April 25, 2018 Budget Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Budget and Finance Subcommittee
Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair
Coddington Building
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
6:00 p.m.

  1. Quarterly Budget Status Report - Mr. Mullaney


Quincy School Committee
Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting  

A meeting of the Budget & Finance Subcommittee was held on Tuesday, April 25, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the Coddington Building. Present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Anthony Andronico, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Douglas Gutro, Mrs. Emily Lebo, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Dr. Beth Hallett, Mr. James Mullaney, Ms. Maura Papile, Ms. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Director of Business James Mullaney presented the Quarterly Budget review through the FY2018 third quarter ending March 31, 2018. Surpluses and deficits will be balanced and requests for transfers made at the June 13, 2018 School Committee meeting. Through these transfers and with Circuit Breaker funding, it is anticipated that all contractual and scheduled expenses can be accommodated.

On the salary side Academic Classroom Teachers and Non-Academic Support categories have surpluses of $181,990 and $313,593, respectively. Deficits in Academic Programs ($55,346) and Academic Support ($158,117) will be offset by the surpluses. The net surplus on the salary side is $282,120.00

Mr. Gutro asked about the deficit in the Academic Longevity line. Mr. Mullaney said this is the line to payout for sick time for retiring teachers and the number of teachers retiring is higher than anticipated. Mr. Mullaney said that the other large deficit is Special Education paraprofessionals, where additional staff members are needed to meet the needs of the students. Dr. DeCristofaro said there are new students and new student needs over the course of a school year.

On the expense side, there is a deficit of $987,853 in the Special Education tuition line and $92,475 on the Special Education transportation line. All open purchase orders are being reviewed to capture available funds to address the deficit. There is savings in the natural gas line due to the more efficient boilers operating at four schools. This will offset a projected deficit in the electricity line. The net deficit on the expense side is $834,535, which will be partly offset by the surplus in salaries.

Mr. Mullaney said that Quincy Public Schools was denied extraordinary relief funds for Special Education tuitions, but he is anticipating Circuit Breaker funding will cover the $552,000 deficit.

Mr. Mullaney updated School Committee on the replacement of vehicles, 9 have been purchased to date and another 13 are on order from the $880,000 insurance settlement for the vehicles damaged in the January storm.

Mrs. Hubley asked about open purchase orders, 186 are open from prior to January 1 and have smaller amounts that may add up to more significant amount.

Mr. Gutro asked about the fund transfer that was made from Special Education salaries. Mr. Mullaney said that was $900,000 and we have received $440,000 to date from Arbella. The funds will be transferred back at the June 13, 2018 School Committee meeting as part of the reconciliation.

Mr. Gutro asked for clarification on the vehicles replaced. Mr. Mullaney said that 27 vehicles of various ages were damaged, and are being replaced by 22 vehicles. Not all of the older vehicles were used every day, some were spares. All anticipated routes will be covered by this fleet of new vehicles and the four vans which were not damaged. Mr. Gutro noted that with this wholesale replacement, all vehicles will be the same age, and in 10 years, Quincy Public Schools may again have to replace all or many of the vehicles at the same time.

Mr. Gutro asked about the Special Education tuitions and the size of the deficit. Mr. Mullaney said this is a unique situation, several students with high needs moved in during the school year and Quincy is responsible for their tuitions. The Circuit Breaker funding from the state provides for a varying level of reimbursement, and Mr. Mullaney is anticipating requesting an additional $2,500,000 for this tuition line in FY2019.

Mrs. Lebo asked for clarification on the solar billing, which has been anticipated for several years. Mr. Mullaney said there is money encumbered from prior years. There are legal issues between the City of Quincy and Solar City and this is holding up the settlement.

Mr. Bregoli asked how many students are currently in outside placements and the average tuition. Mrs. Perkins said that there are 165 students outplaced and tuition can be $50,000 to several hundred thousand dollars annually for students in full-time care. Mr. Bregoli asked about efforts to bring students back into the school system. Mrs. Perkins said although the number of students is somewhat flat, the severity of some of the students needs has increased. We make every effort to bring students back to Quincy Public Schools whenever possible and appropriate.

Mrs. Lebo noted that our Pre-Kindergarten Special Education programs provide supports that prevent outplacements at a young age. Mrs. Perkins said the support of paraprofessionals which is funded through the QPS budget is key to the success of these programs.

Mr. Gutro asked if the Special Education tuition costs are regulated. Mrs. Perkins said the rates are set by the state and there are annual increases approved by the state.

Mrs. Hubley noted that revised FY2019 Budget meeting dates were shared.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:30 pm. Mr. Andronico seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.