At its workshop Tuesday, the Lakeland Union High School Policy Committee discussed drafting a potential policy regarding scholarship funds and requirements for a possible referendum in the future.

Committee chair Barry Seidel said he was unfamiliar with what was currently going on with the scholarship fund, but that it appeared there was a scholarship fund out there with remaining or unused funds. 

At the December board meeting, the board talked about how the administration suggested moving the unclaimed funds, amounting to approximately $69,000 according to the committee, to the Lakeland Area Scholarship Fund (LASF) pending board approval. 

While the goal is the unclaimed monies can be transferred from their current fund to the LASF, the lack of policy on how to regulate the flow and use of those monies raises questions for the policy committee.

“They (administration) would like to move that to the LASF, but we don’t have a process written on how that money would flow, how it would be managed, etc.,” district administrator secretary Lisa Kennedy said. “But I think that’s going to be at the January board meeting as an action.”

If the board approves transfering the funds, the committee will flow the unclaimed funds into the LASF and make the appropriate policies to establish perimeters on how the money would flow with rules and regulations.

Seidel asked who was going to bring forth the presentation on how the policy was going to happen.

Kennedy said members of the board have been talking about how to have that money flow with the idea that, if the money is given to the LASF, they can make it grow.

“They’re invested,” board member Jon Berg said.

“They’re investing the money, but then the question comes to how do we get access to the money, what are the rules of that, who’s really managing the money. Those perimeters would need to be set up with the scholarship fund,” Kennedy said.

“So that’s going to be all presented at this January board meeting,” Seidel asked.

Kennedy asked if Seidel expected the process be presented as well.

“I can’t speak to what the expectations are at the board meeting, because I don’t really set those agendas, but I think it should be vetted and that can happen before or after,” Seidel clarified.

Committee member Sarah Kemp said it was possible the reason the board did not act on the discussion in December was the item was listed for discussion rather than action.

Seidel said even if that was the case, he didn’t know how they could act on it without knowing everything that goes into it. 

“If we’re going to set a precedence, then that should really be put into policy,” he said. 

I just wanted it brought to the committee so we can figure out if there’s anything we need to do about it.”

Seidel concluded the committee will have to wait and see what happens at the next board meeting before proceeding with drafting or establishing policy.



Possible future referendum

Seidel addressed the possibility of LUHS heading toward a referendum in the next five years.

While Seidel expressed the need for the committee to understand the financial position of the school and its minimum fund balance, as well as the issues surrounding exceeding that balance in order to do projects outside the funds, he also addressed the need for more information about the requirements for a referendum. 

“There’s a whole referendum book you can purchase. There are resources available,” Kennedy said.

Seidel said he didn’t know what the process would be in running a referendum for the high school, but stressed the importance of having someone who could lead and organize it.

“We have to start somewhere, and the somewhere I chose to start was putting it on the agenda,” Seidel said.



Other matters

In other matters the policy committee:

• Addressed a list of board goals for consideration, evaluation, and potential implementation. The committee cited the importance of drafting goals for self-evaluation and aim to prepare ideas for the next board meeting.

“What I would like to do, as a committee, as one of our tasks, is to take the stuff that’s on the second page, if we’re going to use these as our specific goals, and start to write them in the form of the way that we’ve done. I want to be able to evaluate ourselves,” Seidel said.

• Considered the employee handbook review process and brainstormed the possibility of holding open sessions to listen to ideas with the intent of potentially fostering input regarding amendments made to the handbook through the appropriate channels. 

Kayla Houp may be reached via email at kaylah@lakelandtimes.com.