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5 Things You Should Know Today

Farmington school board members meet Tuesday to approve their 2011-12 budget.

The Farmington Public Schools Board of Education meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the on Shiawassee in Farmington. Here are five things you should know about the board's agenda (download a full packet of information from the district's website):

1. The budget

School officials are expected to approve the district budget tonight – because it's required. June 30 marks the end of the district's fiscal year. Facing a $7.9 million shortfall, officials are proposing a 0.22-mill increase in the local millage rate. However, the school portion of property tax bills will drop for most homeowners. According to the budget document, for a home with a taxable value of $96,080, school taxes will drop from $1,903 last year to $1,761 in 2011-12. The full budget document is posted on the district's website.

2. A resolution calling for regulatory relief

The school board will consider approval of a resolution, developed by the American Association of School Administrators and the National School Boards Association, that calls for relief for school districts from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), or No Child Left Behind, federal regulations. According to the resolution, the deadline for ESEA reauthorization is three years overdue. Read the full text.

3. The Farmington African American Parent Network (FAAPN)

A year-end report from FAAPN will highlight the organization's activities, which are focused on getting parents involved in improving academic achievement for all learners. The group was formed when No Child Left Behind reporting requirements uncovered a gap in achievement between African-American students and those in other racial subgroups.

4. Farmington Forward report

This lengthy document will be presented in two parts – the second at the board's July 19 study session/organizational meeting. It recaps progress made toward goals that are part of a plan launched in 2008, with four broad goals in the areas of curriculum; instruction and student achievement; community relations; and budget/finance and human resources/operations/technology. Learn more, and read previous years' reports, on the district's website.

5. Public comment

For our money, this is the most important agenda item. You can talk or ask questions about any issue. This isn't set up as a dialogue; board members generally just listen, or they may direct the superintendent to follow up. Remember to fill out a comment card, usually available in the board room before the meeting.

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