Thursday, September 4, 2014

Central Mass Special Ed Collaborative report

Note that Vice Chair Monfredo is chairing
We've got the quarterly report as well as a renewal of contract with the Collaborative.
Novick: note that the collaborative is seeing increased numbers of children with autism and trauma history (as are WPS generally)
O'Connell: FY14 operativing budget projecting a use of surplus of slightly over $1 million. Allen notes that it is being used to freeze our tuition; "it's a benefit to the sending districts"
Biancheria: PBIS, positive effect on their behavior, children talking about it, would like to receive more information about how that is working for them.

On contract: Boone: have been collaborative agreements in the past, first agreement established 1975
one of the agreements of the new collaborative law
state department provides "what they call technical assistance, what we call 'okay, we have to do this'"
Webster looking at this next week
contract here for School Committee approval
O'Connell notes that most collaboratives have many members, unlike ours, which has just Worcester and Webster. Most of the action comes from Worcester. Should we have a weighted board, "this is bascially a Worcester organization with a touch of Webster"
Boone: understanding that the law provides for a one-for-one representation
"we've never found an issue where either Worcester or Webster felt under or overrepresented"
apply overall fiscal and leadership hats over the program
O'Connell: tuition rate is a factor; "annual per pupil rate less 15%" for districts with fewer than ten students; are we giving Webster a discount?
Boone: Webster has more than ten students; tuition rates are driven by services needed by students
non-member districts "buy seats" for students that are in need of services
O'Connell: why do we have the 15% discount then?
Boone: it's in the law; different calculation for districts that fall below ten students; much of the concern about fiscal concerns and organizational concerns
O'Connell: support adoption, but contact state around weighted composition; would like notice of the board meetings
Boone: meet open meeting law requirements, meetings posted, agenda posted

Mary Baker, Executive Director of collaborative
getting contract through state, "arduous at best"
"spirit of chapter 43 is that every member would have an equal say"

Novick: could we see the fee structure?
Ramirez: similarly, why is the fee structure not laid out in the contract?
Boone: fees are set as part of their budget
Treasurer has to certify that we have set a fee structure and that it has been provided in the budget

contract approved

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