May 20, 2014 School Committee Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Budget and Finance Subcommittee
Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

  1. Review of Subsidized Services - Mr. Mullaney
    (Athletics, Building Rentals, Food Services, Transportation)

  2. Discussion of the FY2015 Quincy Public Schools Budget

  3. Other Business/Adjournment


Quincy School Committee
Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A meeting of the Budget and Finance Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the 2 nd Floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Noel DiBona, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mr. David McCarthy, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Kathryn Clancy, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mrs. Jane Kisielius, Mr. James Mullaney, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Mr. Kevin Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, Quincy Education Association President; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Hubley called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm. Mr. Mullaney reviewed the appropriation for a level services budget that funds all contractual obligations and then summarized the recommendations for additional positions across the areas of Academic Classroom Teachers, Academic Programs, Academic Support, and Non-Academic Support.

The primary focus of this meeting is a review of the four areas of Subsidized Services: Food Services, Transportation, Building Rentals, and Athletics.

Food Services provides funding for the school meals program; Food Services is self-funded. School lunch revenues are up considerably over previous years. The only Food Services line item in the Quincy Public Schools budget is for Lunch Attendants, which cannot be funded out of revolving account by law. The Federal Bureau of Nutrition sets guidelines for pricing and reimbursement that School Committee adopts as policy. This year, school lunch prices must go up by $.05 for elementary and middle school lunches to meet the new guidelines.

For School Building Rentals, rates are established by School Committee and the funds can be used for salaries, building upkeep, and utilities. Cash balances can be carried from year to year. Mr. Mullaney explained that this account had a surplus of $206,000 at the beginning of the year. $250,000 of utility costs are being covered by the surplus; at year's end, it is projected there will be a $71,000 surplus. Mr. Bregoli asked why Central Middle School has not been used as a rental to date; Dr. DeCristofaro said that since punchlist work was ongoing, the building has not been available for rental, but it should be available for rentals in the fall.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the lights at Central Middle School. Custodians are on duty until 7:00 pm and the lights are timed to go off then. McCarthy asked about Quincy High School, are the lights also similarly timed. Mr. Bregoli asked about stressing energy conservation with staff, turning off lights on sunny days. Mr. Mullaney said that many new light fixtures are more energy efficient and the new window installation at schools should also help. The Superintendent’s Leadership Team is recommending no change to the rental rates. Mr. McCarthy asked if we have a consistent rental pool, Mr. Kevin Segalla said that youth and adult in-Quincy rentals are continuing to rise. Mrs. Hubley asked if the rental pool is consistent and there are many repeat rentals. Mr. Bregoli asked for and received confirmation that the Nike Basketball camps pay the outside rate.

For the Transportation Revolving Account, revenue consists of fees from students transported within two miles of school and bus rentals for field trips. Driver salaries and bus supplies and repairs are paid from this account. A minor deficit will be made up from available cash for FY2014. The Superintendent’s Leadership Team recommends retaining the current fee structure. The number of students paying for transportation has continued to decline. The majority of revenue is from bus rental. Mr. McCarthy asked for clarification that transportation fees are being collected, and Mrs. Anastasi has a 100% rate of collection.

The Athletic Revolving Account revenue consists of user fees and gate receipts. Kathryn Clancy works with the new Athletic Directors and they were conservative about expenses this year, purchasing some new equipment purchased this year and deferring additional purchases to next year. The Superintendent’s Leadership Team is recommending no changes to Athletic User Fees. Athletic Participation demographics were broken out by individual seasons, with 1,051 student athletes participated in at least one sport. 270 students participated in two sports and 105 students participated in three sports. Mr. DiBona asked about the user fees and whether we can reduce the fees for three-sport athletes or perhaps a sport like track should have a lower athletic fee. Mr. Bregoli reminded the School Committee that students who receive free and reduced lunch have their athletic fees waived; Mrs. Clancy said $63,000 in fees were waived this school year. Mr. McCarthy asked about gate receipts and who makes the call on whether we collect to view a game. The recent North-Quincy High School baseball game had over 100 viewers. In last year's budget discussions, it was reviewed that only football, basketball, and hockey have gate staff. Mrs. Hubley asked if transportation is involved for every sport and all teams have away events. Home games require officials, which is often more expensive than transportation. Mr. DiBona said maybe scheduling more track and field tri-meets would assist with costs and feels that lowering the participation fee would help to grow the program.

Mr. Mullaney reviewed the recommendations for Academic and Non-Academic Expenses. In summary, the additional funding is allocated 10% for Academic Classroom Teachers, 22% for Academic Programs, 29% for Academic Support, 2% for Non-Academic Support, 19% for Academic Expenses, 18% Non-Academic Expenses. Mr. DiBona asked for clarification that the Foreign Language positions were for Grade 8 French and they are.

Mr. McCarthy asked for a review of the Athletic revolving account coaching line. In 2010, over $200,000 was cut from the Athletic budget along with increased user fees and cutting Freshman sports. Over the next several years, utilizing the revolving account surplus supported JV sports and subsidized the varsity coach salaries as well. In FY2013, $200,000 was moved from revolving account to pay coaches’ salaries. In FY2014, only $25,000 was used to subsidize coaches salaries. Mr. Bregoli asked about transportation for freshman sports and those are included in the budget. Freshman, JV, and Varsity teams all have full schedules and this will carry forward into FY2015. There is a healthy surplus in this account now and the pressure is off families and boosters in terms of fundraising. Mr. Bregoli asked if new football helmets are preventing concussions; pads and helmets have to be reviewed annually by the manufacturer. Mr. McCarthy asked about athletic coaching stipends (contractual); Mr. Mullaney estimated these at $325,000, but will provide a definite number. Mr. Bregoli asked about middle school coaches stipends and how they compare to a freshman coach stipend. Mr. Mullaney said middle school programs are 6 week programs and high school seasons are longer. Mr. Bregoli said there is a difficulty attracting young coaches into the freshman coaching positions, given the demands.

Mrs. Hubley asked about PTO field trips and the average cost for trips; is looking to see if there is any way to limit transportation costs for local field trips. Ms. Isola said these are individual school decisions, and Mrs. Hubley clarified that most PTOs try to support the classes through funding a certain amount for field trips. Mr. DiBona asked about asbestos in school buildings. Public Buildings has just completed the recertification process and any costs associated with mitigation are in their budget.

Mr. Bregoli mentioned that CPR certification as a graduation requirement item is currently in the Policy Subcommittee. He asked about Health teachers and Health Interventionists becoming certified; and also would like funding to allow the Community Service Coordinators to have half-time teaching responsibilities. Dr. DeCristofaro said that there have been discussions about CPR training becoming a Grade 8 Health curriculum topic. Dr. DeCristofaro suggested that this adjusted Community Service Coordinators schedule could be accommodated without adding positions, and will discuss with the high school principals. Further discussion will occur at the June 10 Policy Subcommittee meeting.

Ms. Owens shared research on the breakdown of students studying Foreign Language classes at Gr. 9 and 12 in response to Ms. Isola’s request for information from the May 15, 2014 Budget and Finance Subcommittee Meeting. Most Grade 9 students who choose to continue studying Spanish are placed in Spanish 2 and in Grade 12, 40% of students are continuing to study a foreign language, sometimes a 4th or 5th year course or even a 1st year course of a different language.

Ms. Isola made a motion to adjourn the Budget and Finance Subcommittee meeting at 6:05 pm. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.