Sunday, November 15, 2015

Finance and Operations meets Monday at 5

You can find the agenda here.
It's time for the first quarter budget update. First, note that once the city does the tax recap, the School Committee will have to reduce the budget by half a million dollars. 
And why?
Charter school reimbursement is underfunded. It was underfunded in the budget we passed, but it got worse, rather than better. I ranted about this briefly yesterday on Twitter, but to recap: A district that serves 25,000 students is going to have to cut their budget by half a million dollars in November/December, because the state can't get its act together enough to fulfill their basic LEGAL responsibilities on school funding. Don't talk to me about "stealing possible" when this is your funding pattern.
In other quarter one news:

  • personal services is up quite a bit, as we continue to bring more special ed services back in house, as the Recovery High School tuition is up (good for other reasons, but tough here), and as translation services continue to rise. This is also the line item where the superintendent search is budgeted.
  • workers' comp is already projected at a deficit. Again. We'll take Mr. O'Connell's item on a workers' comp update with the quarterly report, but the answer, again, is that we aren't budgeting enough here. 
  • nurses are also projected at a deficit, because we need subs when they're sick.
  • and in a possible (I'll ask) "chickens coming home to roost," you might remember that we didn't replace school buses on the same schedule this year, because our city capital funding remains SO tight. Guess what's up? Contractual transportation services. If we don't pay for the capital expense, we'll pay for it in operational expenses.
Note also the that the Title I grant being up means that some IAs and preK teachers could be moved back to grant funding, which will assist with some of the above. 
The full rundown on where accounts are currently projected is here
In other "clearning the decks" items, we have the South High pool item, which is recommended to referral to the South High building committee (do we have a South High building committee?).
We have the request to see the bid on Lake View's asphalt repairs; the proposal is we get it in a Friday letter.
The ads on buses item is on with a recommendation that it be filed. It turns out that looking at an external object, like an ad, is more distracting than putting on makeup or dialing a phone when you're driving, which is dangerous enough. So putting a known danger on buses to make relatively little money...
We also have the conversation we started during budget on how much of security spending comes out of the facilities budget (which is funded at 61% of foundation).
The proposed 2016-17 and 2017-18 calendars are on here, along with comments from schools. Two notes: both years would start with a full five day week for students over the week that goes from August to September (with teachers coming in for two days the week before), followed by Labor Day (and thus a four day week); there is no change to vacations, though considerable interest expressed in a March break. 
Finally, the Foundation Budget Review Commission's final report is on the agenda. More, I suspect, to come on that. 

5 o'clock, 4th floor of the administration building or livestreamed on the web!

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