Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Allocation time (and clearing up a few misconceptions)

Last night, the Worcester City Council passed the FY14 budget (as amended). That means it included an additional allocation of $255,000 of recognized McKinney-Vento reimbursement.
Let's pause for a moment here to be glad that the reimbursement of a WPS expense is being recognized by a WPS allocation. Excellent news.
That $255,000 is money that does not have a recommended allocation within the WPS budget, as we didn't yet have it at the time the budget came out. I'll expect that we'll see a recommended allocation sometime later today. I will share it once I have it.

As we await that, however, let's clear a few things up:
  • The Worcester Public Schools administration recommends allocations to the Worcester School Committee. Only the School Committee can actually make (by voting) the allocations. However:
  • The School Committee can only allocation into accounts. Those accounts are fairly big titles: things like "Teachers," "Nurses," "Facilities Ordinary Maintenance." 
  • The School Committee does not have the authority to allocate teachers to particular schools. We can ask; we can recommend; but we are barred by state law from getting into what is clearly the management issue of how many teachers are at each school.
  • On a related note: as of our budget hearing in mid-May, 39 classes citywide were projected to have between 27 and 30 kids in them next year. 
  • Since there, there may well have been changes: additional children register, some change schools, some are recommended to be held back. 
  • Should the administration recommend the hiring of additional teachers (and it would be additional teachers; there are no classroom teacher cuts in this budget), administration would assign those positions first to schools with a class of 30. If there are more to allocate, they would then look at the schools with classes of 29.
  • I should also point out: this budget cut 32 intervention tutors due to the sequestration cut in Title I for next year. I know that this is of grave concern, as well.
Again, I will post more as I have it!

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