Thursday, June 20, 2013

Update from the superintendent, and moving along through FY14

Boone reviews the memo that went out last night. 
posting as we go all in one post

School nurses
three nurses being added for next year, Rodrigues says they'll be placed based on highest level of student need
Colorio asks about the 7% increase in supervisor and 11% in the utility crew
utility crew was an assumed salary as of last year as the contracts were
supervisor is step increases
Custodial overtime:
Maintenance service:
Colorio: salary of projects coordinator was how much? about $75,000
Allen: it was paid for through capital funds
Novick: level funded for forever
is being looked at by MSBA when they look at funding us
query here on snowblowers
Bedard says that the summer audit will look at our lawnmowers and snowblowers; Novick asks that be sent as a report to F&O
Foley: agrees
Colorio: Do we have smartmeters at our schools?
Bedard: I believe we do, don't know number offhand
Colorio: cell phones for principals? Allen: includes administration, nurses, school safety, principals
379 cell phones for $26,000
motion to cut $10,000 to add to tutors
Foley asks which phones we won't have
Allen: budget reflects district needs
feature phones are free to us, smartphones are replaced annual, pay $200 for them, get $230 each on selling back phones
Boone: if you look at all areas included in this account, it is all utilities for the district
work with ESCo contracts has created several years of savings
O'Connell: phones reflects Erate coming in for next year
recommends that perhaps we can find money later when the Erate money comes in
Allen: Erate status: we're getting $114,000 for phone service from the federal government
motion to cut fails, 4-1, O'Connell abstaining
Vehicle maintenance:
Monfredo: asks about our vehicles; it's on page 90
Novick: at what point are we going to save money if we had younger vehicles?
Allen: (essentially) now
Bus monitors:
O'Connell: adding four bus monitors; are we adding monitors because we're adding drivers?
Allen: we had to add buses this year (again, if we're doing it in house, it's cheaper than having Durham do it)
O'Connell asks the same question Councilor Lukes did at Council if it's cheaper to do any part in house versus contracting out
Allen: fourth year of a five year contract, reviewing and more to come
O'Connell: motion for a recommendation on looking cost-benefit on owning our own fleet versus contracting out
Petty: says this was done before this contract?
Foley: this is done every time we review this (add buses, contracting any part out)
Novick asks for clarification on the motion: are we asking for a report on a report? Or a report on a study?
Boone: analysis done as part of our process on a bid package; we have an in-house expert providing this level of service across the Commonwealth; recommendation of how we will study it versus studying it
Foley: expect that we'll be looking at this over the next several months in subcommittee
O'Connell: as long as it happens
Petty says no motion
Petty asks about the City Council's representation of the differences, as this was all together in a non-net school spending line
Allen comments that this includes not only transportation account, but drivers, monitors
Foley: half of transportation is required by special education
O'Connell: security devises on buses (and should we talk about this in exec)?
Allen: as part of bid (thus public document), all Durham buses have four cameras: three inside, one for stop-arm violations
contract for cameras on all of our buses
thus all WPS buses will also have the cameras
O'Connell: digital versus tape and ultimate pixels
Allen: digital, plus child checkmate system that makes sure kids are off
Monfredo: do we get every dollar back from the state back?
Allen: no, first year of funding; a little higher this year than last
House budget expects $255,000
if state funded Senate amount, it would be higher than that
McKinney-Vento funding was allocated through City Council from city general fund; thanks from Novick
Non-instructional support
Colorio: Student Database Support Specialist?
Walton: this is the student information system (SAGE, for insiders)
several different features, like digital report cards, monumental task
Allen: school support position, someone who is in schools, supporting principals and secretaries
Colorio: doesn't have anything to do with data mapping piece
Boone: not the same thing: not MCAS and such, our own information
Colorio: motion to reduce account by $50,000
Monfredo: impact?
Allen: depends on where?
Colorio: from entirely line item
Boone: budget presents our need, cannot have the technology without having the support
"tonight, I don't know what we would do to reduce $50,000 out of this."
Petty: "I think your goal here is to restore tutors which we all respect."
Colorio: suggests cutting HR person
O'Connell: could cut the network technician and support specialist
Allen: use of network is related to need of technician; "need is critical"
"These aren't luxury positions; these are necessary positions"
O'Connell: "we have one now, and this is an additional one"
Boone: support for entering all reports
O'Connell: what if we stopped applying for Medicaid reimbursement as we don't get any of those funds, anyway? Couldn't we cut those positions?
Allen: reimbursements are done by the same people; we can stop doing it, but there's no savings to use; just results in $2.5 million loss to city (Boone interjects, "That could be applied to OPEB.")
Foley: share wish to have more tutors in the schools
new money coming in should go to tutors
can't take money from various places without working on who does the work
run our own student database
need support in place to run effectively
"our administrative support in our schools is as low as anyone in the state"
"we aren't going to find (the funding right here)"
Monfredo: "all fighting for money that doesn't exist"
doing sequestration on our own budget
Petty: priority is tutors and teachers?
Boone agrees, classes of 26-29 made smaller
O'Connell: scrutinize each and every account
"looking to see what we need" on our day-to-day job
"don't see that I can (support this) without danger to this area"
motion fails
Personal Services
Novick runs through parts of the account sorry I was talking...
No principal mentorship program, as it's being redeveloped; teacher mentoring is moved to this account from Title IIA
fundraising to provide core services, thus increase in arts magnet funding
Colorio asks for a report on the QCC Gateway Program
asks for a report on the School-aged mother's program
O'Connell asks which graduations are outdoors
there aren't; language needs updating
largest expenses are DCU and WPD detail
O'Connell MOTION to reduce $10,000 staff development and $10,000 in legal consultation and settlements
"once sequestration works itself" funds will be restored (?!)
offload legal consultation to city solicitor
I should note here that we just voted our legal contracts last week
Foley: "for a system our size, the budget for staff development is woeful"
"Far be it from me to give more money to attorneys--ironic considering your former profession, Mr. O'Connell"
Boone: all contracts are open, thus need for legal contracts
staff development reflects change in graduation requirements
"you have to spend money to get results sometimes; we're asking for a small amount of money to do that work"
"ongoing relationship with City Solicitor Moore"
"no loss of services to the City Solicitor"
Novick points out that our contracts with legal services were signed two weeks ago
O'Connell more work from solicitor when Jordan Levy was mayor
withdraw staff development motion
keeps motion on legal consultation
motion fails 2-4
Support overtime approved
O'Connell motion to cut by $300,000
two vacancies of principals: moving DAB people out to take those principal positions
yes, that would mean that we should not have a search committee for principals
argues that there are a range of positions that are not paid out of administration accounts
I'd point out that there is a standard list of which account counts towards what which is on page 341
Monfredo: budget is really child centered
"amount of money spent on administration is 1.5%"
couldn't support
Colorio: will support motion
Foley: should have that conversation six months ago
enrollments change, revenues change
"that will happen evolving approach of honesty, integrity, and transparency"
about $4.2 million of administrative costs
"have to have folks who do that (administrative) work"
Boone: FY14 budget includes $500,000 cuts in administrative and support positions
that would cut $800,000
FY12 10 central office and support positions
"annual reductions in systemwide and central office positions"
use of stakeholder process in appointing positions
"stability in principal ranks is critical"
a one year appointment at a school "is not one that I can agree with"
O'Connell: " a proposal brought up over a month ago"
Petty: cut of two people, they may not want the job
if no one wanted those positions would be cut
Novick: sorry, I was talking...let's say I think this is a terrible, unsupported idea and that much of what was claimed above is refuted by the charts and footnotes on page 320, which STANDARDLY compares us to other districts
motion fails 2-4
account passes
Misc. Educational OM
Colorio: food,meeting, and receptions; wants to cut $6000
Luster: all day interviews
Novick: spring MAP optional this year: have we learned anything?
Perda: seven schools that decided to forego spring MAP
which we're saving $5 million in
net savings of $2 million across the budget
circuit breaker is applied to this account
Instructional Assistants:
Monfredo: do we know about Quality Kindergarten? Once the state budget passes
Allen response that he doesn't know yet how it's going, but if the state does limit who gets it, we could see increases in that state grant
Instructional Materials approved
O'Connell: vacancies factor? 1%
Novick: request for a report on the school choice (which is what made the kindergarten at Flagg so large for next year)
and update on the graduation specialist at North
flagging dual language program: insufficient staffing for full dual language immersion

Allen is running through amended accounts as of yesterday's memo

O'Connell to send to finance
Novick asks that we send a letter to the federal delegation about the impact of sequestration on the full budget
requests a report, which the Superintendent says is coming, on coming out of Level 4 status
Colorio comments that the Race to the Top grant expires this year

Motion to approve the entire budget
O'Connell comments that he will vote against
the budget passes (in finance committee) 4-2, O'Connell and Colorio against

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