Milton School District officials are considering hiring one of two organizations to perform business functions temporarily after the district’s top two administrators resign June 30.

Baird financial group has submitted a proposal that outlines costs and services it could provide while district officials search for a new superintendent and decide how they will structure the administration.

The district also reached out to CESA 5, a Portage-based organization that provides resources to school districts, including business services.

CESAs, or cooperative educational service agencies, are spread across the state by region. Milton is in the CESA 2 region but could use services provided by CESA 5.

A CESA 5 representative has not yet responded to the district’s inquiries, said Jerry Schuetz, director of administrative services. He said he planned to have a proposal from CESA 5 by the school board’s May 28 meeting.

The board’s finance committee decided Monday not to present a recommendation to the school board because the committee has not seen a proposal from CESA 5.

The district will need business services for at least a short time regardless of how the business office is structured, Superintendent Tim Schigur said.

Both Schigur and Schuetz are resigning June 30.

Schuetz has overseen the district’s business services department since March, when director Mary Ellen Van Valin retired. When he is gone, no one in the district offices will have a state business manager’s license.

The state Department of Public Instruction requires such a license for “any person who has primary budget and fiscal responsibility in the school district.”

Summer is a busy season in the district office. Staff is wrapping up the school year and starting next year’s budget, and the district’s annual audit and various DPI reports also must be done, Schuetz said.

Baird, which is the district’s referendum financial adviser, can assign two staff members to assist the business office, according to its proposal.

However, to avoid a conflict of interest between the two functions, Baird recommends that district personnel handle referendum cash and investment management, according to its proposal.

Onsite support from Baird would cost the district $950 per day, plus $50 per hour for offsite support via phone or online and $50 per hour to attend meetings after 6 p.m., according to the proposal.

Schigur said the district likely will need support services two or three times a week on average. Some weeks might be less, some more, depending on the workload.

If the district hires Baird or CESA 5, the costs would be covered by the operating fund, Schuetz said in an email to The Gazette.

Committee member Mike Pierce recommended setting a ceiling for business support services costs.

Baird’s proposal suggests services from July to December, but finance committee members asked that any agreement offer flexibility in the timeline.

The district could hire a superintendent with business management experience or hire someone else to run the business office, depending on how the board structures the administrative staff, before December.

Board President Joe Martin said a few people have reached out to him about the superintendent position, including one person with 13 years of business management experience.

The school board has yet to decide on a process for hiring a new superintendent.


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