currently facing tremendous economic hardship and all revenue sources must be explored.  Personally, I don’t want to pay more taxes and my personal household will suffer with EIT (my husband works for Unisys) however, . . .  there is also a reality to the situation.  I applaud the School Board for recognizing the need to explore Earned Income Tax and would hope that the Tredyffrin’s supervisors would be likewise motivatedit’s called exploring options.  Both the township and the school district have been faced with major deficits in their budgets that have required cuts in personnel, services, programming in an attempt to close the gap.  But to what end can we continue to make these cuts?  At what point do we weigh the quality of life that all enjoy in this community vs. increase in taxes?  I do not see how continuing to say, no new taxes  is a long-term solution to the problem.  Comments?

A quick report from the Budget workshop. Only 25 or so residents tonight, probably reflecting that there was little discussion of program changes. The occasion was used mostly to lay out a framework, stake out some board member positions, and set up the important April 12 Finance Committee meeting where the next level of expense reductions will be discussed.

However there were some really significant outcomes, worthy of full attention.

The basic parameters being positioned to balance the budget are:
– Implement the $4 million of expense reductions already discussed
– Tax to the full 2.9% cap
– Use $2 million of fund balance
– Find at least $0.7 million of 2010/11 reductions from $1.5 million of mostly non-educational strategies
Round numbers, subject to tweaking up or down.

The principal dissent came from Dr Brake, who is not thrilled with the proposed changes to the Middle School program. He seems to be the only one on the other side of this.

Dan Waters and Kevin Mahoney lost few opportunities to highlight the fact that these 2010/11 actions leave the structural problem untouched (shades of Tredyffrin’s “structural deficit”!). And they are right: 50% of the $4 million is one year only, and of course the fund balance use can’t continue for ever. The deficit for 2011/12 after the above programs would still be $7.5 million (8.2 – 0.7).

So, the administration is going to do the following:
– Deepen the study of the $2.6 million of class size, CHS period changes, etc. that – practically – can not be implemented until 2011/12. (Strategies 47-56, approximately.) If all were implemented, the deficit would be down to $4.9 million.
– Study the implementation of an income tax. Taxing to a likely 2% Act 1 property tax cap next year would still leave the district $3 million short, so this – to me – seems inescapable.

Some EIT information that’s new to me, and definitely has a major impact on the revenues for TESD: Kevin Mahoney stated that there is the potential to reclaim not only taxes paid to neighboring municipalities, but also to Philadelphia (which would apparently get reimbursed from gaming revenues).

Kevin Grewell has posted a lot of helpful EIT information here. Important features confirmed tonight appear to be that this would be implemented under Act 511, which is coordinated with the Townships. Resident tax is split between School District and the townships, non-resident money is collected by the Township (which turns out to be looking at fire department funding).

Debbie Bookstaber (from the last TSC) asked that the study include a comparison of an EIT and a PIT.

The Board took pains to emphasize that program changes must be fully vetted, particularly in the Education Committee, and subject to public input. Back to that April 12th meeting. Also, decisions will need to be made soon on the health insurance funding and bond issuance as part of the $4 million 2010/11 programs – the former in particular being highly susceptible to assumptions. I’d like to be convinced that all aspects of utilization risk have been thought through

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Further School Budget Discussion . . . How will the District fund the gap?

Tonight is an important TESD Budget Workshop — 7:30 PM, auditorium at Conestoga High School.  Yesterday, I posted the agenda and materials for review.  This is our school district and our taxpayer dollars . . . how do you want your dollars spent and how do we fund the district deficit?

There have been many budget-related comments today on Community Matters — several of which were focused on EIT.  For further discussion, below is a commentary received from Ray Clarke.  In the past, Ray has offered his opinion on EIT but has updated his remarks based on TESD’s  current 2010-11 budget information.  Here are Ray’s comments — let’s use this as a starting point for discussion:

I’d like to get away from history (except as a guide to the future) and ponder what needs to be done to secure our kids’ education going forward. I think much of the evidence supports John’s advocacy of an EIT. I’ve posted it here before but here goes again, starting with updated budget numbers:

1. After one round of proposed program changes that have been vehemently opposed by many in the community, plus a 2.9% property tax increase, the school district will still be in the hole by $3 million in 2010/11, $8 million in 2011/12. (Note that it is relatively easy to squeeze expenses for just one year…..). No official word from Tredyffrin yet, but the township will need to fund contracted compensation increases next year, too.

2. A 1% EIT would raise $9 million for both Tredyffrin township and school district, of which $2.7 million is already paid by residents and $2 million would be paid by non-residents. (Easttown would also have to implement the tax.)

3. Perhaps a 2010 Tax Study Commission would ask a question like: “Would you prefer that property taxes increase 15% for all, or that the township residents not now paying a 1% EIT do so and the township gets a 1 for 1 match, worth $4.7 million a year now and increasing with inflation?” Might there be a different answer than to 2007’s question, which referenced only shifting taxes from property to income?

4. There will be in 2011 a county-wide mechanism to collect an EIT at low cost for all the other townships with this tax.

5. An EIT diversifies the tax base among all income earners and wealth holders.

6. The TSC stated that: “Had we been presented with compelling funding needs by the school board that could not be satisfied by the present system we may well have endorsed a change in the manner in which our schools are funded.”

So, given that …

 – There is no willingness by the TEEA to consider deferring accelerating teacher salary increases (6.9% in 2009/10 over 2008/9, and more contracted each year until 2011/12) and sharing health benefit cost increases

 – We need to fund $4 million a year in replacement capital and the capital fund is running dry

– There is no willingness to unlock capital tied up in unproductive properties (note: enrollment is projected to decline in the short and medium term)

 – $2 million of the $4 million proposed expense savings have only a one time impact

 …it seems to me that the need is indeed compelling. Whatever views one might have of past School Boards, it seems to me that the current one has to operate in a very different economic environment and that their actions should reflect that.

Monday, March 15 — 2010-11 School Budget Workshop

Budget Development Workshop
Monday, March 15
7:30 PM
Auditorium, Conestoga High School

Budget strategies for the 2010-11 school district have been discussed at the February and March Finance Committee meetings.  Those budget strategies are reflected in a draft budget which will be discussed in greater detail at the Budget Development Workshop tomorrow night. There will be slide presentation; click here for meeting’s agenda and a review of the slides.  There is much information included on the slides and I would encourage everyone to review.  One slide that caught my eye was the following:

Professional Staff (TEEA)
2009-2010
Teachers, Guidance, Media Specialists, Nurses

• Average years of service in T/E is 10.3 years (10.5 for 2008-09)
• 77% hold advanced degrees (74% for 2008-09)
• Average salary $74,581 ($69,788 for 2008-09)

How does the District intend to close the remaining gap in the 2010-11 budget?  We know that there will be a $2.9% tax increase and the suggested budget cuts total approximately $4 million.  There remains a $2.7 million gap . . . how will that deficit be funded?  floating a bond?  more programming cuts?

In the review of the Looking Ahead slide (pg. 26) we note that the 2011-12 school year budget indicates a deficit of $8.2 million (most of which is not attributed to PSERS increase). When the PSERS increase fully kicks-in for the 2012-13 school year, the deficit sky-rockets to $18.5 million! It continues to climb from that point — seriously, have a look at pg. 26, the numbers are staggering!

The draft budget includes budget strategies from the February and March Finance Committee meetings.  These strategies include:

• Contribution from Food/Nutrition Service Fund to General Fund
• Education Service Center Disposition
• Outsource Print Shop
• Restructure 7th and 8th Grade Program Delivery
• Eliminate Elementary FLES Program
• Restructure Middle School Special Area Classes
• Reduce Number of Regular Education Aides/Paraprofessionals
• Eliminate all Conestoga High School Classes with Fewer than 15 Students
• Eliminate Supervisor of Special Education Position
• Reduce Number of Extra Duty Responsibility Positions and Club Sport Contribution
• Reduce 2010-2011 Budget Requests to 2008-2009 Levels
• Issue Debt for Capital Expenditures/Long Lived Assets
• Explore Self-Insurance for District Medical Coverage
• Hire an E-Rate Consultant
• Reduce Information Technology Budget by 10%
• Reduce Use of IT Contracted Services by 20%

Although I previously provided the budget strategy information, I think it is important to re-post that link for your review.  These informational materials were used for the March 8 Finance Committee Meeting.  The consensus reached by the School Board and Administration was to tentatively use budget strategies #1-12, 14, 31, 39 and 40 for a savings of approximately 4$ million.   What budget strategies would you suggest to fund the remaining $2.7 million budget gap? 

Tomorrow’s Budget Workshop represents one of the few remaining opportunities to let your voice be heard in regards to the 2010-11 budget.  Whether you are a teacher, parent or taxpayer . . . do your homework by reviewing the materials and come to the meeting prepared.  Offer your opinion to the Administration and School Board; speaking up could make a difference in programming and jobs for next year.

Local Restaurants Close . . . New Restaurants Open . . . Let’s support our local business community

The economy continues to take its toll on our local business community; the restaurant business particularly hard-hit.  We know of some closings in the area but it is also exciting to mention restaurant openings.  I say a brave move on the part of these resturantuers.  There are some pockets in the area that have done remarkably well; based on downtown Phoenxville a couple of Saturdays ago, you wouldn’t even know that there was a problem with the economy.  Their restaurants were full and people were waiting on the streets for tables.  However, on our side of the mountain from Malvern to Wayne, some restaurants have not enjoyed that same degree of success and there have been closings.  But there have also been some recent openings. 

Fellini’s Cafe in Paoli closed at the end of the year, under a cloud of Chapter 7.  However, Fellini’s Cafe in Berwyn (my understanding is that the 2 locations were not related) continues to have a great following and is busy most nights.  In fact, Fellini’s in Berwyn is a local favorite of our State House Rep and his wife.

Next to Fellini’s Cafe in Paoli, there has been a makeover of a long-standing shoe store in to Seafood USA.  Construction has been underway for several months.  Curious about its opening schedule, I called their other location (330 W. Lancaster Ave, Wayne).  First I was told they would open by the end of this month; but after hearing I would mention the opening on Community Matters, the owner decided it was probably safer to say opening will be April 2010.  Fair enough, and we look forward to seafood in Paoli.

Rocco’s Steaks opened in Paoli on Lancaster Ave — formerally it was  Tradewinds Coffee (before coffe, the place was Polish Water Ice).  Originally, I think the building may have been an early Dairy Queen.  Anyway, the point is that it is a drive-through cheese steak place that some are comparing to Gino’s and Pat’s in the city.  Not being a connoisseur of cheese steaks, maybe some of you would like to try the place and offer your opinion.

A new authentic Middle Eastern restaurant, Cedars Cafe www.cedarscafepa.com has just opened in Malvern, in the Westgate Plaza (next to Staples) on Lancaster Ave.  My husband and I vacationed in Istanbul last August, so I will be anxious to stop by that restaurant.  Also in Westgate is Jimmy’s BBQ www.jimmysbbq.com  a very authentic barbeque resturant, especially good for take-out for that warm summer night (don’t we wish!) and a great catering menu.  I noticed that Jimmy has now added a blog to his website with recommended beer to drink with his barbeque.

For those of you who want to have one last dinner at Trattoria San Nicola, Berwyn — I called to check on their closing date.  The doors will close on April 17 but the San Nicola in Paoli will remain open.  Sorry to see San Nicola shuttered in Berwyn, I have enjoyed that restaurant.  But walking distance from San Nicola, a new tea shop has opened. The Royal Tea House,http://www.royalteahouse.net/  has recently opened in the turn-of-the-century building that until very recently housed a  coffee shop.   Stop by Royal Tea House for a hot cup of tea and a wonderful pastry . . . but also stop by to shop; they have a great assortment of loose tea and tea accessories.  Royal Tea House is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM  (closed Sunday & Monday).

Looking for a special treat on a March weekend — for the last several years, some of the wineries in Brandywine Valley have featured tastings of the new vintages in barrels, buckets, bottles and more!  ‘Barrels on the Brandywine’ is a Passport Event (visit their website for details and ticket purchase).  These special wine weekends give you the behind the scenes tour; allowing visitors a chance into their wine cellars, see the new wines firsthand and participate in pruning demonstrations, seminors and more. For further information:  http://www.bvwinetrail.com/trail_events.cfm

As a small business owner and a board member of Paoli Business and Professional Association, I understand firsthand the crisis facing our local businesses as they struggle to stay open.  We are reminded as we drive by the empty storefronts on Lancaster Avenue, we are reminded of the many closings that have occurred.  I would encourage everyone to support our local businesses — whether it is the hardware, dry cleaners, hair salon, or restaurant.  By keeping the flow of business in the neighborhood, everyone can play a vital role in regenerating the economic growth of Tredyffrin.  Supporting our local business community of Tredyffrin Township supports everyone!

If you know of a new business in the community, please send me an email with the specifics,   TredyffrinCommunityMatters@gmail.com  To show support, I would like to offer them exposure on Community Matters.

TESD Finance Committee Meeting . . . Notes from Ray Clarke

I was unable to attend the Finance Committee meeting as it was the monthly Board Meeting for DuPortail House, www.duportailhouse.com and as the Board Secretary it would create a problem if I did not attend.

All I can say is that I am really lucky to have my friend Ray Clarke!  Not only does Ray attend school district meetings, he stays up late so that he can provide detailed meeting notes for Community Matters. When Ray sent his notes he cautioned that the information contained a lot of  ‘numbers’ and the subject matter is complicated.   As Ray explains, two topics that received the most attention last night was the insurance and bond options.  I don’t know about you, but I have always found the subject of  bonds, a complicated and often misunderstood issue.  Maybe through dialogue on Community Matters, we can delve in to the subject matter and get a better understanding.

The majority of last night’s Finance Committee was devoted to two presentations by Board advisors: on self-funding the health insurance plan and on bond issuance options.  These were sufficiently persuasive that the Board was comfortable in agreeing to include the assumptions in a preliminary budget to form the basis of discussion at next Monday’s Budget Workshop.  This budget will also include the strategies discussed at the February meeting and the 2.9% Act 1 maximum tax increase.  The cost savings (including #12, see below) total $4 million ($2 million “one time”), the tax increase would raise $2.4 million, leaving a $2.8 million deficit to be funded from fund balance or further expense reductions.  (Note that the cost savings mentioned at the meeting was $3.7 million – maybe not including #12?).

That fully half of the savings are “one time” shows how important it is to consider a longer term perspective, and Committee Chair Mahoney has been consistent in asking for this to be done.  Those one time reductions will come back in 2011/12 and be compounded by the next round of contracted compensation increases.

Below are key features of the financial strategies, which seem to me to be quite complex and with many assumptions and consequences not fully spelled out.  If your eyes glaze over, sorry! – but take heed of the important role of the Facilities Committee – as discussed here on Community Matters and spelled out below!
 
The $300,000 health insurance savings depend on the actual claims experience being less than the premiums proposed by Blue Cross.  The district is relying on estimates provided by the consultants, who stand to get a fee if the plan goes through.  The basis for the estimates was not convincing, and depends entirely on the trajectory of per person claims costs, which increased 23% (excluding large cases now closed) for the latest available 12 months.  Since there seems to be no understanding of why claims increased so much (it’s not single/family mix, for example – just “an increase in claims of $40,000 to $60,000” – why?), how are we to gauge the future costs?  The assumed savings is entirely speculative: could be more, could be less, or negative.  Do we in fact know more about the health of our insured population than Blue Cross?  Maybe we do.  It seems that most other school districts in the region are also considering a move to self insurance.  Smart schools or convincing consultants?

The bond strategies discussed were also interesting and perhaps with ramifications that deserve more discussion.   There is one straightforward opportunity – to refinance one bond issue at a lower rate, which would save $40,000 a year over each of 13 years, or $170,000, $100,000, $100,000 if front-loaded to the next three years.  Secondly, we were told that the market would be very receptive to a new $20 million issue, which could be issued at historically low interest rates.  Even so, those interest costs would total $700,000 a year for the next ten years (this was not emphasized).

So, why issue the bonds?  That brings us back to the Facilities Committee.  We were told that there is a three year capital budget in the Infrastructure Plan of $14 million, essentially to maintain the status quo.  There was mention of another $1.5 million a year of routine capital – bringing the three year total to $18.5 million – almost all the new bond issue.  Doubtless the Facilities Committee has discussed the Plan, but I did not find it on a quick look on the TESD web site.  Perhaps the details of the capital needs and any opportunities to offset them with capital sales could be provided in Friday’s meeting.

(Note that having bond proceeds floating around could help capitalize the risk of self-insuring the medical plan).

Budget strategy #12 lists a saving of $300,000, based apparently on not expensing certain items of capital expenditure.  I don’t understand enough to know if there are any old bond proceeds left to fund this, or if the new issue is required.  Just as interest rates to borrow are low, so interest rates on our fund balances are even lower.  And, there are accounting rules that let you capitalize interest during construction.  How could capital needs be funded without a bond issue?  All in all there seems to me to be an opportunity for a clear exposition to taxpayers of the actual P&L impact of all the maneuverings – a chance for the Administration to show its worth?

So, on to the Facilities Committee and next week’s workshop.  It’s noteworthy that current year expenses will have to be cut by $1.5 million versus budget to balance expected revenues.  I don’t know how that will roll forward into 2010/11 – hopefully the workshop materials will have a detailed line item comparison of 2009/10 actual forecast with the 2010/11 preliminary budget (and with out years, too), including all the strategies discussed so far.  Then it will be time to take a look at all those other strategies #15 – 60 – and other ideas that all stakeholders might bring to the table.

What Does a Sprawling Berwyn Estate, a Hollywood-related Socialite, a Private Girls School and a Planning Commission Have in Common?

March is National Women’s History Month.  There is a story this week in the local news that connects a large sprawling Berwyn estate, a Hollywood related socialite, a private girl’s school and the planning commission of Easttown Township.

Mrs. Alexandra Mellon Grange Hawkins lived on her 106-acre Blackburn Farm in Berwyn until her passing in 2008.  Mrs. Hawkins, graduate of Bryn Mawr College, was the granddaughter of Mr. James Ross Mellon, the second son of Mr. Thomas Mellon (1813-1908) a well respected judge, attorney and entrepreneur, mostly known as the founder of Mellon Bank.  Mrs. Hawkins was also married to Kathryn Hepburn’s cousin and considered to be a bit of a Hollywood insider socialite.

Today, I drove to Sugartown Road to find Blackburn Farm, the home of Alexandra Mellon Grange Hawkins.  For years, Blackburn Farm served as the staging area for Devon Horse Show.  The main house is visible down a long winding driveway and seemed very quiet and lonely against the bleak landscape. I am sure that this wonderful historic property was beautiful and grand but today it just looked silent and empty.  There are stories surrounding Mrs. Hawkins, who died in her 90’s, that her home was discreetly but elegantly furnished and decorated with good but not splashy artworks, and was protected by an elaborate security system. 

Once a year, Mrs. Hawkins celebrated her birthday wearing elaborate ballroom gowns and choosing from a collection of fine platinum, gold, emerald and diamond jewelry.  According to one source, Mrs. Hawkins actually used a Cartier 14K gold check book holder!  She invited friends and representatives from the many charities she supported to celebrate her birthday with a private dinner-dance held under tents on the grounds in the summertime.  A very private person, the house was generally off limits, and few people were ever invited inside.  At her yearly birthday party, Mrs. Hawkins displayed some of her eccentricities including the addition of Hollywood sparkles to her hair that would be custom-matched to her fingernail polish.  A personal requirement, Mrs. Hawkins would not permit  male guests to leave her birthday party until they each shared a dance her . . . very interesting.  (I know Mrs. Hawkins was married twice, but I found no references to either of her husbands or of any children.)

Blackburn Farm was very important to Alexandra Hawkins and she had taken special measures to protect the property.  In fact, sections of the property were protected by both the Brandywine Conservancy and the Open Space Conservancy. Many of Mrs. Hawkins Berwyn neighbors knew of the trust-protected property, so it came as a bit of a surprise when they learned that the Agnes Irwin School had signed an agreement of sale for Blackburn Farm on January 27.  

The private girls’ school in Rosemont has two fields on its campus and needed additional athletic space. This week representatives from Irwins took their case to the Easttown Township Planning Commission.  As it was explained to the standing-room crowd, the agreement is to simply use the land for athletic fields with no intention to move the school or any of its buildings to Berwyn.  There would be two turf fields and two grass fields, as well as a track and two softball fields.  The project will cost millions of dollars and along with the playing field will including a 100-space parking lot, a new 5,000 sq ft. facility to house bathrooms, storage space a snack bar.  Mrs. Hawkins home, barn and garage will remain intact, with no stated usage.

Although the Irwin representative explained that the project will meet all necessary storm water issues and preserve the natural environment of the property, the audience members were not convinced.  Citing traffic, safety, environment issues as well as privacy issues to nearby neighbors, almost all audience members who spoke were opposed to the plan.  The project is in its very early planning stages and the school wants to do everything in its power to make sure that all resident concerns are heard and considered, and that everyone is happy

There were several people in the audience who had known Mrs. Hawkins and suggested that this would not have been what she would have wanted for Blackburn Farm.  Mrs. Hawkins spent much of her later years involved in her charity works and it is thought that she would want the property preserved and not developed.

Because there is easement protection on the property; if the project is to move forward there will need to be a change to the existing ordinance.  The ordinance would need to be amended to allow sports fields to be placed on 50 acres or more in both of the neighboring districts.  The school believes an amendment is required because athletic fields are not currently allowed in these districts and they are asking that part to be changed.

Although anxious to move ahead with the plan, for now Agnes Irwin will have to wait.  The Planning Commission in Easttown is an advisory committee and makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.  Because this type of development is not currently permitted it is doubtful that it can be passed, that is until there is a change to the zoning ordinance.  The Planning Commissioners will probably need to take more time to review the plans before making a decision.

With the discussion on the last post about the various houses that have been purchased by the school district, I did start thinking. . . wonder why the school district never considered Alexandra Hawkins estate as a purchase?  I’m guessing that the final sale of the property is based on approval to change the ordinance; otherwise there would be not reason for Irwins to own the property.  Easttown Township has a Historic Commission, I wonder if they have weighed in on the project? Wonder how the same scenerio would play out in Tredyffrin Township?  Wonder what our Planning Commissioners would recommend? 

TESD Budget Process Continues at Finance Committee Meeting on Monday, March 8, 7:30 PM

The TESD 2010-11 budget process will continue with further discussion at the Finance Committee Meeting on Monday, March 8.  Due to the expected turnout, the meeting has been moved to Conestoga High School and will begin at 7:30 PM.  Here is the Agenda for tomorrow’s meeting.  The agenda includes goals for the Finance Committee.

Finance Committee Goals:

1. Review and update the 5 year plan incorporating the new known factors (i.e. new contracts, PSERS, determine level and use of fund balance) impacting the plan.  

2.  Formulate the 2009-2010 budget identifying expense cut opportunities with an eye toward protecting the education program.  

3. Continue to explore opportunities for co-op with other local districts for non-public school transportation.    

4.  Study implications and impact of converting TE school district to a charter school district.    

In attempt to make it easier for the public to understand the process, the TESD Finance Committee has put together background materials for the March 8 Finance Committee Meeting.  The document details the proposed budget strategies and includes lists of those strategies that were reviewed and recommended as well as ideas that were reviewed and rejected.  

The School Board will adopt the 2010-11 Preliminary Budget at the May 10 TESD Meeting and the final adoption of the 2010-11 Budget occurs at the June TESD Meeting.  I’d like to applaud whichever school board member(s) responsible for making these details available online for the public.  The information is well-organized, color-coded and easy to follow.  For planning purposes, the future dates of the Finance Committee are: March 8, April 12, May 3, and June 7.  There is a Budget Workshop scheduled for March 15.    

We understand that the school district is facing a looming deficit in the 2010-11 budget. There are miles to go between now and when the preliminary budget gets approval in May.  I encourage parents, teachers and residents to attend tomorrow’s Finance Committee.  This is an opportunity to voice your support and/or concern about programs that may be headed for the cutting block.  Discussion and exchange of information can be useful to the school board as they may critical decisions for the school district.  There will be discussion on the update of the 5-year plan which includes contracts.  I know that Dr. Waters, the district superintendent, recently renewed his current contract for 5 additional years (at his current salary).  When do the district teacher contracts expire?