Wednesday, May 9, 2012

CIty budget update: hits foundation, still cuts to WPS

I've gotten some questions due to the article in today's paper on the city budget update. I've uploaded the City Manager's memo to the Council here ('though for WPS, it doesn't say any more than what the newspaper does).
Here's where the Manager's two numbers are coming from: 

Increase in Ch. 70 aid (from the state)        $9,228,858
Increase in charter school reimbursement     $857,362
Total increase                                           $10,086.220
increase in city contribution                        $3,563,349 
Total increase in general funds                    $13,649,569

You'll notice that of the $13.6 million projected increase, $9.2 million is coming from the state in Chapter 70 funds, which the city is required to pass through straight to WPS. The $3.5 million increase in city contribution is the $2.8 million originally expected, plus the additional $750,000 due to the city getting increased local aid from the state.
And...that hits the required net school spending.
This is exactly what was projected for FY13, and it still contains the loss of eight teaching positions.

Note also that this is not  the $660,000 over that Worcester was for several years to hit .02% over required.
Not nearly the single digit percents over the required spending most of the other Gateway cities spend on education.
And nowhere near the 15% over required that is the statewide average. 

Public comment on the WPS budget: 7 pm, tonight, North High!


Mitch Lipka said...

Whether or not you believe the City should be kicking in more money to fund schools in our city, I still don't see how Dr. Boone and the school committee can justify cutting 3 elementary teachers. No matter what we do as parents - and believe me at Flagg St we are doing it!-- We CANNOT replace an elementary school teacher. It is absolutely, completely irresponsible to cut teachers in our district and it's clearly unnecessary. Administrators, testing costs, vice principals, aides, "instructional coaches," music, art -- whatever. Cutting classroom teachers should be an absolute LAST resort. Maybe it's not clear to you what this means everyday to our kids getting lost in huge classes, struggling to transition to the next grade because everything is up in the air, to the parents at Flagg who are doing everything they can to help out. It's not a game and this proposal is plain wrong!!!As an elected official Tracy, I believe that YOU too need to stand up for the youngest of our citizens and do what's right. NO TEACHER CUTS.

Tracy Novick said...

I entirely agree on elementary cuts being intolerable. We'll move money once we get the budget on June 1. Just once the city manager issues his budget, it is only moving money; we can't add it. It's about $210,000 for us to cut from somewhere else.
I'd also say that art and music are on my "you can't cut" list. Some other things, like coaches, have funds coming from places that we can't use for teachers.
Glad you're planning on coming tonight.