Thursday, June 4, 2015

FY16 budget deliberations, account by account

The budget is here. The Table of Contents links to the page. Posting as we go

Boone: budget released on May 8, a couple of updates and key comments shared at City Council
budget assumes an increase that is entirely attibutable to enrollment
we're up almost 600 students in overall enrollment
over 700 special education, 800 in ELL
based on Seven Point Financial plan passed, new funds directed towards classroom and building student services and supports
reduction of third party contracted services
"The school department budget was approved on that night...first time that has happened during my time in Worcester"

Monfredo: "working as one city"
below the minimum on our foundation budget...continue to move forward to meet the foundation budget as required by law
high numbers in elementary schools
Kindergarten grant? Still on hold in the Senate?
Boone: letter to Senators...heard back from Moore
did not play out as he had hoped
budget in conference committee, House had included funding at level of 9C cuts
"we're very hopeful...and holding out hope"
funds 31 of our IAs in kindergarten classrooms

Custodial Salaries
O'Connell: recommendation to add three positions: where will they go?
Martin: back in same locations taken from: Norrback, Worcester Tech, and Sullivan/South split
Novick: numbers on utility crew?
Martin: feel numbers are sufficient; started drop shift directly to the schools
middle and high take care of lawn care; has been pretty successful so far
motion: report on staffing levels for school plant
Custodial overtime
O'Connell: budget increase of 2% over current year adopted
budget running $500,000 over this year: why? is it snow? or something else?
Allen: exactly related to winter, reported through F&O where greater than normal winter expenses that we've seen
recommendation thus only for 2% at this time
traditionally does go over, but generally offset by salaries
Maintenance service salaries
Novick: saved money by bringing services in house
also improved service
Maintenance service overtime
O'Connell: also follows same pattern
Allen: half of plow drivers out of this account
Facilities OM
Novick: spending less than FY15 adopted, recommended to be less than that
actively looking for more money for this
Foley: 10% less than FY12 expenditure
"need to put more money into our buildings"
have made some strong improvement in our buildings
"still not enough money there to get the jobs done"
Monfredo: would like to hear from Mr. Allen on this
Allen: funding on foundation budget hitting us in this area
funding would come back into school districts if you follow recommendations of MassBudget
MASBO's recommendation would tie a target to each of the catagories
spending $14M below what foundation budget provides in operations and maintenance
Biancheria: ask that MSBA's announcement be reviewed
Boone...and our needs are still great
in our budget document we also map out our next several years of projects
Building Utilities:
O'Connell: C, fuel oil assumption rate from last year: rates have changed
does admin know current spot price?
Allen: haven't checked recently, determined to level fund due to limited locations
O'Connell: Erate has changed on telephone
is that what the change is?
Allen: primarily, yes, as well as use of local funds for internet speeds increase
O'Connell: any line by line analysis of telephone usage? outside contractor?
Allen: purge or make changes as needed
O'Connell: Motions: contact Spyglass to review....look at that as option for savings funds
reduce fuel oil by $5000
reduce telephone by $10000
Monfredo: after July 1 do we bid for fuel oil contracts?
Allen: city contract, work with city, based on spot price that they've purchased
Monfredo: get it through the city
Foley: purchasing requirements of state, would have to go out to bid, not one vendor
Allen:splitting savings is bidable expense
Foley: we cannot determine a company to work with
we'd all like to see money going to
don't have enough money going into IT areas in schools; necessary upgrade to our district's connectivity
on fuel oil, it's a real roll of the dice
Allen: could talk to the city in the meantime and come back with a recommendation
HOLD of account of Building Utilities and of motions for June 18

Vehicle Maintenance
Novick: snow wear and tear?
Allen: have not replaced plows in a couple of years
shared plowing?
ongoing discussions with city and schools
not at a point on those conversations have concluded
anticipate that the next phase of conversations would anticipate those topics
Boone: state trucks helped with large schools during snow emergency
O'Connell: price on gas?
Allen: $2.33 til end of year $2.92 for calendar year
O'Connell: no adjustments
Allen: fixed rate
Monfredo: motion to approve

Transportation salaries
O'Connell: sped bus monitors: recommendation to increase by about 5%: why?
Allen: collective bargaining agreement included a new maximum step
Transportation overtime
Foley: approve
Petty: are we saving money because gas prices are down?
Allen: yes, have a credit due to price of fuel
was already included in third quarter
Novick: McKinney-Vento goes to city general fund
Novick: WRTA?
Allen: talked about impact made several year ago with elimination of discount and transfer
discussion about differentiated student rate
proposal submitted to WRTA
O'Connell: do we use routing software?
Hennessey: Versitran
O'Connell: have we requested a legal opinion on reimbursement of McK-V?
Allen: DESE has made it clear that barring a statute change, goes back to the city's general fund
Monfredo: is this the general practice in all of Massachusetts?
Allen: practice of it being recognized a general receipt is, but how those then are disbursed is different
"if there's 350 school districts, I'd guess there's 350 ways of that being done"
Boone; this and Medicaid subject to varying practices across the state
Monfredo asks if we can discuss with city
Biancheria: mentioned looking at discount rates for bus passes
Allen: single use or swipe passes, looking to expand services
any purposes would be subject to negotiations
Biancheria: sometimes using grant funds for transportation, could bring funds back to those
motion to be kept up to date on proposal with WRTA
Allen: absolutely, discussion of if cost savings or if more students accessing programs
could be that it allows us to purchase more tickets with same funds
Biancheria: would a letter help? Not yet
Monfredo: motion to discuss McK-V in shared committee
Ramirez:; WRTA more stops, more access, might be a great time to combine with the college level
SC salaries passes
crossing guards:
Novick: why three crossing guards for Worcester Tech but none for any other secondary schools? All others at elementary schools
"because of the traffic flow and pattern, guards on Belmont Street"
Biancheria: suggestion due to traffic on Belmont when school was opened
O'Connell: recollection is exactly mine
School clerical salaries:
Monfredo: any intent to bring up to higher levels?
Boone: 7 point financial plan, realignments during that time
some ways in which we do business have been streamlined as well
does increase a couple of needs across the district, but not a wholesale adjustment of where we were
Monfredo: need to be sure 2ndary needs met
Other insurance programs
O'Connell: city self-insuring, has city ever done analysis
Allen: had an in-depth review a few years ago, recommended to continue, fairly comprehensive analysis done
O'Connell: recommendation still?
Allen: little had changed between 2003 and most recent analysis, would not expect any since
Retirement: approved
Workers comp:
O'Connell: can understand reason for expenditures over FY15, could we backtrack further, or do we need adjustments for more
Allen: our budget either reflects or is still below actual spending going back to 2012
going forward, we're not yet in a position where that would result in a significant reductions
O'Connell: some of our payments were from those we might have expected to make into the future
look at this account at some point in the future
looking ahead this year and in future years
motion for a review of projected workers comp in F&O
Health insurance passes
Unemployment "another reason to be grateful we aren't laying people off"
O'Connell: how much we've spent in years when we haven't been laying people off?
Allen: in terms of history, only the second time in my twelve years that we haven't laid people off due to budget reasons "so that would be kind of a short report"
have reviewed those who were possibly being laid off
O'Connell: could look back at years when we've had no layoffs
if there might not be any potential savings
Monfredo asks for it in our next budget sessions
Foley: numbers based on historic perspectives: this is a projection
once we get back to second quarter, we'll have a better perspective
look halfway through year
Educational support salaries
Printing and Postage
Novick: downtown copy center was an attempt to save on printing at schools
how's it working?
Allen: can't quantify savings yet, but saving costs and wear and tear on school machines
also saving jobs for reprints
Biancheria: any catalog of jobs?
not yet
In State travel
Out of State travel
Biancheria: "I know it's small dollars..if we're looking at out of state we receive notices for out-of-state travel...benefit of having those funded through grants"
would we go back up to the $5000...motion to reduce to $3000
Boone: as you recall from a couple of years ago, travel that goes beyond that grant funded
"there are times that our work can't occur within the district and within the state"
"could find ourselves not able to participate in key conferences for the district"
Biancheria: restates the motion
Luster: did not expend full amount as we received a grant for recruiting as were presenters
not foreseeable that we would receive the benefit of such funding for the forthcoming year
O'Connell: many of the travel arrangements under grants and Title IIA
push expenditures off budget
Novick calls for roll call
Petty: not likely to receive that grant?
Luster: no, we were guests this year
roll call: motion fails, 4-3
Day by Day subs
Novick: how are we doing with recruiting?
Luster; doing quite well, juniors in college now eligible
recruiting done in our colleges and universities
Monfredo: "that is a low, low number" of the pay
Luster; "our goal to provide a substitute for all absences"
O'Connell: what percentage of coverage we seek for our substitute?
Luster: about 78%, can get figure
Biancheria: have day by day and long term subs
have IAs that cover classrooms, as well, and their salaries vary when that occurs
do we know when that occurs?
"our IAs work very hard when they are in a there a time frame on how their salary varies?"
Luster: based on half-hour intervals: $2.92 per half hour (says Allen)
Luster comments that Boone has concern on having IAs doing that, as IAs have a job in the building
"it's a very delicate balance that we walk"
differential substantial
Supplemental program salaries
...lots of questions here for me...
Biancheria: what will happen next year?
Boone: this is not the full cost; the remainder is the city NSS page
exactly what has occured is what is occuring
community policing model, head off potential incidents
working on that through the early part of the summer, sooner rather than later
RFP for a security audit, looking for input on interaction with policing in our schools
"can't do it without them"
Biancheria: how does NSS amount count?
Allen: city charges us the equivalent costs for what it costs them, up and above the $125,000 in he budget
eligible city cost towards net school spending
Biancheria: "talking nearly half a million dollars"
"at no time has it gone up"
Allen: city adds it on to the charge on an annual basis
different amounts depending on the salaries of the officers assigned, also now does not include benefits
take into account city provided that we don't have to pay for
Boone: budget amount hasn't shifted, but increase gets accounted for the total package
Biancheria: AP program,
then Creamer program, Reach and Challenge isn't in this program: not included in this account
Allen: this represents non-day programs at Creamer Center
this is contractual $35/hour beyond school day for next year
Biancheria: shift in administration of Creamer
Boone: happened several years ago, not this year
core salary positions are in the teacher and so forth accounts; this is only over and above that
Ramirez: credit recovery at Creamer only during day?
Rodrigues: yes at Creamer, other chances in other schools,
O'Connell: translator coordinator in C; combination of services and person's job
Allen agrees
O'Connell: are we having success in the areas we need
Allen: funds employees providing these services, Personnel services is for contracted services out
O'Connell: community schools not a high priority?
Boone: wouldn't call it a lack of priority, community school model had not been implemented for a number of years
will be evaluated and fully implemented (it is hoped) at Elm Park as part of Level 4 plan
framed and shaped in a way for Elm Park and its needs, plus learn from practices on community schools for others to use in some way
O'Connell: could consider next year?
Boone: would not commit to a one year plan
O'Connell: could be a progress report for next year
Boone: as always for Level 4 schools
O'Connell: crisis prevention training?
Allen: put into staff development account last year
motion for a report on Worcester Future Teachers Academy
also report on community schools
Boone: work ongoing as part of Level 4
Foley: confused, typically those items are referred to budget, not to subcommittee
Monfredo: confused about Worcester Future Teachers, cost to live in dorms waived
Allen: yes, funding was out of two accounts, funding restored in other account
Monfredo: library processing: why difference?
Allen: change in personnel that did service, no change in workload or service
Petty: adult ed is that Night Life?
Allen: Night Life is a revolving account (self-funded)
Petty: would like to know our vision for adult ed going forward, as needed for immigrants into city
athletic coaches taken together with athletic OM
to allow Mr. Shea to go home, the Mayor notes, to a reaction from the bullpen
Novick: anyone playing outside of typical gender divisions?
Shea: not right now, have been boys who played field hockey in the past
O'Connell: no cheerleader team at Burncoat
Shea: girls at Burncoat are in dance team...not interested
Biancheria: volleyball dropped?
Allen: funding lines up with actual costs
Biancheria: supplies has been level funded: are you finding that it is working out?
Shea: very creative in funding supplies and equipment: Hall of Fame fundraiser, individual school fundraising, DA's office
"there's always going to be a need to replenish over the years"
Biancheria asks for clarification on school choice funding
Allen: in FY14 and prior, school choice used to offset teacher salaries
for FY15, used for coaches and OM to fund fully
school choice for FY16 used for partial funding of this account
Biancheria: can we be informed?
Allen: if anything changes from here, would be in second or probably third quarter report
and that's it for this week!

No comments: