Tuesday, March 3, 2020

FM #214 Superintendent's Recommended Budget for FY2021 (audio)

FM #214 -This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 214 in the series.

The School Committee meeting of Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020 featured, among other items, the first look at the school budget for FY 2021. Remember, we are currently operating in FY 2020 which runs through June 30, 2020. The Fiscal Year 2021 budget will provide funding for the next school year as it covers July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

The Superintendent's Recommended budget came out of the gate asking reasonably for the critical needs to be met. Some several hundred thousands of other requirements didn't make the 'critical' cut. There is another $1.2M in unmet needs NOT included in the budget as shown.

The math problem comes into this as the whole of Franklin's budget can only grow about $3M. So even if the critical needs budget was desired, and ALL of the $3M went to the schools. One, that leaves police, fire, DPW, Library with no increase for anything over what they had least year. Two, that also means $900K of the critical needs doesn't make the budget this year.

Of course, the gap will get resolved before the budget is finalized in June, the real question is how. What and where will the cuts come from? Expecting $3M to be 'found' is unrealistic.

Both School Committee Chair Anne Bergen and Superintendent Ahern outline that this is the start of the budget process. The last page of the presentation doc (shared here so you can follow along) provides the next steps timeline.

The budget discussion segment of the meeting runs approximately 35 minutes so without further ado, let’s listen as Superintendent Ahern and School Business Manager Miriam Goodman present the first look at the school budget for FY 2021.  Audio file -https://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HWPDngJX


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The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


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screen capture of a budget slide during the meeting presentation
screen capture of a budget slide during the meeting presentation

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