Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Time: 19 minutes, 33 seconds
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
A - Condominiums. Condos are actually a good deal for the town, they are taxed upon their value. They generally have less children.
Comment from a resident who teaches in Wellesley. She would love to teach here but with the cuts so frequently, she would be one of the first out the door.
Q - Why is the override only affecting the schools?
A - Jeff answers that the 1.8 million in new revenue was split and the town managed to use their portion. The safety (fire and police) got their overtime cut.
The safety departments were looking for additional folks but they did not get approved in the budget. The town will suffer but it won't be as visible.
Comment: You have a bad rap, you didn't ask for enough so you don't know what you're doing. I am not hearing the buzz that I heard last year. I am hearing a lot more negative this time.
Q - How does the charter school funding work?
A - It is a state formula but the dollars per student that the district pays is what the charter is eligible to receive. So if our funding goes up, they will benefit. If ours go down, theirs will as well.
Q - What about out of town students?
A - We only use school choice to fill spots that would otherwise be empty. Therefore there is no additional cost for us but there is additional revenue.
Q - Can we talk about re-districting?
A - It is highly likely that this will happen sometime. The large majority of the new development coming is in the Keller-Sullivan district. You already tight for space there. As the new construction comes online, this will increase the pressure to re-district and balance the school population amongst the existing facilities. One other factor is the 17 modular units that would need to get replaced in the next several years. Would we replace them or add on to an existing elementary school. There is a space needs committee working on this issue.
Q - Is the Brick school open or closed?
A - It is still in currently but it has not been fully funded. There are open classrooms at Davis Thayer that could easily absorb the classroom.
Q - The Newcomer's group is looking to use space for the meetings but the town facilities are not generally open or under consideration.
A - Jeff Nutting says that this could be discussed.
Fixed cost continue to rise above our ability to raise revenues
There is a three-year plan as part of this years budget, we get more negative each year going out.
All employees are getting modest raises, generally less than the cost of living.
"Don't beat up public employees just because the town is having financial problems"
"We talk about regionalization and every where else in the country that happens but doesn't happen here."
There is a ballot item this November to remove the State Income tax. This provides 40% of the state revenue. What would replace it? No one has answered that question.
"A town's budget is a reflection of it's values"
Steve explains how the tax rate analysis he did was done separately it is not an official town document. He did the analysis to answer the comments coming during the override discussion last year that "we can't afford it" He is a financial analyst in his work life.
The residential tax burden goes to affordability.
Being 24th out of 30, tells Steve that if we chose to, we can afford to pay more.
15th out of 17th amongst the towns with a single tax rate.
"One thing I would say to you as an analyst, the override is not about overspending and waste. It not about miss-management. It is about what kind of town you want to live in."
Based upon Steve's analysis, "it is a sensible thing to do."
After tax cost about 50 cents per day.
Newcomer - "There is a different approach this year, it is not being thrust down our throats."
"If the layoffs go through, it is a step back of some magnitude."
You are getting factual information to make a choice.
Look at Randolph and what is happening there.
OPEC and the oil countries don't care that MA has a Prop 2 1/2 in place.
If I were in Hopkinton, #4 on the listing, I would be digging into the numbers to find ways.
If property values decrease, the overall taxes will not decrease, we will raise the tax rates.
Arlington plan outlined. Whether we go that way or not, we do need to go with a longer term plan.
Q - What happened to Chap 70? Isn't that the local aid designed for the schools? Where is it going, is it going into the general town fund?
A - Yes, it is but as long as we are above the net school spending per the State, we can apply it as we need to.
Reviewing his handout that will be used in the Town Budget meetings next week.
First chart, the State average spending category by category showing where Franklin is less than the state average in 10 of the 11 categories.
Last year, we were 9 of 11. Next year, Wayne predicts that next year if the override were to fail we will be lower than the state in all 11 categories.
Wayne walks through the numbers to get from the level service number less the town funding to get to the override number of $2.8 Million.
Use gas instead of oil to heat schools and have locked in a good rate to save money.
Impact of failed override restated as
- 17 teachers and one administrator at the High School
- 12.5 teachers at the middle schools
- 15 teachers at the elementary schools
- district wide reductions in curriculum teams, professional development, text books, late bus, increase pay-to-ride, and loss one additional administrator at the Central Office
- increase in class sizes
If a teacher gets another position, we don't pay their unemployment.
Sample teacher salaries across several communities the highest and lowest salaries are very comparable.
Q - What is the cost of the late bus?
A - $39,600. There are so many bad choices.
Q - How does the school facilities budget affect the budget?
A - It is not a money savings measure. There are more likely to be increases in future years.
Jeff Roy did find the clip of Jeff Nutting predicting last year that this year we would need approx $3 million for another override, hence his "Nostradamus" nick name.
Q - I understand why we are here again this year. Mis-management is the perception.
A - The use of the surplus and the growth in Chapter 70 has allowed the town to avoid the problem. The base needs to grow substantially.
"Hard to argue that you can be a real high quality town with really low taxes."
Forty-seven teachers were given notices yesterday informing them they may not have a job this September, Superintendent Wayne Ogden announced last night.
The teachers, whose identities are not public, were told the district's budget made it impossible to promise them a job in the fall, Ogden said.
School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy said it made him "sick."
"It's just painful for people who received the notices, it's their livelihood," Ogden said, noting some of the teachers have worked in Franklin schools many years.
"It's a heavy burden for them," said Ogden, who decided to warn teachers early to give them an opportunity to find other jobs.
Read the full story at the Milford Daily News here
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Just as they did last year, town and school leaders are inviting the public to host neighborhood forums at their homes to answer questions about the $2.8 million Proposition 2 1/2 tax override, School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy said Friday.
The vote will be June 10.
The funds would go directly to schools to prevent about 15 layoffs in elementary schools, 12.5 teaching positions at middle schools, 17 teacher jobs at Franklin High School, elimination of the late bus, and an increase of $100 (to $325) for pay-to-ride busing.
"We will go any time, any place, to answer any questions," Roy said. "That means bringing members of the School Committee, Finance Committee, Town Council, as well as the Town Administrator (Jeffrey D. Nutting) and school superintendent (Wayne Ogden) out to people's homes - we show up as a group." Last year, town leaders spoke to audiences of about 10 to 30 people at neighborhood forums, Roy said.
Having face-to-face conversations with people was "extremely effective" last year, he said.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Time: 5 minutes, 25 seconds
The text of the full statement can be found at the School Committee blog here.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Despite support from most individual members of the Finance Committee, last night the group collectively decided against recommending an override to Town Council because they did not have enough time to properly plan.
After School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy requested the board discuss putting an override question to the public to prevent 45 layoffs in the schools, Finance Committee members spoke in favor of a tax hike.
Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche made a motion to ask the Town Council to place a $1.5 million override question on the ballot to support the school, police, and fire departments. No one seconded his motion.
After a lengthy presentation from school officials advocating for a $58.6 million budget, the Finance Committee last night voted to recommend the $55.4 million budget proposed by Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting.
Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche said he wanted to be clear that the school budget is not being cut, "it's just not getting increased by as much" as officials say is necessary to maintain teachers, other staff and programs in schools. Nutting's recommended budget represents a 1.5 percent increase, or about $800,000 over this year's $54.6 million budget.
Even if the School Department gets the $58.6 million it is seeking, schools will not be able to hire new teachers, Superintendent Wayne Ogden said.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Time: 11 minutes, 5 seconds
Monday, March 3, 2008
By Jeffrey Roy on Budget
|On February 26, 2008, Superintendent Wayne Ogden presented the proposed FY09 budget to the School Committee. During the presentation, Ogden explained that the school department needs a 6.7 percent budget increase to provide level service, but is slated to receive only 1.5 percent from the town. This includes the loss of about $400,000 in projected [...]|
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Deb Pellegri speaks on behalf of the Brick School Association.
Time: 23 minutes, 23 seconds
Time: 19 minutes, 11 seconds
Time: 17 minutes, 27 seconds
Time: 18 minutes, 48 seconds
By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff
The School Committee was left in ``sticker shock'' last week after hearing the price of each option to repair or rebuild Franklin High School.Read the remainder of the article here.
Kaestle Boos Associates presented three design options for renovating and adding to the building, with costs ranging from $93 to $100 million, and a fourth scenario to build a completely new school for $120 to $130 million.
The School Committee began discussions on repairing the high school in 2005, when the New England Association of Schools and Colleges issued its evaluation of the building, which called for major structural improvements. The association said the school, built in 1971, was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the locker rooms were in disrepair, the floors needed to be fixed, and noted the lack of an auditorium, among other problems, said School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy.
You can also listen to the presentation and Q&A period from the School Committee meeting here.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Time: 19 minutes, 30 seconds
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Time: 15 minutes, 0 seconds
My notes from the discussion:
Michael McKean (?) representing Kaestle Boos on the Franklin High School renovation options.
- approximately 30 months for total renovation
- approximately 24 months to build a new school keeping the existing field house
- students will adjust quickly during the construction, the teachers and parents generally have more of an issue adjusting
- in the renovation options, the traffic flow remains mostly the same other than attempting to separate the parent drop offs from the buses
- the auditorium would be about $7 million (as sized at 26000 sq foot)
- all the options would connect on the second level, for brevity of the presentation they were not shown here
- this is not simply building on the roof as the existing building was done before the current seismic codes were put into place
- the new building option would locate the building further away from the existing homes
Friday, January 18, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
This portion includes Q&A with Councilors Whalen, Feeley, McGann, Pfeffer, Doak, and School Committee Chairperson Jeff Roy.
Time: 9 minutes, 36 seconds
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Time: 3 minutes, 33 seconds