Tuesday, December 16, 2014

School Committee meets this Thursday

The Worcester School Committee meets on Thursday at 7 PM. You can find the agenda here.
After a few honors (I wonder if we are having any of these musicians sing the National Anthem?), the report of the superintendent is the--held--discussion on the proposed International Baccalaureate school. While we don't have an item on the agenda for it, public comment is allowed under suspension, and do remember that you can always get in touch with us at schoolcommittee (at) worc.k12.ma.us (and I'm really hoping to hear from our student reps on this, too).
We'll then take up the proposed bid spec that passed F&O tonight.
We have a prior year fiscal payment of $14,811,73 that we're being asked to approve for services for a special education student at the Robert F. Kennedy Action Corps (we never received an invoice).
Miss Biancheria is asking for an update on the filling of the Worcester Tech principal position.
She's also looking for our (annual) report on the $1 per pupil provided for elementary schools for recess.
We're being asked to accept a Strategic Support Grant from the state for $100,000.
Mr. O'Connell is asking that we, "pursuant to Rule 50 of the School Committee" hold a hearing on the deisolation plan (Rule 50 says it was supposed to have happened last meeting. We haven't had one during my time on the School Committee). 
And--we knew it was coming but here it is!--we are being asked to "adjust" the budget. What we have to do is CUT the budget by $450,061, as our charter reimbursement is--AGAIN--short. In fact, it's nearly a million dollars short, but the city is holding us harmless on $500,000 of that. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU KEEP INCREASING CHARTER SCHOOLS WITHOUT REGARDS TO FUNDING.
Oh, it's being cut from special education, and it's balancing out only because the Collaborative still has frozen our tuition rate. In other words, it's only a happy coincidence of timing that the Worcester Public Schools aren't having to cut a half a million dollars out of the budget in December.
We're being asked to raise our mileage reimbursement rate to $0.575 from $0.56 per mile, per the 2015 standard (federal) mileage rate.
Mr. O'Connell is asking that we recognize the contributions of Ted Coghlin to the Worcester Public Schools.

We also have three items in executive session: one on bargaining with our Educational Secretaries; a grievance; one on the Superintendent's contract. The committee will take those up at 6 PM.

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