Monday, March 3, 2008

Recap of School Budget situation

The School Committee meeting on 2/26/08 was long and eventful. The audio sections for the meeting are available here.

If you can't spend three hours listening to the meeting, you can skip to the appropriate section to get the original voices for the following items:

  • Franklin is receiving $2.4 M from the Dept. of Education, effectively a 9% increase over FY08 for the schools
  • The Town, however, is planning for the schools to only receive a 1.5% increase in funding over FY08 which results in the expected layoffs of 45 teachers, increased busing fees, and increased class sizes.
  • Rep Vallee does a wonderful job obtaining money for Franklin but it won't last forever.
  • The High School renovation options cost $90-100 million which is cheaper than building a new school which would cost $120-130 million.
  • The FHS accreditation is on "warning" status now due to the inaction in addressing the high school facility shortcomings. This was expected.
  • The Forensic Report has triggered a number of actions by the School Dept amongst them cost center based budgets (each school is now a cost center), improved accounting of funds in the budget, and interviews for a new finance director were scheduled for 2/27/08.
  • The KCD Policy passed by a vote of 6-1 which now requires all donations to be applied to non-operating expenses and rejects funds previously targeted for specific operational efforts (i.e. the Brick classroom).
  • The communications campaign about the real health issues amongst the Franklin school population as reported in the MetroWest Survey is about to begin with a gathering of representatives from the various groups and organizations in the town. The report will be reviewed in that forum. That group will then make plans for communicating and taking action to address the issues.

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