School Committee Meeting/Budget Summit – November 10, 2014

Reading packet (Note: you must go to PAGE 2, and then scroll down to the November 10th meeting reading packet)

Background/Revenue Projections

  • Members from Town Manager’s Office, Capital Expenditures Comm, Appropriations Comm, School Comm, and Board of Selectmen met to review FY2016 revenue projections and the School Committee’s request for January Special Town Meeting
  • Net revenues from tax levy have increased by 4.2%, and Single Family Dwellings (SFDs) show avg incr of 10%; however, uneven distribution (range of property values is -15% to +35% based on size/style/location)
  • Residents will receive tax bills in Jan; Pato urged group to be careful as we choose to spend given timing and changes in property values

School Committee Presentation

  • Confirmed that potential Fiske/Harrington wings would take 3 years
  • Proposed modulars would be located so as not to impede long-term space construction
  • Emphasized need for flexibility given Enrollment Working Group #s

Discussion among School Committee, Board of Selectmen and Finance Committees

  • There was much discussion and some concern among Appropriations Committee, Capital Expenditures Committee, and Board of Selectmen that request for modulars at January Special Town Meeting was not as detailed and specific as they would like
  • Selectmen urged School Committee to make as compelling a case as possible for January vs. March/April Special Town Meeting tacked on to Annual Town Meeting
  • Many requests among Appropriations and Capital Expenditures Committees for more consideration of “no cost” redistricting plans/options
    • Suggestions by Finance Committees to fill classrooms available at Estabrook and various spots in specific classrooms at Hastings
    • School Committee discussed challenges of “cherry picking” right number of students by August based on grade/classroom
  • Discussion around overcrowding at Bridge & Bowman given renovations, intended size (vs. actuals) and severe overcrowding; School Comm members emphasized students need relief, others concerned with adding capacity to already large schools.
  • Members requested addit info be included for 11/17 such as:
    • How much it would cost to lease vs. buy and what is the most cost effective (and flexible) option?
    • Do we need 1 or 2 at each school (“up to 2” too vague)?
    • Are we looking at 3 or 5-year time horizon as to how long we need the modulars?
    • How long would modulars take to be installed (if approved in January vs. March)? Lack of confidence for Sept installation
    • Do we know that modulars will be available when we need them and that they will be the quality we need?
  • Selectmen will decide on Mon, 11/17, 7 pm whether to grant January Special Town Meeting

Comments are closed