SC Budget Subcommittee Minutes 09/27/2016
September 27, 2016
In attendance: Tim Farmer, Jahmal Moseley, John Marcus, Rory Marty, Sue Owen, Laura Salomons, Jon Hitter, and Emily Smith-Lee. Audience Member: Emily Burke
I. Meeting Minutes for 1/5/16, 3/15/16, & 9/6/16 were approved (Hitter/Smith-Lee). 3-0.
II. Preliminary Capital Outlay Requests
The total request is approx. $800,000 + $91,000 in cash capital as compared to $1M + $91,000 in cash capital last year. Cash capital is that money that has been set aside by the town to buy capital items outright with cash as opposed to borrowing to cover the costs of these items. Significant requests include funding for the continuation of the 1:1initiative, laptops for teachers, cart laptops for 6th & 7thgraders, Heights repairs and generator (recommended by existing conditions study), and a special needs van. Any computers that are replaced but still useable get passed on to other teachers and programs. Other requests include funding for updated fire alarm panels, window treatments, and ceiling tiles.
This past year we received money to make improvements to the Heights vestibule. There is a better camera and screen to help staff see visitors more clearly. Also visitors have to get buzzed in twice before being able to enter the building. Staff feel safer and do not think any other renovations are needed. The drop off area is now working so no changes are needed there but the parking lot is in tough shape. Rory will put together a5year plan for addressing the rest of the items listed in the existing conditions study which will add up to about $4M.
There was a discussion about who is responsible for maintaining the fields. We give the town about $15,000 to cover this. Jon will look into this.
III. Budget Prioritization Process
The subcommittee charged the administration with coming up with 4 budgets, their dream budget, and a budget that includes a 2.5%, 2.75%,and 3% increase. Note 81% of budget is staff and to roll over the budget requires a 2.75% increase. When administration needs to make cuts, they will sometimes ask each level to make the same percentage cut. At other times if a program has a bigger need, others have to take a bigger cut. The other thing they do is look at line items that have received allocations that are rarely spent in full.
What is the School Committee’s role? We need to take into consideration the administration’s recommendation, community feedback, and our own judgment. The sooner we can get the administration’s recommendations the better. If we have to make cuts, it would be helpful to put the programs on the board, i.e. SPED, extra-curriculars and athletics, FLES, music, and class size, and then discuss pros and cons of cuts. It’s important to remember that we can ask citizens for more than what is allocated by the Priorities Committee.
IV. Next Meeting
Tuesday October 25, 2016 at 8 a.m. Agenda: Approve Meeting Minutes (9/27/16), 1:1program funding options, FY16 athletics budget, chapter 40 changes, FY’18 Budget.
Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 8 a.m. Agenda: Approve Meeting Minutes (10/25/16), FY’18 Budget.