Thursday, April 10, 2014

Less time on the letters, more time on the budget, Lynn

In our fellow Gateway city of Lynn, the FY15 conversation has been all about the foundation budget: namely, that the city is $8.5 million under Net School Spending, and thus is facing the loss of state aid.
Yeah, they actually do that if you fall below 95%!
As their gap results from their retirement assessment not counting towards Net School Spending--which it hasn't in all 20 years of the calculation of the foundation budget--the city first decided that they needed to just fix the formula.
It will not come as a surprise to readers of the blog that a change in the foundation formula is not something that passed quickly through the Legislature. Or, indeed, at all.
It now appears that, in their effort to make this all go away, city officials are digging through old correspondence:
LYNN — Letters unearthed from nearly 20 years ago have Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy convinced the city may find a way out of a multi-million dollar school spending problem.  School Superintendent Catherine Latham on Tuesday showed School Committee members 1995 and 1996 letters noting “the city has not factored in past health insurance for retirees” and asking for it to “be factored in” to city net spending calculations.“This is the most promising lead we have yet that, perhaps, we weren’t doing it wrong,” Kennedy said. 
Not surprisingly, the state has pointed out that Lynn has been using the same calculation for twenty years now...
...just like every other community in the state, whatever side their retirement assessment is on.

But on a positive note, An Education has been giving her community a crash course on Net School Spending and the foundation budget, so we're ahead there!

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