Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Questions on FY14

O'Brien: do we think the Senate will do more for education than the House?
Allen: did not appear that either side will support Governor's proposal; House will likely be final amount
O'Brien: do we know what the city number is? where does that leave us under $800,000?
city increase is about $4 million
city over $500,000 for this (not counting the carry forward) year
city will be about $500,000 above for this year; $800,000 under net
reduces the city gap to $430,000 below Net School Spending for FY14
O'Brien: suggestions from Council on meeting school need; sharing of new growth
historically city and schools split new growth 50/50; that stopped and city kept new growth
might have some discussion about setting aside a small portion of that new growth revenue, maybe 10% to reduce that fiscal deficit
rather than meeting our minimum spending, being a bit above
Economou: goal was to eliminate conversation year-in, year-out
not just meet the goal, go beyond it
set up a plan, a percentage
could even set a cap, "so as not to burden the city side"
maybe anything above the cap could go towards school maintenance
Colorio: something that is measurable
something that is visible to the taxpayers
O'Brien: good idea, meeting capital needs, physical needs
Foley: certainly be talking about some of those issues
how can we parcel those dollars out to have the greatest rigor?
work done in the schools has been tremendous
foundation budget: if we can put this behind us and move forward, that would be great
operating level, reduce previous years
move beyond foundation level
compete with surrounding towns
ELL and special ed going up
Allen: largest increase in budget is probably in special education (partly due to bringing services in-house)
$600,000 losing to charter school assessment in addition to
tuition for FY14 $26.8...entire increase is supposed to be cover in that year
should be at least a million more than what it is in the state budget
Novick: 10% of the new growth (it was 4.9% last year) works out to about $500,000 on $300 million; that's .5%
need to also look at capital spending; an entirely other budget; out of proportion with percentages spent on city/schools operation budgets, relative sizes of employees or those served
Rivera: at what point are we looking at schools that were closed? Can we have a new (reopened) school?
Allen: a process that needs to start now; longer term solution, short term problem
Foley comments that we may need to reopen schools that we closed
Economou: are there other schools that are overcrowded besides Chandler Elementary?
Allen: Union Hill, a lot are getting near capacity
Economou suggests looking at universities and Worcester Academy for space
Economou asks if our state legislators aware of this
Allen comments that the superintendent has been speaking state senators regarding
Allen: vision bringing back magnet schools, replicate successful magnets to balance out enrollments

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