Friday, April 16, 2010

WPS FY11 budget: April 15 memo

Waiting for us at our desks last night at School Committee was a new budget update memo based on the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Budget. I have it only in hard copy, so I can't post it all, but here's the gist and some quotes:

The House Ways and Means budget calls for, as expected, cuts to ch. 70 of 4%, unless that would drive the district below foundation, as it would in Worcester.
The HW&M budget uses federal stimulus funds to reach the foundation budget level, which the Governor's budget did not. Worcester would receive $3.7 million of federal stimulus funds from the state under this plan.

Grants for programs like kindergarten, adult basic education, and funding for special education reimbursement all look as though they will be level funded.

Cuts are proposed to literacy grants and extended learning time grants. How that ends up playing out is not yet known ('though, and this is my interpolation, if it concerns you, contact your House member! ).

It looks as though the House will debate the budget starting the week of April 26.

The superintendent has revised her original WPS proposal: she is no longer planning on cutting the stipend for teaching assistant principals at the smaller, non-STEP schools. She plans to cut an additional (as yet unspecified) central office administrator in order to fund this.

She has recommended the following priorities, should there be additional funds available (and this is quoted):
  • low elementary class sizes
  • school safety
  • early literacy
  • comprehensive curriculum programming
  • College preparation, AP classes, increased rigor and relevance of courses
Specifically, I would recommend additional elementary classroom teachers to address class size concerns. Also I would restore as many of the elementary intervention tutor positions as possible in order to address literacy development. Additionally, I would recommend funds to restore some of the secondary teacher positions to support college preparation and 21st century coursework.
(end quote)
Comments welcome!


Neil and Joan said...

Tracy, the tutors are an excellent cost saving measure to ensure the sudents get the appropriate interventions. Tutors are the Walmart solution to provifin children with certified instructors as they cost approximately 17,500 each and no benefit money is required. 99% of the tutors are great!

Will DAB now be cutting two positions as it sounds like they have offered one in exchange for the new position which sounds like it is really Dr. Mostue's job at a similar salary--she is either at 6 figures or very close and a second admin for the asst. principals stipend. Can those stipends even be taken away since they are part of the union contract? If they take away the stipends then no one would be required to perfofrm the duties. This sounds like it was kind of a union busting move.

Jim Gonyea said...

There's nothing quite like our representatives showing their commitment to public education by cutting the education budgets across the state.