Friday, June 5, 2020

Franklin Public Schools: FY 21 Budget Development and Personnel

To: Franklin Public Schools Families
From: Sara Ahern, Superintendent of Schools 
Date: June 5, 2020
Re: FY 21 Budget Development and Personnel

In my recent memo to the School Committee, which was forwarded to the community, I framed the financial situation facing the Franklin Public Schools. At this time, we are very uncertain about what our school budget will be but we do know that under the current Town Budget Blueprint, using the Governor’s Budget figures from January, that we are facing $3.4 million in reductions including about 25 positions.

We anticipate that the budget gap will widen when we learn more about likely reductions to state aid, due to state revenue forecasts falling short of projections by about $6 billion. Unfortunately, we do not anticipate knowing this until further along in the summer. If state aid were to be cut by 10%, we would estimate a shortfall of $5.4 million from the School Committee’s adopted budget. State aid cuts could be greater.

We are striving to be creative wherever possible to mitigate the loss of positions, however we do expect personnel to be impacted. Yesterday afternoon, we held a virtual meeting with all non-Professional Teaching Status (non-PTS) faculty in FEA Unit A. (These are our professional educators who are in their first three years in the district). At this meeting, I shared that we are issuing all non-PTS faculty members non-renewal notices in advance of the June 15 statutory deadline. By following this process, we will gain time to further develop the budget and have the needed flexibility when additional information is known from the state about state aid to Franklin.

I did not share this information immediately with the community out of respect for our staff members and the intention of giving them space to process and absorb this information.

We are deeply saddened to have to take such a dramatic approach in developing our budget this year. The recruitment and development of talented educators is something that we take very seriously and we are very proud of the work our non-PTS educators accomplish each and every day. We are hopeful that some of our non-PTS faculty will be able to be reappointed in the future and we will do so as soon as we are able.

For more information about the budget, we encourage families to view the Livestream of or attend the June 9 School Committee meeting when another budget discussion will take place. If you have questions, we encourage you to reach out to the Superintendent’s Office at 508-553-4819. Although we are working remotely, your voicemail will be directed to e-mail and you will receive a timely response.

Franklin Public Schools: FY 21 Budget Development and Personnel
Franklin Public Schools: FY 21 Budget Development and Personnel

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