Trustee pushes for more transparency with district budget spending

PASO ROBLES — Trustees continued discussion of the Georgia Brown Elementary School campus on 36th Street at the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

At the last PRJSUD meeting, trustees gave direction to staff to bring back information to move forward with a capacity study and look into the possibility of forming a new 7-11 committee. On Tuesday night, trustees unanimously approved for the district to move forward with performing a demographic study to assist the board in determining the capacity of school campuses — excluding the high school — and return with the information as soon as possible.

Trustee Nathan Williams made a motion with some amendments by Superintendent Curt Dubost to direct staff to return to the board with a 7-11 application, committee composition draft, and a lawyer present. The trustees will then make a decision on whether or not to move forward with a 7-11 committee. The motion passed 5-1, with Trustee Dorian Baker dissenting. Trustee Sondra Williams was absent.


There were also several discussions for more transparency in presenting the district’s budget. Trustee Kenney Enney pressed for more transparency on budget decisions made by district staff. He also voiced concerns on transportation within the district and urged the board to meet again to develop a plan to remedy the lack of transportation. His concerns were echoed by Trustee Laurene McCoy who has previously asked for budget summary reports to be more transparent and detailed. Further discussion on transportation and budget transparency can be expected at a future meeting.

With the meeting running late, the trustees motioned to extend the meeting. Superintendent Curt Dubost made a suggestion to push the Superintendent Search agenda item to a further meeting saying it was not timely. Trustee Jim Cogan disagreed, saying he would rather stay later to vote and move the Superintendent Search forward. He added that he would be willing to stay later than 11 p.m. to finish the agenda. 

Dubost responded with, “I think the later it is, the less quality the discussion is.”

With Dubost’s impending and planned retirement, the board president will appoint two trustees as a subcommittee to review the proposals and make a final recommendation to the board on firm selection. Due to the board again running out of time again, trustees voted to table the Proposed Districtwide Cell Phone/Electronic Device Policy and Superintendent Search to the next meeting has well as information items School Board Principal Presentation Template for 2023-2024 and District Enrollment and Average Class Size as of August 17, 2023. The motion was approved with a 4-2 vote, Peterson and Cogan dissenting.

The next Paso Robles School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12.