Three new Lawrence school board members took their seats at the first meeting of the new fiscal year Wednesday night.
Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Chief Mark Bradford, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services assistant program administrator Bob Byers and Kansas University social work graduate student Vanessa Sanburn were sworn in by Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew.
While the three attended board meetings regularly after they were elected in April, they were caught up on the high school outdoor athletic fields and were given an introduction to school finance.
“It’s just to start reviewing and absorbing,” Bradford said. “It’s just getting a handle on a lot of different things. Obviously the budget’s a key. Operations is a key.”
Byers is looking ahead to what can be done when it comes to student success.
“I’m interested in … some work the district’s doing around the achievement gap and equity issues.”
Sanburn, while wanting to get more information on sex education, is waiting for the newest budget numbers so the board can get to work.
“I certainly think it’s challenging,” she said. “I’m anxious for better clarity on what the budget is actually going to look like … and figure out what cuts we need to make and get those done.”
The meeting was also conducted to choose new leaders for the board. Scott Morgan was elected president, and Rich Minder will be vice president.
“This is a time of exciting change,” Morgan said. “It’s a tough time, but it’s fun to be there during tough times because you feel needed.”
The board will approve the preliminary budget for publication at its next meeting on July 20. Final approval is expected Aug. 10.