Sunday, January 17, 2021

School Committee: Budget Subcommittee - Recap - Jan 14, 2021

Quick Recap:
  • Discussion on potential Federal funding, discussion on scheduling meetings to prepare budget for review by full School Committee before budget hearings at Finance Committee Apr 28-29, 2021
  • Discussion on how to tell the story of the budget needs, a video is already in planning, could adjust/add to as requirements firm up. Need to better tell story of what measures have been made over the years to reduce costs (i.e teacher contract steps/lanes table)
  • Recognition that curriculum work is needed to ensure better consistency across district, brought up by students from different elementary schools coming together in Virtual Learning Academy (VLA)
  • Discussion on refunding of lunch accounts for FHS seniors or re-allocation to next sibling (if available). Vote last year was a one time thing, would need to do again this year, approved to bring to full committee

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 #scbsc0114

  • Getting ready for back-to-back SchComm subcommittee meetings. First up, budget Subcommittee. Agenda doc and connection info #scbsc0114
  • Apparently missing quorum to start although bridge open #scbsc0114
  • Actually with 2 of 3 present, that is quorum. #scbsc0114 3rd member arrived
  • Discussion on Federal funds coming, more than first time around. Additional earmarked by Sen Rausch asked for release but apparently it was worded such that if other funds were allocated, this amount would be reallocated #scbsc0114
  • Added info from 1/13/21 FinCom meeting so they can help plan out their meeting schedule. FinCom next meeting 2/24, likely a joint budget TBD in March with budget hearings set for Apr 28-29 currently. #scbsc0114
  • Subcommittee planning also for dates in March between their SchComm meetings to incorporate any feedback and adjustments per the larger discussion on budget. #scbsc0114
  • Discussion on presentation in video format to tell the story, work already underway with Anne Marie, fact based, per pupil expenses, programs lost, comparison with similar districts #scbsc0114 unfunded mandates tough to explain, some can, some can't realistically be done
  • Teacher contract has been changed over time in reducing the steps/lanes; that is important to make the point, maybe not as dramatic as police/fire restructures but it has been worked over time. #scbsc0114 consistency of the curriculum across the district
  • In the pandemic VLA brings the elementary students together from different schools which highlights the need for this curriculum consistency; #scbsc0114 principals recognize this. Reading instruction may need to esp addressed coming out of the pandemic
  • Discussion on lunch accts to be refunded at end of year for seniors or transferred to younger sibling, last years SchComm vote covered last year, this vote would cover this year. #scbsc0113 Motion to adjourn, passed 3-0

 Agenda doc

School Committee: Budget Subcommmittee - Recap - Jan 14, 2021
School Committee: Budget Subcommmittee - Recap - Jan 14, 2021


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