Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Minutes of the RSAI January Organizational Meeting - January 18, 2014 at Prairie Meadows Conference Center

Minutes of the RSAI January Organizational Meeting
January 18, 2014 at Prairie Meadows Conference Center

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m. by Steering Committee Chair Bob Olson.
Thirty-three schools (33) were represented at the meeting.  Also, in attendance as observers were Tom Downs and Galen Howsare from IASB; and Larry Sigel and Margaret Buckton from ISFIS.

           Approve Proposed Rules for Organizational Meeting
 A motion was made by Karleen Stephens, Second by Brad Breon to approve the proposed rules for the Organizational Meeting.  Motion carried.
            Discuss, Amend and Ratify By-Laws
Discussion was held and action was taken on the following amendments.
Organizational Name - Motion by LeeAnn Grimley, Second by Jeff Hiser to adopt the organizational name as Rural School Advocates of Iowa.  Motion carried

Mission statement -  Motion by Jeff Hiser, Second by Brad Breon to approve the amended Mission Statement as follows - Rural School Advocates of Iowa will  advocate for students in rural schools to assure a fair, equal, and quality education.  Motion carried.

Motion by Dwight Widen, Second by Jennifer Varallas to approve all by-laws including amendments.  Motion carried.

            District organizational meetings were held and the following were selected
A.  RSAI District Representative to serve a term as defined in the by-laws
Southwest - Gregg Cruickshank/Sidney and South Page Superintendent
Northeast - LeeAnn Grimley/Springville Board President
Southeast - Brad Breon/Seymour and Moravia Superintendent
Northwest - Bob Olson/Clarion-Goldfield-Dows Superintendent

B.  RSAI Legislative Representative
Southwest - Jeff Hiser/Shenandoah Superintendent
Northeast - Michelle Arneson/Nashua Plainfield Principal/Curriculum Director
Southeast - Tom Rembe/Seymour Board Member
Northwest - to be filled

C. At-Large Representatives - will serve on the Leadership Group and as liaisons to Legislative Representatives
Joel Davis/Coon Rapids-Bayard Board President - 2 year term
Brian Rodenburg/Midland Superintendent - 3 year term
Kevin Fiene/East Sac County Superintendent - 1 year term

Motion by Gregg Cruickshank, second by Jeff Hiser to approve the appointments.  Motion carried.

Legislative Priorities - discussion was held as a group on legislative priorities.  Priorities brought to the attention of the group for further consideration were.

Transportation - a cost equalization formula per pupil.
Management Fund - eliminating the caps based on age and using Management to fund School Business Officials.
PPEL and SAVE - providing for greater flexibility for uses.
Local referendums - expanding the funding of the Instructional Support Levy through local referendum.
Allowable growth/supplemental state aid - calling for 4 - 6% for 2015/16 and setting the number within the first 30 days of the legislative session.
Operational Sharing - early clarification on funding.
Drop out prevention - review the formula and provide greater flexibility.
Open enrollment - only send state aid portion to receiving schools.

A Google survey will be developed to prioritize legislative initiatives and will be taken under consideration by the Legislative Representatives and At-Large Representatives.
Authorization of RSAI Leadership Council          
Motion by Joel Davis, second by Jim Sandy to authorize the RSAI Leadership Council to take all steps necessary to form an organization according to the by-laws, subject to law.  Motion carried.

Next steps/other business
            The organization website was shared:    rsai.org/home/html
            Dues will be set at no more than $1,000 per district.
            Put board approval for membership on your district’s next agenda.
            Get Legislative Representatives organized and set priorities.
            Share job description for a lobbyist.
            Mass email to all districts of 1250 and less that the organization exists.
            January 22 Joel Davis and Gregg Cruickshank will meet with IASB.
            Leadership Council webinar scheduled for January 24 at 9:30 a.m.

Respectfully submitted
Gregg Cruickshank - Steering Committee Secretary

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