Showing posts with label consolidation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label consolidation. Show all posts

Sunday, March 8, 2009

consolidation was 'generally negative'

In these days of tight budgets and looking in all corners for opportunities, one area I think has some possibilities to explore is in the area of combining services. Mendon, Millville and Hopedale are exploring the combination of their dispatch services. According to this story in the Boston Globe today, one area that won't work is combining school districts.

But a wave of research from around the country shows that consolidation does not improve schools or lead to better academic results. Spending on education does not go down; indeed, budgets often balloon with increased transportation costs and more administrators to run enlarged districts. Consolidation leads to schools closing and to bigger schools, with less parental involvement and community participation. And, in many parts of the United States, it has led to children on unconscionable bus rides lasting several hours a day.

"There is either no advantage or actually a disadvantage to making these enormous uber-districts," says Andrew J. Coulson, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., who has conducted two major studies on consolidation. "They just don't help kids."

Read the full story on the learning obtained from other states who tried combining school district in the Boston Globe article here

So my eyes will be turned to other areas.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

live reporting - Action items

Action Items:
1. I recommend acceptance of $13.50 from Kaitlyn Simmons & Corinne Lewis, raised from their lemonade stand for the Oak Street Elementary School Gift Account.
approved 7-0

2. I recommend acceptance of a check for $285.00 from Lifetouch Pictures for the Future Enrichment Programs at ECDC.
approved 7-0

3. I recommend approval of the request of FHS teachers Jackie Eckhardt and Debbie Murphy for the annual trip to Spain for the summer of 2009.
approved 7-0

4. I recommend adoption of the revised 2009-2010 School Calendar
approved 6-1

5. I recommend adoption of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Jeff Roy - school department lawyers were not required to work out the issues on the MOU, this covers most of the items raised in the previous meeting, not perfect but a good ways along, can still be modified as it goes

Cafasso questioned to make sure the heating utilities were being covered by the town given the discussion about the Brick school

hopes that the principals are vigilant and report back to us if things do not go smoothly

Jeff Roy - did get the clause to state that the principals will retain level of control over personnel in their buildings

Rohrbach - hope this goes smoothly, hopes that this does generate some cost savings

approved: 7-0

6. I recommend adoption of the Consolidation Plan.
approved: 7-0

7. I recommend the increase to $325.00 per year for the Pay-to-Ride Program.
approved: 7-0

Saturday, June 14, 2008

In the News - Douglas retires, Consolidation goes to the lawyers

Posted Jun 14, 2008 @ 12:02 AM


After 33 years teaching at the historic Red Brick School, Cindy Douglas had her last milk and cookies with her beloved students - those still digging tunnels in the sandbox, and the gray-haired ones alike.

"This is great - absolutely wonderful," Douglas said, between hugging a seemingly endless stream of alumni and parents of students at the school who celebrated her retirement at the school yesterday.

"These children are second and third children - I had some of their parents. I loved getting up every the morning to here. It's really not a job - it's fun and I like being here," Douglas said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Posted Jun 14, 2008 @ 12:03 AM


Unhappy with a memorandum of understanding on the town's takeover of the School Department's $5.5 million maintenance account, the School Committee has decided to send the document to lawyers representing the town and schools.

The committee tabled a vote this week to consolidate facilities with the town, which has been a controversial issue since first broached last year, though several members said they would agree to a modified version.

On June 4, Town Council approved the consolidation. Councilors and Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting have advocated for the merger because they believe it will create greater efficiencies and "make a good thing better."

Custodians and groundskeepers, including schools Facilities Director Mike D'Angelo, have objected to the move, saying they do not understand how it benefits anyone.

Both the School Committee and Town Council must approve the consolidation according to Massachusetts law, officials have said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

live reporting - Memo of Understanding

Wayne Ogden negotiated with Jeff Nutting
is the result of comprises, it is not a perfect document

Cora - what happens for the money after two years if the plan doesn't work out. There is an arrangement for the vehicles but there is nothing for the money.

Concern about the gasoline charge, open to interpretation as to continued price increases occur, we need some protection.

Need a provision for the principals to run their building

What about the bio-hazard response? The make up of the Town and School Committee may be different two years from now, there needs to be something clarified to protect the town as it goes forward.

Roberta - The initial MOU was longer, so I wonder what was taking out. How do you handle a custodial staff issue? Delivery of services should be equal to current services. I want this to go forward but there are things that have not been sufficiently explained or clarified.

Susan - what happens to the money of the school committee votes against it, also wants better language for the principal to run their building and having appropriate control.

Jeff - letter to accrediting body delivered upon visit for accreditation; overall responsibility for custodians resides with Town Administrator; this conflicts with Ed Reform. Both Town and School need to vote this in effect. There is nothing to prevent the Town Council to vote to give it back also. Hence, there needs to be a plan for that to protect the schools and the town folks.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"would need to figure a way to balance the budget"

Posted Jun 05, 2008 @ 12:38 AM


Town Council last night unanimously voted to consolidate the town and school maintenance functions, a $5.5 million account takeover pending approval by the School Committee.

Councilors Joseph McGann and Thomas Doak were absent from the meeting.

Custodians and groundskeepers have spoken against the move, while Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting and councilors have advocated for it, believing it will create greater efficiencies and make a good system better.

Nutting said he hopes to finish a draft memorandum of understanding with Superintendent of Schools Wayne Ogden today. In order for the merger to be legal, the School Committee, which meets Tuesday, must vote to adopt the resolution, Nutting said.

Prior to voting, Councilor Shannon Zollo asked about possible legal repercussions of the School Committee rejecting the consolidation after the council approves it.

Note: Councilor Scott Mason also missed last night's meeting, leaving only 6 in attendance which is 2/3 majority and sufficient for enacting resolutions that are legal.

Read the remainder of the story here in the Milford Daily News.

Listen to this section of the meeting to hear what happened here

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Facilities Consolidation (audio)

From the Franklin Town Council meeting 6/4/08.

Time: 4 minutes, 56 seconds

MP3 File

The key piece here is now that the Town Council has approved, if the School Committee does not approve, they would also be liable to deliver the slate of services and maintain the school facilities with their budget reduced by another 5.4 million dollars that the town took assuming the town would support the facilities.

If there is no agreement, the town is only legally obligated to provide the minimun the state requires so if the school would presist in supporting their services including the facilities, they would be forced to either turn over the facilities, or make additional significant cuts.

Nothing like having a little leverage to get something done!

Action items

Resolution 08-39: Unnamed Private Way Off Upper Union Street: Acceptance of Covenant
resolution keeps the road a private way
passed unanimous


Resolution 08-40: Local Acceptance of G.L. Chapter 71, Section 37M
passed unanimously

Resolution 08-41: Consolidation of School Maintenance Functions with Town’s
as amended
passed unanimously

Resolution 08-42: Amending Elected Officials’ Salaries
passed 5-1


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Q & A 7 - How does the facility consolidation effect the school budget? Feeley (audio)

From the Franklin Override Information Forum coordinated by the Joint Parent Communication Councils and held on Wednesday, 5/28/08.

Q - Would like to ask the Council to address the consolidation of facilities? In a time when the schools are in need, taking the money away from the schools.

A - Feeley, the Council took the corresponding dollars and responsibility (associated expenses) were taken away at the same time.

Time: 1 minute, 41 seconds

MP3 File

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Regionalization, consolidation, two avenues to explore

In order to maintain a sufficient level of service in any industry, it is imperative to look at the process and the cost drivers. While much has been said and written on the rising costs for employees and they generally account for much of the overall costs in a company; the employees are only one leg of the three leg stool: people, process, technology.

Technology for technology sake is expensive. Technology implemented properly should enable the the people to execute the process more effectively and more efficiently, hence in a less costly manner. Then and only then does technology provide a return on investment in a short period. But you don't look at technology first.

Assume you have the best people, and start by looking at the process. Are they working in the most efficient and effective manner? If not, identify the steps in the process that hinder effectiveness and make changes. Goldratt's Theory of Constraints is a good model to follow.

As you work the constraints out of the process, you can look to apply technology. You may also find that the employees require additional training or that some may not be a good fit for the new process. Making those adjustments on a continuous and phased process will ensure continued improvement.

Part of the process evaluation should include an examination of the scope of work. Massachusetts is a commonwealth of 351 communities all self governed, most with their own municipal infrastructure: police, fire, library, schools, etc. It is time to look carefully at some of these areas to see where and how either regionalization or consolidation can help each local community continue to provide services but at a reasonable cost to the community.

Franklin has taken steps in this area with the consolidation of facilities, data processing and the current discussion underway on the consolidation of maintenance services. Properly done this will ensure delivery of service at the best cost. It may not guarantee a reduced cost, some cost factors will still be rising but the management of them will be done one time instead of multiple times (one department, not two or three).

The Milford Daily News last week had an article on this topic and the Marlborough Fire Chief was quoted as saying:
"Is (regionalization) possible? Absolutely," he said. "Is it feasible, able to be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time? No, not with what I'm looking at. I'm not opposed to regionalization or the concept of it, but there's a lot that goes into the makeup of trying to regionalize."
It will take time but the time to start is now. This is no reason to wait.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Facility Consolidation (audio)

The Franklin School Committee get an update from the group that met with some of the Town Council and other Town administration to discuss the proposa. It will require a memorandum of understanding between the Town Council and School Committee to put into effect.

Details remain to be worked out but in Jeff Roy's terms it was "the most productive meeting on this topic".

Time: 8 minutes, 16 seconds

MP3 File

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

In the News - students on the air, consolidation of services

Franklin students hitting the airwaves

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Featured by an independent Los Angeles radio station this month, the students running the high school's Sound in the Hall Records are now hallway kings and queens.


Franklin may consolidate some school, town services

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - With focus shifting to other issues now that a budget inquiry is over, Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting has revived a proposal to consolidate some school and municipal services.