Worcester School Committee meeting preview (April 7)

Cross-posted from Tracy’s blog.

The Worcester School Committee meets Thursday, April 7. You can find the agenda here.

The report of the superintendent (and the big thing on the agenda) is setting budget priorities. It’s worth reading the backup for this (the PowerPoint you’ve already seen from the preliminary presentation in February). It lays out what you probably already know if you’ve been watching this: the increases in the budget ($4.6M) don’t come close to covering a level budget ($11M), never mind the increases the district actually needs ($11.7M at least!).

The meat of the message (from the memo) is here:

Given uncertainty as to student enrollment and demographics, the state’s foundation budget
inflation factor, adoption of the Foundation Budget Review Commission Report, fixed cost
increases, and additional contractual or compliance spending demands, it is likely that a
reallocation, reduction, and deferred spending on positions and non-salary items will be necessary
in order to have a balanced budget. This means that while some areas of the budget will see
increases, there will be other parts of the budget may also see a reduction of teachers, other
positions and non-salary spending.

So, pay attention. I’d further note that the time frame on all of this is going to be somewhat compressed due to the superintendent transition (just the fact that they’re setting priorities in April is late).

That’s the big one.

There are a few recognitions.

There’s a communication coming in from a citizen regarding the MOU between the schools and the police department.

There are several midyear resignations.

The School Committee is being asked to approve a prior year payment for $3,536 for McKinney-Vento transportation for homeless students.

There are several requests for recognitions.

It looks as though the School Committee got an email on the Goddard Scholars program, as there are not one, but two items regarding expanding it.

Mr. Monfredo wants administration to create an early learning committee to consider lobbying for full-day preschool funding, discussing a two year kindergarten program, and “gradually advancing 4 year olds yearly, based on readiness” (and I don’t know what that means).

The vet tech program at Worcester Tech is getting a grant of $347,882.

There are donations of $500 for the Worcester Tech robotics team; $100 for the CPR project; and $1000 for the CPR project.

There is a Rice Square/Lake View sharing best practices grant coming in for $6658.

There is an executive session before the meeting for negotiations with the incoming superintendent (no contract as yet); collective bargaining (no group specified); and two grievances.

The policy handbook is going off to subcommittee.

I do not plan to be there; here’s hoping the press coverage is good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *