Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Liveblogging City Council: FY11 Worcester Public Schools budget: Boone

Boone's presentation: "been discussing our process around meeting the challenge of this budget and future budgets"
"as the months have gone on, the realization of those numbers have really come to pass"
"focusing on some key areas: lower class sizes at elementary...school safety..early literacy...comprehensive curriculum programming...college preparation, AP, increased rigor and relevance"
"what's our work in education? It's teaching and learning."
"the summary of the FY11 budget status...nearly $17 million deficit" (it's $16.8 million)
"we have avaliable to us $8.2 million" in stimulus funding (remaining)
reviews the use of stimulus funds to save jobs for the past three years
Senate budget comes out tomorrow. State is using about $3.6 million to meet their contribution to Worcester.
State's contribution is down by $1.4 million from FY10
decline in charter school reimbursement of $119,526
negative inflation factor this year for the first time; -2.2% (figured on the basis of state and local spending, which is down)
growth of student enrollment of 244 students...
appears that state and federal grants are level funded with the exception of Title 1, in which we are anticipating a drop of 8%
(note that this is decreasing federal spending on the backs of poor kids)
Boone on zero based budgeting: "absolutely no stone has been unturned"

budget solutions: $8 million in stimulus funding, $1 million in school choice, $1 million in other stimulus funding, cutting 140 positions ($3.6 million), $2.2 million in operating reductions, $840,00 in other sources

note that the City Manager just went over to talk to the CFO for the city...hmmm

Superintendent notes the cuts since 2002: $60 million
cut 21% of staff
supply spending cut by 52% (to $63 per pupil)
technology spending cut by 86%
reductions in staff development, building maintenance, athletics, fine art

compliance review: ELL, special ed for state compliance

increasing 8 elementary teachers, 11 special ed teachers, 8 ESL teachers
drop in high school enrollment of 10% since 2005 (this is the opposite of a bubble--a dip?--moving through the system)

there are two cops outside, clearly waiting for the protestors outside to come in for tonight's 7 pm meeting

review of elementary class size: estimate of 4 classes of 30 or more across the city, all in places were there is not another classroom to split those classes; 8 classes of 27-30 across the city

other changes: Parent Information Center for all registration, merging grants into Finance and Operations
"obviously any loss of positions after we've lost 22% of our staff since 2002...we're strained"
would look to restore positions THOUGH NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME ONES if there were more money coming in
more teachers coming in...the EAW rallied at City Hall at 3;30 and have been meeting with the legislative delegation this afternoon

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