Thursday, February 2, 2017

FY18 Worcester Public Schools budget: initial look

Allen: Governor's budget is first look; House budget becomes recommendation to School Committee
enrollment changes and low inflation rate
costs exceeding normal inflration
school resource needs are SIGNIFICANT AND URGENT but exceed available revenue
60 from state 12 from fed rest from city
1 of only 92 districts that are foundation aid districts; remainder hold harmless; WPS's growth is beyond that
inflation factor is still low
$63/pupil added to WPS budget on health insurance: under by $30M for WPS in health insurance, this nets under $2M
"that gap is fairly wide for Worcester"
state budget will continue underfunding charter school reimbursement and the circuit breaker ($935,000 this year; about the same for next year)
based on October 2016 enrollment
enrollment up 1.7% over last year: 7.5% over the past 10 years; almost 10% increase over 25%
exceeding 25,000 students for the first time since 2003, when there were eight more schools
contribution from city and state aid
370 student increase (includes charter and school choice both of which declined)
$9.4M increase in foundation
city contribution going up by $227K; remainder from state
level 5 ELL students becoming former ELL students: loss of 729 students; reduction of almost $5.6M
ED: 543 increase; $3M
additional health insurance funding from Governor: $1.7M
inflation factor is 1.1% this year: each 1% is $3M
budget goes up $9M
"These are just based upon a formula; these are intended to be what the numbers will be"
conversations with city still starting

on to costs...
62% of budget goes to salaries
if it were to stay the same...employee salaries expected to increase $4.6M
health insurance planned on $3.4M increase (7% increase)
tuition expected to go up by $1M
and so forth
$10.6M increase over all categories

needs for elementary class size
secondary content
adjustment counselors and psychologists
coaches and lead teachers
guidance counselors
kindergarten IA

3 classes of 31 or more in K-6 currently; with no increases, 10 classes next year

other requests: PD, textbooks, instructional materials, furniture, safety; repairs: $5.9M

total needs of $29.7M over this year; and revenue increasing $9M
$20.7M gap

"This not a spending issue; this is a revenue problem" as Worcester has a $94M gap under foundation budget

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