Wednesday, March 23, 2022

School Committee gets answers to their budget questions

Quick recap:
  • The formal budget hearing of the proposed Franklin School budget for FY 2023 was held on Tuesday evening. In the format similar to that of the Town Council after the presentation overview, the budget was read at a line item level and members of the committee had an opportunity to "hold" the line for further discussion. The discussion began after the complete listing was read. 
  • The presentation provided the overview on the budget development, timeline indicating next steps (Committee vote scheduled for Apr 12 meeting) and eventual hearings at Finance Committee and Town Council before final approval.
  • I encourage folks to watch the replay (or listen to the audio). The nature of the questions were primarily concerning clarification of this or that increase/decrease and quickly answered sometimes without even referring to the thick budget book or their notes. The insights on how and why generally tied back to an objective of the district's approach to education based upon the "Portrait of a Graduate." It really was quite impressive to see the level of detail being used to answer questions as easily as it was. Only one question required a response of "Can I get back to you on that?"
  • The classroom challenges today are met with approaches that are different from that of our classroom experiences, or that of our parents. The students are met where they are and helped along the way. Yes, we spend less than most other communities (either 75% or 78% spend more depending upon which measure is used) but the results we get are top quality.
  • A clear indication of those student accomplishments are seen almost everyday with sports results, academic achievements, musical, or theatrical performances. We should all be quite proud of what we have. Could we do better? There is room for improvement yes, and some of the wish list was also referenced during the presentation. One community question raised this point in regards to a Deputy Principal position cut from the high school a few years ago. That role was acknowledged as being missed and is currently being made up in other ways as the district continues to evaluate how best to bring it back and what it could cost to do so.

School budget for FY 2023 (and prior)

The Twitter thread of my notes and photos captured during the meeting can be found in one PDF ->

The audio of the meeting (and transcript) will be available in a day or so.

School Committee gets answers to their budget questions
School Committee gets answers to their budget questions 

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