Saturday, May 30, 2020

Finance Committee Recap - Budget Hearing #2 - May 28, 2020

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.

The Twitter hashtag can be found online

Pre-Meeting Tweets
Meeting starts, Franklin Public Schools

screen grab at start of budget hearing #2
screen grab at start of budget hearing #2

  • Real-time reporting ready to get underway for the #2 budget hearing for the Finance Committee meeting covering the school budget #fincom0528
  • Roll call of Committee (6 present) along with TA Hellen, Superintendent Ahern among others of town/schools. Approx 30 total to start meeting #fincom0528
  • Bill Dowd acting as Chair tonight in absence of M Dufour. #fincom0528 no public comments at this time. Minutes of Dec 17, 2019 up for approval, moved, seconded approved 7-0 (7 for, 2 absent) via roll call
  • First up on agenda is town side of technology, #fincom0528 mostly same as last year with a minor increase for license cost increases
  • Next up is school budget, only a line item on town side, all the details are in the school budget docs. #fincom0528
  • First doc for SchComm budget is #fincom0528 second doc
  • Town Council meeting of June 3 will include updates from Rep Roy, Senator Spilka and senator Rausch to provide some insight from capital hill #fincom0528 agenda to be posted Friday.
  • Grappling with how to close the gap, as mentioned in SchComm meeting 5/26 it could include reduction of 25 positions on one scenario and 50 positions on the second scenario #fincom0528 teacher avg salary is Below the State avg teacher salary
  • Town contributes more than $8M towards net school spending as calculated by the State, from the town side of the budget (facility maint, custodians, etc) and reconciled annually per MOU between town and schools #fincom0528
  • Q on enrollment drop can increases in budget, what is the readers digest answer? Population has dropped, but the students coming are requiring more services, K-8 teachers have dropped, councilors have increased #fincom0528
  • Key slide on gaps to close given some of the projections on the downturn and revenue estimates #fincom0528
  • Q how closely do we vette the SPED needs of the students? We do quite well there, a lot of data via testing and observation, a formal process to follow with reviews at minimum annually #fincom0528 some kids do get off plans, they don't always stay forever
  • SPED is a special Ed term for delivery of education to those students with special needs, schools attempt to do as much in-house as possible to save on out of district placements #fincom0528
  • June 15 for non-professional (less than 3 years) and per contract the others would also be notified by June 15. #fincom0528 contract does have recall provisions that could be used
  • Question on per pupil expenditure calculated at State per their categories and requirements #fincom0528
Tri-County, Norfolk Ag line items
  • Tri-County working on plans for a refurb of the building, that would require a debt exclusion. Otherwise the charge for Franklin is based upon a per pupil expense for enrollment #fincom0528 both for Norfolk Ag and Tri-County
  • Meeting adjourned via roll call by 7-0, catch you next Tuesday for part three of the FY 21 budget hearings  #fincom0528

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