Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Live reporting - general Q&A

Trahan - To summarize, the time line is still unclear, how the revenue will be distributed amongst the Town departments is still unclear? And you mentioned the survey amongst the high school teachers, so have others been duly involved, informed, etc.

Ogden - yes, the principals have been talking with them, Maureen and I are also cycling around to the schools and PCC's.

Armenio - I am worried about "finding money". These stimulus funds are one time funds, they are not in the revenue base.

Ogden - yes, the Federal stimulus is two years, the state portion is coming, the answer as to whether it deducts from Chap 70 or not is unknown.

Ogden - the late bus is not in this budget

Sabolinski - we stopped protecting class size about two years ago, the educational gaps are growing, the last bastion of curriculum and instructional support is within the elementary level. There is no district wide instructional support.

Ogden - this is totally new and potentially devastating to the budget (covering for the unemployment within the school budget), it spirals down a hole

Cafasso - I am not convinced about the half day kindergarten. In order to keep class sizes reasonable (albeit high) we have to short change the kids in their initial year? I am not convinced of it at this point. I am not convinced that a school closure and a re-districting might not be a solution.

Mullen - we haven't had the conversation yet about what are the "sacred cows"? We still need to discuss those things. You haven't made the asst superintendent change and that is not in the presentation but should be.

Ogden - the vendor has offered a package that would cost the district $250,000 less if we did several things, 1 - larger co-pay for tier 1 and 2 drugs, 2 - some doctor visits.

Sabolinski - we also got a reduction as our claims were down. We have a healthy group.

Mullen - can you look at the high school fees?

Light - we are still in discussion on this, I think it would double the fees for sports. There would also be a simialr increase in activity fees.

Slight - we are $125/sport. Doubling would be $250. Compared to other towns, Canton for example is $350, we are lower.

Roy - I want to guauge the committee's feeling on fees? I would like to keep an open mind on fees. Other consessions might be out there.

Roy reads a letter to the school teachers union president: a copy of this will be made available later. Formally asking the union for a wage freeze, the freeze would be applied to saving teachers.

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