Saturday, May 11, 2013

FY14 Budget first read through

I did my first read through of the FY14 budget last night; here are a preliminary summary:

  • Much of the gap that sequestration left us is being made up by the special education department. The Collaborative is, for the second year in a row, granting us a $1 million tuition freeze. Plus by adding five teachers and 16 IA's, we can bring many more students with autism back to the district, saving the district nearly $2 million (not to mention serving them in their home district).
  • There's a substantial increase in the teacher account on special education, over and above that move, making a total addition of 17 teachers.
  • There's also a substantial increase in special ed IA's, of 26 positions.
  • There's two adds in the IT department, both to help teachers use technology more effectively but also to keep it all online and running. This budget also begins, mid-year, a five year lease program for computers. 
  • As projected, there is an additional of three nursing positions
  • The only change in elementary is moving one sixth grade teacher from the elementary line item to the secondary line item, as Worcester East Middle is adding sixth grade next year. There are, however, changes school-by-school in elementary, so look at the building-by-building budgets on those (the order is high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, other buildings, in the somewhat-but-not-quite alphabetical order of their state numbers). As always, the number of positions reflects the projected enrollment. 
  • Secondary is adding nine positions, largely in the foreign languages at the high schools. There is also some substantial shifting of positions, school by school, so do look at the building budgets.
  • There's also a number of shifts in funding as grants have been cut: moving 23 IA positions and the Staffing and Mentoring Coordinator to the general fund. We've also lost quite a bit due to sequestration (as feared): 32 tutor positions, a substantial loss in Head Start (which will mean we serve fewer kids), the 21st Century grant being zeroed out (which will hit us in after school and summer school programs), and cuts in other grants. 
  • There's some central admin cuts: the Student Intervention Support Coordinator, the Facilities Project Coordinator (which was a temporary position for the city-funded capital projects, now completed), and the Race to the Top Design Project Leader (RTTT funded), and the Extended Learning Time Facilitators (of which there are two).
  • There's also money set aside, as promised, for space rental for Chandler Elementary, to avoid having 6 classes of 30.
  • It also adds back in the Out-of-State travel account (which has been set at zero for years) and the Personnel Office travel account (same page).
  • There's a substantial jump in the AVID program. 
  • And this will possibly interest no one other than me, but I am cheered at the news that our #2 fuel oil line item is down by 59%, as only three of our buildings (one of which we don't own) are still using it. In the same vein, we're saving $75,000 this year because just about everyone is getting their direct deposit slips via email, rather than through the mail. 
More to come! Take a look and get in touch!

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