Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Live reporting - budget FY 11

3. Discussion Only Items

B. Budget Discussion
Broad and general discussion with regards to the overall Town budget situation
$1.8 million difference between level service and level funded (actually 1.9 but less the 100,000 offset from the Town side)
School Committee meeting on 4/27 would get closer to the choices in advance of the Town Council meeting and discussion on 4/28

working to reduce health care costs via a redesign to allow for only a 3% increase in health care costs.

agreed last year to hold the high school harmless for cuts this year due to decisions made last year

will look at high school athletic fees versus actual operating costs, there may need to be an icrease

we'll be looking at personnel reductions in the K-5

possibly shortening the elementary school day to cover some prep time, may present some challenges for parents but would be out of the box approach to save teachers.

we are not ready at this time to put half day kindergarten on the table. going to half-day would require a systemic redesign of the curriculum, it would likely also bring about some other unintended consequences

wage freezes were obtained last year with the intent that the community would step up to do their part this year.

meeting with the administrative team in the morning to review these and get more specific.

shortening the elementary level only one day a week, not everyday
would require looking at how specialists are scheduled across the district

Cafasso - looking at the transportation contracts, I believe we can do with less buses, some of the rides might get a little longer but there are a lot of empty seats on the buses at Horace Mann

Look at turning down thermostats and see how much that would, if anything, buy us
look at the foreign language curriculum

If the voters in this town don't think they are getting their monies worth, they got another thing coming

Trahan - It is tough but I think the community will need to see what they can contribute this year.

Glynn - pay to ride, look at what it is for everyone. I know it is against state law, These cuts are painful and need to be equitable. Look at everything else we can cut to preserve the sanctity of the classroom.

I stepped up to remind the Committee to come back for their next meeting with the one-page overview reconciliation of where they started and where they are. Already tonight you are talking about 1.9 and 1.8 shortage when on Jan 26th, you were presented a 53.5 million budget that at the time was an increase of 2.2 million over the prior year.

I will help you spread the word on the need for the money but you need to get all the numbers on the same page and be in agreement on what they are. You may not be deliberately trying to confuse the issue but it could be read that way.

Franklin, MA

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