May 14, 2012 Budget Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
School Budget and Finance Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building
May 14, 2012, 5:30 p.m.  

  1. Preliminary Discussion of the FY2013 Quincy Public Schools Budget - Vice-Chair Isola,     Mr. Mullaney

  2. Other Business/Adjournment


Budget and Finance Subcommittee Meeting

Monday, May 14, 2012

A meeting of the Budget and Finance Subcommittee was held on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm in the 2 nd Floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Ms. Christine Barrett, Mr. Jim Mullaney, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Colleen Roberts, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd, Mrs. Ruth Witmer; Ms. Allison Cox, President, Quincy Education Association; Mrs. Tracey Christello, Citywide Parents’s Council representative; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Ms. Isola called the meeting to order at 5:40 pm and explained that the purpose of the meeting was a discussion of a preliminary budget prepared by the Superintendent in consultation with the Leadership and Principal teams. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mayor Koch for this year’s budget allocation, and expressed hopes that this is the beginning of incremental improvements and being able to address priorities. In addition to this allocation, the Mayor is also providing $828,000 from Comcast funding for technology initiatives.

The draft budget for FY2013 totals $91,347,461; the Mayor’s appropriation is $88,887,461, plus Circuit Breaker reimbursements of $2,460,000, minus Education Jobs Grant Funding (-$1,298,455). The funding allows Quincy Public Schools to absorb 6.6 teaching positions from the NCLB grant that were reduced in FY2012; absorb the 17 teaching positions that were funded by the Education Jobs grant; meet all contractual obligations; set aside funds for negotiation; and provides $500k to address class size, academic programs and academic support.

The budget process begins with the Superintendent’s Leadership and Principal teams identifying areas of consideration; options are then reviewed and prioritized to address areas of impact. This draft is then shared with the School Committee and different options researched and prioritized. Above all, the budget process is student-centered with Academic Classroom Teachers and Academic Programs as the top priority. Maintaining or increasing existing classroom teaching staff, evaluating staff changes (retirements, resignation, seniority, leave of absence) and enrollment changes are all considered. For Academic Support, Non-Academic Support, Subsidized Programs (Athletics, Food Services, Building Rentals, Transportation) the same types of questions are evaluated. For Academic and Non-Academic Expenses, the process is focused on evaluating needs and funding increases and reducing expenditures as necessary.

Budget Recommendations for Consideration from the Superintendent’s Leadership and Principal Teams: Based on projected enrollments, all grades are expected to be within School Committee 2 Budget and Finance Subcommittee Meeting 5-14-12 guidelines, with special consideration for high school technology and science labs. For Academic Classroom teachers, there is an increase of 5 teachers over this year’s actual total, plus negotiated raises. For Academic Program Teachers, an increase of 10 positions over this year’s actual, plus negotiated raises. Seven positions: 3 SPED teachers, 1.5 Literacy teachers, 1.5 Nurses, 1 Guidance were previously funded by a grant and will be absorbed in both this year’s (transfer of funding) and next year’s budget.

For Academic Support, an additional staff member is recommended in Attendance to address residency and family support issues. This position could be used to give more support to the Middle Schools, but the specifics are still in discussion. Guidance would have a slight increase in positions, at 0.7 Under Coordinators/Department heads, the proposal is to eliminate the System-Wide ELL Coordinator and replace that position with a Curriculum Coordinator for grades 6-12. At Pre-K-Grade 5, a Curriculum Coordinator would be funded by Title I grant. These two Curriculum Coordinator positions would function as instructional leaders and report to the Assistant Superintendent. Mrs. Mahoney asked about a timeline for hiring and job description; will anyone outside the system be considered. Dr. DeCristofaro mentioned one internal candidate and would consider going outside; the job description is in development.

Also for Academic Support, the suggestion is to increase Special Education Aides by 10 positions (mostly for Grades Pre-K through 2), add funding for ELL Tutors and Translators (additional hours, not positions), extended day activities for both high schools. In Non-Academic Support, the suggestion is to add office aides to schools that have more than 375 students; additional funding for athletic coaches; increased funding for bus driver overtime (contractual), and negotiated increases.

Subsidized services (Food Services, Transportation, Building Rental, Athletics) will be analyzed in detail in a subsequent Budget meeting. For Academic Expenses, no changes are recommended. Additional funding for textbooks and professional development will be funded by grants. The system reserve will be used to address Math for the upper grades and Science due to changing Common Core Standards. For Non-Academic expenses, recommendations include reductions for natural gas, increases in electricity (5%), reducing Manet Health (decrease in services), adding increased funding for Athletic trainer, reducing gasoline budget, increased funding for travel reimbursement (MA reimbursement rate).

Mr. Mullaney summarized by stating that the budget impact of changes breaks out to 43% for Academic Classroom Teachers, 25% for Academic Programs, 17% for Academic Support, and 15% for Non-Academic Support.

Dr. DeCristofaro suggested that rather than having an additional Budget Subcommittee meeting before the Regular School Committee meeting on May 16, the budget be discussed during the Report of Subcommittees at the School Committee meeting; Mr. Mullaney will present budget. The next Budget and Finance Subcommittee meeting will be Thursday, May 24 at 5:30 pm. Both Dr. DeCristofaro and Ms. Isola thanked Mr. Mullaney for his work in preparing the draft budget and presentation.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:00 pm. Mrs. Hubley seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.