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School Commission Hears Findings Related to KUSD
During a June 5, 2008 meeting, the Pleasant Prairie School Commission heard findings related to a Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) investment and related to legal steps that would be required if Village residents were interested in pursuing a separation from the district. The Pleasant Prairie School Commission is a seven-member commission that acts as a liaison between the Village and Kenosha Unified School District. The findings were presented in response to earlier inquiries related to the two topics.
At the request of Village Trustee Clyde Allen, the School Commission held a public meeting on May 15, 2008 to learn more about investment instruments used by the KUSD Board. During the May 15 meeting, representatives from KUSD shared information with the School Commission and Village financial consultants related to a Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) purchased by the district. KUSD represented that the cash flow for the investment was $80,000 per quarter. At the conclusion of the meeting, the School Commission requested that Village financial advisors from Piper Jaffray compile a report related to their review of the investment. At the same May 15 meeting, in response to inquiries from Village residents, the Commission requested that Village staff have legal counsel prepare a report regarding what legal steps would be required if Village residents were to consider the creation of a separate school district. Financial consultants and legal counsel presented follow-up information during a meeting held on June 5, 2008.
A follow-up report presented by Piper Jaffray related to the KUSD investment indicated a net loss of $214,165, once investment related expenses were considered. In addition, the report showed that the investment, as of June 30, 2008, would experience a net loss for the quarter of $51,785 and a current 41.57% loss in value. At the conclusion of the presentation, the School Commission voted to forward the Piper Jaffray report to the School District with a request that an independent financial expert review the District’s investments and report back regarding the financial risk and actual gains or losses. “Because the CDO appears to be such a complex investment tool, the Commission has requested an opinion from an independent financial expert for the benefit of taxpayers,” commented Mike Pollocoff, Pleasant Prairie Village Administrator.
A follow-up report related to the creation of a new school district was also shared on June 5 by Village legal counsel in response to residents’ requests to investigate the possibility. “The report demonstrated that separation from Kenosha Unified would be a daunting process,” added Pollocoff. “Essentially, a group of citizens would be responsible for moving the process along, and it would require support from 20% of those who could potentially be registered to vote within the district.” There appeared to be no support from the School Commission for further investigation of the matter. Residents who had initially requested the information were not present for the presentation and have not indicated any further interest to Village representatives. The Commission voted to receive and file the report and to forward copies to the Village Board and Kenosha Unified for their review.
To view the Department of Public Instruction's timeline for the creation of a new school district, please see the PDF below.
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