- We are not entering the year with a (structural) deficit. In other words, if we did just precisely what we are doing this year and did it next year, we could cover all of the contractual increases of about $10 million with the projected FY14 foundation budget increase (due to 409 additional students and a 1.55% inflation increase) of $12.5 million (having subtracted out the $1 million for charter and school choice tuition).THIS TIME LAST YEAR, we were $1.3 million in deficit. This time in 2011, we were $6.69 million in deficit. In 2010, we had a $26 million deficit, which went down to $14 million. I thought so: I've never been on the School Committee when we have not started the budget conversation at a deficit.
- We can't do just exactly what we are doing this year, though. We have the need for more special education buses and service providers (legally required under students' IEPs). Those 409 additional students need teachers, and they're not only in elementary school; they're in middle school. We currently have 970 more students learning English than we did last year. We're not going to just be able to take this year's numbers, add the contractual increases, and pass a budget.
As always, more to come!