Image: Collage of BPS School Sporting events 2016-2017


FY19 Budget Updates

This page is dedicated to the ongoing FY19 budget process. It includes a Budget Barometer to illustrate all proposed cuts brought forth by the Superintendent of Schools, Kathleen A. Smith, JD, and her team, to reduce our deficit. It also contains Minutes from the School Committee Finance Subcommittee, a committee of the whole, where the budget was discussed.

Finance Subcommittee Minutes

June 11, 2018

Report of the June 11, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting

The Finance subcommittee of the Brockton School Committee met on Monday, June 11, 2018, in the Theater at the Dr. William H. Arnone School in Brockton, MA, at 6:00 p.m.

The Finance subcommittee of the Brockton School Committee met on Monday, June 11, 2018, in the Theater at the Dr. William H. Arnone School in Brockton, MA, at 6:00 p.m.

Present: Mr. Minichiello, Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith, Mr. Petronio

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m. and asked Superintendent Smith to frame the issues.

The Superintendent stated that tonight the committee will continue discussions about the budget, deficits, and working together to do whatever we can for the district. The number of layoffs is a priority, there are still 100 pink slips out there (that includes 35 “cushion” positions), we expect an increase in funding from the house and senate budgets but we may not have a figure until the end of July. As we go forward we are doing everything we can to advocate with the city and state, but unless the state addresses the foundation budget recommendations, we will face a deficit again next year and the years after. For that reason we are looking for sustainability with respect to programs, tonight she has prepared a power point presentation with the facts about Project Grads and the discussion surrounding the program. She has spent a lot of time getting a historical perspective on the program that has historically run at a deficit but has also served our students well.

The Superintendent’s presentation compared services for teen mothers provided by Project Grads and those offered by the YMCA. She is proposing a model where teen mothers can choose to keep their baby on site at BHS or off-site at the YMCA facility while developing a collaboration that will bring the YMCA in and strengthen our program. She has received assurance from the Early Education Center (EEC) that we can do a collaboration and we will work with them on this model.

The proposal eliminates childcare for teachers, eliminates the program facilitator position and moves oversight of the program to the Community School office, working out specifics with the BEA, and will free up space to expand the Chapter 74 program. She reminded the committee that this is an opportunity to have the program not run at a deficit, give teen mothers choices, expand our Chapter 74 program and comply with recommendations from the state’s Coordinated Program Review.

Following the Superintendent’s presentation, Mr. Minichiello opened the floor for discussion.

The Superintendent responded to questions and concerns from the committee with respect to the proposed changes to the program and whether the teen mothers will continue to receive the level of support they have in the Project Grads program, and the issue of space in order to expand Chapter 74 programs.

Mr. Minichiello assured members that the committee will continue to work as a whole to ensure any changes are done correctly for our students. He said they must also make sure there is enough staff for the system. With respect to the changes to Project Grads, Mr. Minichiello said this does not require a vote because it is not an elimination of a program. Ms. Plant said it is listed as a cut on the proposed budget and felt a motion was necessary to remove the program from elimination.

Ms. Plant moved to remove line item 7 and line item 28 from the school committee proposed budget, the motion was seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.


FY19 Budget

The Superintendent said she would like permission to direct Mr. Petronio to look for non-restricted funds in the FY19 budget to call back up to 25 pink slips before June 26th (the last day of school), after which the callback situation changes and unemployment costs kick in. These funds would offset a possible reduction in the anticipated Senate funding proposal in the event the funds do not become available. Mr. Petronio explained that this callback would save approximately $140,000 in unemployment costs. The Superintendent said that we could hedge the $600,000 in the substitute budget from next year and hopefully find another $400,000. Mr. Petronio said the current substitute budget is $300,000 overspent, and would probably be close to $1 million in total spending for FY18.

Mr. Minichiello stated that he would discuss this with the Mayor before the committee makes a final decision; Superintendent Smith said she would like to move on this next week due to the urgency of the June 26th date.


Other Business

The committee discussed other topics related to budget issues.


Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

wka

Handout: Project Grads “A Review of the Facts” Power Point Presentation

May 29, 2018

Report of the May 29, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting

The Finance Subcommittee met on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at 6:45 p.m. in the theater at the Dr. William H. Arnone School. Present were Mr. Minichiello, Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan; Superintendent Smith, Mr. Petronio.

Also Present: Mayor Carpenter, Deputy Superintendent Thomas, Kellie Jones, June Saba-Maguire, Project Grads Program Facilitator Mary Read; Meryl Nistler and Larry Spang from Arrowstreet Architectural Firm, BPS Transportation Specialist Peggy Killea, Director of Business Technology and Career Education Kevin DaPonte, Erin Spaulding, SVP of the YMCA Youth Development and Family Strengthening; Lauren Selman and Kim Moran, also from Old Colony YMCA

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 6:50 p.m. and gave the floor to Superintendent Smith.

Superintendent Smith said tonight’s agenda would begin with looking at our facilities and a plan for renovations, she asked Deputy Superintendent Thomas to start the discussion around the middle school recommendations.


Middle School Recommendations

In response to questions and concerns raised at the May 15th finance meeting, Deputy Superintendent Thomas invited Mr. Larry Spang and Ms. Meryl Nistler to present on facilities with a focus on North Middle School, and BPS Transportation Specialist Peggy Killea to explain how student assignments and transportation would be adjusted for each of the middle school recommendations.

Mr. Larry Spang and Meryl Nistler from Arrowstreet said they have been working on master planning for Brockton for over a year and are now wrapping up their study. Their power point presentation included an evaluation of the condition of all of Brockton’s middle schools, then focused on North Middle School. Areas at North that need repair and renovation were identified, as well as code improvements for ADA accessibility. Mr. Stang explained that if repairs exceed 30% of the replacement value of the building the state requires that the entire building be upgraded to code. Also included were examples of how newer schools are including breakout spaces, flexible seating, and other styles of learning areas.

Following the presentation, Mr. Sullivan raised several questions and concerns about the plan to gradually close North for renovations. He was opposed to the option for several reasons, stating that he felt the district should not close a Level 1 school, there were other schools in the presentation that appeared to be more in need of renovations, we do not know for certain that the project will be approved by the MSBA or what the cost will be, and with respect to a possible STEM wing added he said the land around the school does not belong to the school department. He said his concern is that all of this should be looked at before the district decides to close a school.

Other discussion included the MSBA application process and timeline, what the district is currently spending on repairs, and whether the major renovations required can be done with students in the building. To that question Mr. Stang responded that you would want the kids away from the construction; a phased renovation, where you are moving students and working around areas, would take longer and add to the cost and complexity of the renovation.

Student Assignment/Transportation

Mr. Thomas invited Peggy Killea, Transportation Specialist, to explain student reassignment and transportation with the middle school options. Ms. Killea reviewed where students would be reassigned and transportation needs for the North and Ashfield options. The Superintendent reminded the committee that gradually closing North is an opportunity to phase out over three years, this discussion is because of the budget and because we have lost 300 kids at the middle school level. No students currently at North will be affected this year.

Mayor Carpenter spoke to the committee with respect to its responsibility to address the budget situation and the loss of 300 students to the charter, he said to do nothing is not an option, is fiscally irresponsible and will cripple efforts for long-term relief and future assistance, we need to show we are doing our part to maintain our expenses. Mayor Carpenter said the goal is to reduce costs and bring back as many teaching positions as possible. He clarified that taking North offline to renovate is not a closing and every effort is being made to minimize the impact on North families.

At Mr. Minichiello’s request, the Superintendent reviewed the three options for the committee: Option 1 is the phasing out of North for renovations, Option 2 would move middle school out of Davis to South, and the Option 3 is closing the Ashfield School.

Mr. Minichiello said his recommendation is to vote on one option tonight, keep one on the table and get rid of one. Mayor Carpenter reminded the committee that there are currently 500 empty seats at the middle schools.

Mr. Minichiello moved to go with Option 1; Mr. D’Agostino seconded the motion.

Discussion on the motion, Mr. Sullivan questioned how this would prevent the district from still having 500 empty seats; the Superintendent responded that is when a middle school would be closed.

Voted: 6 – 1 (Mr. Sullivan opposed)

Mr. Minichiello said this will be the first compass school to be renovated, the committee could unofficially agree to determine which middle school will be renovated next. Mr. Gormley suggested that when Brockton applies to MSBA for North it also submits an application for the high school. With respect to Brockton High School, Mr. Thomas asked the Mayor to form a committee that includes city councilors to study the renovation of the high school.


Global Studies Program – Discussion of Consolidation of Dual-Language Programs

As a followup up to the May 7th finance meeting, the Superintendent invited Kellie Jones to answer questions from the committee on the recommendation to consolidate all three programs at the George in September. Superintendent Smith this will be a first-of-its-kind school in the state and clarified that two grades from the Raymond UNIDOS program will be transitioning to the George. Ms. Saba Maguire added that inclusion classrooms will move from the George to Raymond and Baker as well.

A discussion followed where Superintendent Smith and Ms. Jones responded to questions and concerns from the committee.

Ms. Sullivan moved to consolidate the dual-language (immersion) programs and base them at the George School starting in September; Mr. Gormley seconded the motion.

On the motion, Ms. Plant asked Mr. Sullivan if he had any further concerns before casting a final vote; Mr. Sullivan responded.

Voted: 5 – 2 (Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Plant opposed)


Project Grads

At the Superintendent’s request, presentations with respect to possible changes to the Project Grads program were prepared by Mary Read, Erin Spaulding and Kevin DaPonte.

Ms. Read gave a power point presentation supporting the program in its current state.

Ms. Spaulding gave a power point presentation that highlighted the Y’s family support contract that would be similar to the teen contract at the high school; she explained programs and supports they offer and showed the child care center on West Chestnut where the children would be cared for.

Mr. DaPonte explained how the district would like to expand Chapter 74 programs in food services and the medical field, the two top industries in our area that will position students for well-paying jobs. Space limitations have affected the district’s ability to apply for additional funding and have limited the number of students who can enter these programs.

Following the presentations and discussion, Mr. Minichiello recommended the committee take more time to digest the information.


Other Business

Mr. D’Agostino asked when we need to vote on the budget; Mr. Petronio said typically the vote is taken after city council approval in case there are any changes. Ms. Plant asked for clarification on the budget barometer with respect to line item 7; Mr. Petronio responded.


The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

wka

May 24, 2018

Report of the May 24, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting

The Finance Subcommittee met this evening in the theater at the Dr. William H. Arnone School. Present were Mr. Minichiello, Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Mrs. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith, Mr. Petronio.

Absent: Mr. Sullivan; Ms. Plant

Also Present: Kellie Jones, June Saba-Maguire

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m. and gave the floor to Superintendent Smith.


Global Studies School Presentation

The Superintendent explained that with the district’s plan to open the French-English dual-language program this year, initially slated for the Baker School, this is a good time to bring the three dual-language programs together in one location. Director of Special Education Kellie Jones gave a power point presentation that explained the benefits of consolidating the programs at the George School and how the change will take place.

During the discussion that followed several committee members expressed concerns about the timing of this notification, how it may affect accountability, and asked questions about transportation, teacher and economic impacts. The Superintendent said she will add this to the end of the May 29th meeting where a decision will be necessary to go forward this year. Members requested additional information on the economic impact, the impact on teachers with and without implementing the change, consolidating resources and the benefits to making this move—prior to that meeting. She said although the timing is not ideal for making this change for September, doing it this year will offer the least amount of disruption; every year the move is postponed the number of general education classrooms that are impacted grows.


Budget Barometer Review (handout)

Mr. Petronio handed out an updated budget barometer and explained that the only change to the barometer is the Round 5 updated Project Grads figure. He also briefed the committee on the status of the state budget and other funding sources that affect the budget.

The Superintendent reported she will present the budget to city council on Wednesday, June 6th. Members said they are looking at city council to vote for additional revenues that would support the schools.


Other Business

May 29th Finance Meeting - the Superintendent said she will have two presentations on Project Grads at the upcoming Finance meeting, one from Mary Read and the other from the YMCA. As well, there will be a presentation from the architectural firm Arrowstreet, who created a master plan for the City of Brockton, with respect to facilities and the middle school recommendations.

Mr. Minichiello told the committee that there are difficult decisions to be made concerning the budget shortfalls and charter school taking students away, if the committee continues to do nothing there is still an impact—every year programs are being eliminated, classrooms are getting larger, textbooks are falling apart, supplies are getting cut. The bigger question is whether we can continue to maintain the same.

School Committee Requested Budget - Superintendent Smith said each year it is standard procedure for school committee to send the school department budget request to the Mayor in the form of a letter.

After a discussion, committee members agreed that they would request the SY2018-2019 level services budget figures of $168,460,867 net and $11,577,535 non-net.


The meeting adjourned 8:40 p.m.

Handouts:

FY19 Budget Barometer

Project Grads Worksheet

Global Studies Power Point

wka

May 15, 2018

Report of the May 15, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting

The Finance Subcommittee met this evening in the George M. Romm Little Theatre at Brockton High School. Present were Mr. Minichiello, Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Mrs. Sullivan (6:10 p.m.), Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith, Mr. Petronio.

Absent: Mr. D’Agostino

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. and gave the floor to Superintendent Smith.


Mayor’s Summer Parks Request

Members received a copy of Mayor Carpenter’s request for $20,000 for the city’s Summer Parks program, from the Chartwells Community Outreach fund. Responding to Mr. Sullivan’s request for clarification of funds, the Superintendent explained that these funds are Chartwells revenue funds which are specifically designated for community outreach; she recommends supporting the request as we have in the past years.

Mr. Gormley moved to approve the Mayor’s request for $20,000 from the Chartwells Community Outreach program to help support the Mayor’s Summer Parks program, the motion was seconded by Ms. Asack.

Voted: to approve the motion, 5-0 (Ms. Sullivan was not present at the time of the vote)


Budget Barometer Review (handout)

The Superintendent reviewed the updated barometer: Round 4 identified $220,000 savings from SPED available funds, total savings and reductions is $3,886,000, total shortfall is $5,274,836.

Mr. Petronio also handed out a detailed local aid comparison of FY16 to the current proposed governor’s, house and senate budgets.

The Superintendent notified members that 100 RIF and 37 involuntary transfer notices were handed out today. She said it appears Brockton may see an additional $1.8 million from the senate budget which would reduce that number. She is composing a letter that will be sent to staff asking for their cooperation and support as we get through this budget season.

Ms. Plant said she was surprised to hear that teachers with six years in the system received RIF notices; the Superintendent said it was possible and explained further. No cuts were made in bilingual, SPED, or to adjustment counselors.

The Superintendent announced that there is no Early Retirement Incentive this year.


Advocacy Update

The Superintendent gave the following update:

May 8 – met with Senator Karen Spilka, Senator Brady and several staff members at the State House to discuss charter reimbursement and economically disadvantaged funding.

May 9 - DESE Leading the Nation group visits Brockton High School and were treated to art, music, and drama presentations by our students; the Superintendent felt it sent a strong message on what urban districts can provide

May 9 – met with other superintendents to discuss moving forward and a timeline for the equity in education lawsuit, and a possible ballot initiative

May 10th - Students, chaperones, school committee members and administrators went to the State House as the senate discussed bill 2325 (Chapter 70 funding formula review).


Middle School Closings

The Superintendent explained that the middle school options presented to school committee at the last finance meeting were based on estimated budget figures, with a deficit of $9 million. She said closing the Ashfield is still a strong recommendation; the relocation of the Davis middle school to South would provide room for elementary seats on that side of the city; phasing out North for renovations would still accomplish consolidating teachers and eventually bring a brand new, state of the art school on the North side.

She asked the committee what action they would like to take, or if they need more discussion on the options or want to stay with the status quo. She said if nothing is done and the additional money from the state comes in, the layoffs will be less than 70 teachers, but on July 1st discussion will need to begin with respect to facilities to address the drop in enrollment.

Mr. Minichiello expressed his opinion that the committee must do something to address the loss of over 300 students to the charter school, possibly reorganizing or moving to consolidate, he said it is irresponsible on the committee’s part not to do something.

The Superintendent said she is looking for direction from the committee on what they are looking toward. Members asked for the information on the following:

  • North Middle gradual closing for renovations – the scope of work, rationale for closing, transportation, student assignments, reopening date if closed
  • Ashfield closing – same as above
  • District wide – building capacity
  • Davis Middle to South move – transportation, student assignments

A brief discussion followed with respect to concerns about MSBA requirements, suggestions for renovating North while it stays open.


Project Grads Discussion

The Superintendent said she will have two presentations on Project Grads at an upcoming Finance meeting on May 29th.

Ms. Plant said the Project Grads figure on the budget barometer was not updated from the last finance meeting; Mr. Petronio responded that he will make the change.


Global Studies School Presentation

The Superintendent polled members for their availability on Thursday, March 24th for a finance meeting where there will be a presentation about the plan for creating a global studies school, all members were available, she will schedule the meeting and notify school committee.


The meeting adjourned at 6:44 p.m.

Handouts:

FY19 Budget Barometer

FY2019 Local Aid Estimates for Brockton

wka

May 7, 2018

Report of the May 7, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting

Present: Mr. Minichiello, Chair; Ms. Asack, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Superintendent Smith, Mr. Petronio

The Finance Subcommittee met this evening at the Arnone School Theater for the purpose of discussing the FY19 Budget. Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. and asked Superintendent Smith to begin the discussion.


Budget Barometer Review

Round 3 Cuts - A third round of cuts was added to the budget barometer totaling $100, these cuts are based on monies that were not used last year in the special education department.

The Superintendent said she is looking at the sustainability of the Project Grads Program and what the deficit will be at the end of the year, based on the actual cost of the program minus transportation. She will ask Mary Read to present to you on what the program provides, and Laurie Silva to talk to you about what she has put together working with outside agencies.


Budget Discussion

The Superintendent reviewed the budget discussion worksheet that showed six options for closing the budget deficit together with the number of layoffs required at for option.

Plan 1, 2 and 3 do not include any changes to schools.
Plan 4 includes the gradual closing of North Middle School in order to renovate it, this plan would not allow grade 6 to start there in September, the school would remain open for one year with grade 7 and 8, then close the following year. This option would give the district planning time and require 58 additional RIFs (over those positions lost in the closing)
Plan 5 adds to Plan 4 the option of moving the Davis Middle School to South and reduced the number of additional RIFs to 48.
Plan 6 adds closing the Ashfield School to plan 5 and reduces the number of additional RIFs to 10.

A discussion followed where Mr. Sullivan brought up several concerns with respect to closing schools that have had MSBA renovations; Mr. Thomas said they are recommending a gradual closure of North which will give the district time. With respect to the Ashfield, the Superintendent said she would recommend turning it into a preschool. Mr. Sullivan asked for clarification on whether North or the Ashfield could be closed due to the MSBA renovations that have been done; Mr. Thomas explained that neither of those schools could be closed permanently. Mr. Thomas further explained that the goal with North would be to renovate the school completely, the Superintendent said the goal for the Ashfield would be to open it as a preschool. With respect to MSBA renovations, Mr. Thomas said he would need school committee and city council approval before even filing with the MSBA, and he anticipated the total renovation of North to cost between $15 and $20 million, with the city responsible for 20% of the cost. Mr. Sullivan was concerned that there is no plan and this would need to happen in September, Superintendent Smith responded that the gradual closing could begin, the districts would realize savings this year, and this would give us the year to plan, it would still save in positions this year. Mr. Sullivan asked whether the work could be done in the summer, Mr. Thomas said there would not be enough time to do the necessary renovations. If we go forward with this plan, he said it would be approximately a 2-year process to renovate the school. Ms. Asack said she would need to see class sizes and would not to lose students to the charter because of this move.

Superintendent reminded the committee that “this is not a win” and talked about the need for a master plan and said that Brockton needs a state-of-the-art high school for the kids, citing all of the surrounding towns and cities that are building brand-new high schools. She said it is time for city council to step up and bring in the revenue we need, she is hopeful about the Aquaria deal.

Mr. Minichiello said the committee needs to make a decision this evening about staffing to comply with the BEA contractual deadline of May 15th. Superintendent Smith recommended authorizing human resources to prepare up to 100 RIF notices and reminded the committee that on each of the options 13 of the indicated RIF’s are retirements and will not be filled.

Mr. D’Agostino called attention to Plan 4, the gradual closing of North appears to require 70 RIF notices, the Superintendent agreed and added that she has to build in some room, she reminded them that this is just to get us to the May 15th date. The Superintendent said this is a difficult decision, we have watched what this does to people, we are looking to give out the least amount of pink slips and have the least amount of disruption. Mr. D’Agostino said that five years of this has been very hard for our employees, obviously we have to do something to have a balanced budget and he wants to be sure the number is as low as possible.

Ms. Plant said she will not vote for cutting the Project Grads program and said she would like to see that removed from the (round 1) cuts. She felt that the program puts a diploma into a person’s hand. The Superintendent asked Ms. Plant to hear the presentations and keep an open mind, the concern is the sustainability of the program.

Ms. Asack said she definitely wants to get classroom sizes estimates if the Ashfield stays open and we vote for the gradual closing of North for the next couple of years, and busing.

Mr. Gormley said we should look at the impact of the charter school on our enrollment figures, Mr. D’Agostino called the closing of Ashfield a disaster particularly looking at this in May, he chose Plan 4 because of minimal impact and upheaval. Mr. Minichiello said I hear what you’re saying and I’d love to go with the path of least resistance, but that will leave $2.4 million that needs to be made up. The Superintendent said she was hoping that she would not have to talk about closing a school this year but you might be right back in the same ballfield next year, if you don’t you need to talk about this right away for next year. Aldo said the Brockton charter has 105 seats each year, most of those students are coming from Brockton. He is reminding the committee that revenues will continue to be down. Mr. D’Agostino said August would be the time to begin these discussions for next year. Mr. Petronio said that October 1st we knew we were getting 2.1 million, in January the state rolled that amount back.

The Superintendent said they have been provided a good overview, she said she needs a vote for the reduction in force. If we are basing the vote on Plan 3, which does not include any school closings or moves, she would be comfortable with sending out 90 RIF notices, 20 above the necessary 70. Mr. D’Agostino asked whether the 100 RIF allowance covers everything. Mr. Minichiello reminded everyone that if the House money never comes all bets are off with respect to not closing a school.

Mr. Sullivan moved to authorize the Superintendent to send out up to 100 RIF notices by May 15th, seconded by Mr. D’Agostino.

Voted: to approve the motion, unanimous.


The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

Handouts:
FY19 Budget Discussion 5.7.18
FY19 Budget Barometer

wka

Handouts:
5/1/18 Budget Barometer
5/1/18 BPS FY19 Budget Discussion spreadsheets

April 19, 2018

Report of the April 19, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting

The Finance Subcommittee of the Brockton School Committee met on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in the Azure Access Center at Brockton High School, 470 Forest Avenue, Brockton, MA.

Present: Mr. Minichiello, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Petronio, Superintendent Smith

Absent: Ms. Asack

Also Present: Mr. Condon, Dr. Cancell, Ms. Jones


Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 6:12 p.m. and asked the Superintendent to begin the discussion.

The Superintendent opened the meeting by cautioning everyone to the fact that she does not have a final figure from the Mayor for the budget and she is assuming the school department will receive level funding of $161,683,361. She mentioned the first round of budget cuts reviewed at the last finance meeting amount to $3 million which would reduce the deficit of $6.7 million to $3.7 million. She has come to the meeting with 4 recommended options to reduce the budget deficit further.

Option 1) Closing of the Ashfield Middle School, middle school enrollments are down and the Ashfield School could be repurposed for a PreK school in the future. Total savings of $2,109,452.

Option 2) Moving grades 6,7 & 8 from Davis School to South Middle School. This would allow needed space for K-5 on the east section of the city. Total savings would be $417,800.

Option 3) Gradual closing of North Middle School for remodeling. Applying for MSBA facilities upgrade. No 6th grade for 2018, sending 150 students to East Middle School and 50 to Ashfield Middle School. Total savings would be $501,360.

Option 4) Staff Reduction in Force. 81 BEA/administration, 6 custodians, 6 administrative assistants and 6 sub paraprofessionals. Total savings would be $3,783,060.

The Superintendent commented that the final budget from the state may provide some increase in funding. She stated we need to be very cautious with those numbers, but she is slightly optimistic.

The Superintendent announced that she would be meeting with the Brockton legislative delegation, and would like school committee members to attend the meeting if possible. She stated that we have two asks of our delegation, that direct certification reimbursement under decile 10 remain unchanged from FY 18 and that charter school reimbursement from the state be fully funded. We will be requesting financial information from the Charter Schools. We will be sending out letters and brochures to families marketing the Brockton Public Schools. Mr. Petronio then explained the Brockton Public Schools Chapter 70 Calculation hand out sheet. A brief discussion on Health Insurance and the GIC costs followed.

With respect to the equity in education lawsuit the superintendent reported that the most recent Urban Superintendent Network meeting was attended by Attorney Michael Weissman, former Secretary of Education Paul Reville, Tripp Jones, and Attorney Patrick Moore, who all share an interest in assisting with the lawsuit.

Jay Condon, Chief Financial Office for the City of Brockton explained Schedule 19. It is calculated based on prior years actual expenses and estimated for the current year. He answered questions concerning some of the items being charged to the school department. Charter school cost calculation was discussed. The real estate tax levy of 2.5% was questioned along with an increase in water rates. School committee members asked for time to review the report. Mr. Condon agreed to come back to another meeting if there were any more questions. Mr. Condon informed the committee that the Mayor has not given him a budget figure and that he was hoping to get one by the middle of May, he did not believe it would be a level funded budget. He suggested we should work with the figure of $156 million, not $161 million. Mr. Minichiello reminded Mr. Condon that RIF notices contractually need to go out by May 15th. Mr. Petronio suggested we ask the BEA if they could push back the RIF notice date considering we may not have budget figures. The Superintendent agreed.

Superintendent Smith reported she had received a letter announcing Mr. Condon’s upcoming retirement and along with committee members thanked him for his dedication and all the hard work he has done for the city and that it has been a privilege working with him. His retirement will be a great loss to the city.


Seeing no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:07 pm.
Handouts:
Annual YTD Budget Report Comparison FY17-FY18
Budget Planning Options Worksheet
BPS Ch. 70 History Report
Ch. 19 Report (Net School Spending Detail)

April 3, 2018

Report of the April 3, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting

The Finance Subcommittee of the Brockton School Committee met on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in the George M. Romm Little Theatre at Brockton High School, 470 Forest Avenue, Brockton, MA.

Present: Mr. Minichiello, Ms. Asack, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Plant, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Petronio, Superintendent Smith


Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m. and asked the Superintendent to begin the discussion.

The Superintendent said she is presenting a budget barometer with the first round of proposed cuts to address the estimated $6.7 million deficit in the FY19 budget; not having received figures from the state or the city, she is working with a $168,461,000 level services school budget and an estimated Mayor’s budget of $161,683,000 (last year’s figure). This first round of proposed cuts comes to $3 million and would reduce the deficit to $3.7 million. The Superintendent reviewed and explained the proposed cuts, and also noted that due to the charter school costs and health insurance increases we could be facing an additional $4.5 million in deficits.

A discussion followed where the Superintendent and Mr. Petronio responded to questions about line items from the budget book, including charter school reimbursement, unemployment and curriculum costs.

With decreasing middle school enrollment, the Superintendent said she is looking at closing a middle school, she would not recommend any of the “compass” schools (North, South, East, West) because they are the largest. She said closing a middle school would result in approximately $2.8 million in savings. Other options discussed were moving middle school grades out of the Davis K-8 (students would be placed at East or South with minimal to none additional transportation costs) which would free up 300 seats at the elementary level, and a plan to renovate North. Ms. Asack shared her concerns about closing the Ashfield or any school.

Superintendent Smith said if we don’t close any schools we then need to work hard to find $3.7 million in cuts, and if the city does not come through with level funding we could be looking at closing two schools. She said we need to be a solid group and request what we need for the schools.

Mr. Minichiello stated that there is some very serious work ahead, we will advocate for our children. He agreed with the Superintendent that this needs to be done in a united way.


Seeing no other business, the meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.
Handouts:
FY19 Budget Barometer 4/3/18
FY19 Budget Discussion

March 27, 2018

Report of the March 27, 2018 Finance Subcommittee Meeting

The Finance Subcommittee of the Brockton School Committee met on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. in Room E257 of the Fine Arts Building at Brockton High School, 470 Forest Avenue, Brockton, MA.

Present: Mr. Minichiello, Ms. Asack, Mr. D’Agostino, Mr. Gormley, Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Petronio, Superintendent Smith, Deputy Superintendent Thomas

Absent: Ms. Plant, Mr. Sullivan

Mr. Minichiello called the meeting to order at 8:17 p.m. and gave Superintendent Smith the floor.


Agenda Item #1 – Mail Courier Bid

Ms. Asack and Mr. D’Agostino explained that this was referred from bid review to get input from the full school committee on whether it might be worth looking at other ways that could save money. During the discussion Deputy Superintendent Thomas said he priced this last year using custodians and there was no savings. The Superintendent said she recommended awarding the bid. Ms. Asack said the discussion confirmed that this is a necessary expense; members unanimously voted to send this back to bid review for a recommendation.

FY19 Budget

An FY19 budget workbook and discussion sheet were passed out. The discussion sheet showing the projected FY19 level services budget and level funding was reviewed by the committee. The Superintendent said the district is looking at a $6.7 increase to maintain a level-services budget from FY18 to FY19; she also reviewed additional items in her requested budget, which is another $4.5 million over that amount, but she will not put that forward in light of the circumstances.

Non-net (transportation) costs will increase by almost $1.4 million over this year, $700,000 as a result of the new First Student contract. Mr. Petronio reported that Brockton circuit breaker funds have been cut by $300,000 for the second year in a row, but legislators are fighting this on Beacon Hill. Last year the city paid $8.3 million, this year we will need $10.4 million.

Enrollment figures have dropped by 300 at the middle school level, Superintendent Smith said the time has come to have a discussion regarding closing a middle school or transitioning grade 6 out. The committee discussed the condition of buildings and large class sizes; Ms. Asack said she would like to look at each building’s capacity.

Mr. D’Agostino asked where the substitute budget stands, Mr. Petronio responded it is just about depleted. Mr. Gormley asked whether the $250,000 education grant can be used for substitutes.

Mr. D’Agostino asked about the Chapter 70 inflation factor this year; Mr. Petronio responded the it is approximately 3%, Brockton will receive only .76 %. Mr. Petronio said he is seeking the 25% charter school reimbursement that has been unfunded for several years.

Mr. Minichiello said we need to put pressure on the state and suggested bringing parents to Beacon Hill before the end of April. The Superintendent said together with the Mayor and city CFO, she is meeting with our legislators on Friday April 6th and will bring it up at that meeting, she invited school committee members to attend.

Mr. Petronio said this year’s budget workbook includes enrollment figures, he said we have lost 100 students since October 1st which is unusual.


The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
Handouts:
FY19 Budget Discussion Sheet 3/27/18
Budget Workbook
wka

Barometer

FY19 BUDGET BAROMETER

FY19 Superintendent's Recommended Budget $173,986,216
FY19 School Committee Proposed Budget
$168,460,867Level Services
FY19 Mayor's Recommended Budget
$159,300,000Actual
FY19 Additional Chapter 70 $0
Shortfall from School Committee Recommended Budget $(9,160,867)
FY19 Budget Shortfall $(5,384,210)
Total Savings & Reductions
$3,776,657Round 1: $3,070,531
Round 2: $495,500
Round 3: $100,000
Round 4: $220,000
Round 5: $(109,374)
Round 6: $(115,626)

 

Round 1

 

  4/3/2018   Cut Total Cut
Budget Book Page 22 #1 Pre-Buying of Supplies from FY18 Budget $500,000 $500,000
Budget Book Page 27 #2 Pre-Paying for SPED out of district tuitions from FY18 $500,000 $500,000
Budget Book Page 9 #3 Add Middle School After School Supervisors $(8,769) $(8,769)
Budget Book Page 2 #4 Additional Certified Personnel $300,000 $300,000
Budget Book Page 2 #5 Additional Non-Certified Personnel $100,000 $100,000
Budget Book Page 2 #6 Administrative Retirements Do-Not-Fill $250,000 $250,000
Budget Book Page 2 #7 Project Grads Supplemental Funding $225,000 $225,000
Budget Book Page 17 #8 Electrical Services $50,000 $50,000
Budget Book Page 22 #9 School & Teacher Moves $45,000 $45,000
Budget Book Page 27 #10 Gateway to College $498,300 $498,300
Budget Book Page 28 #11 Wiki-Spaces $4,000 $4,000
Budget Book Page 28 #12 Read 180 Fast Math $30,000 $30,000
Budget Book Page 28 #13 Learning.com $80,000 $80,000
Budget Book Page 28 #14 Moodle $8,000 $8,000
Budget Book Page 28 #15 Learning Management Systems $100,000 $100,000
Budget Book Page 28 #16 Stoneware $7,000 $7,000
Budget Book Page 28 #17 Proposed 2nd Year Lease for Student Devices $322,000 $322,000
Budget Book Page 21 #18 Ockers Computers, Network & Support $60,000 $60,000
       
$3,070,531Sum Round 1

 

Round 2

 

  5/1/2018   Cut Total Cut
Budget Book Page 22 #19 School Spring Recruiting & Application Management System $10,000 $10,000
Budget Book Page 8 #20 SPED Contingency $50,000 $50,000
Budget Book Page 22 #21 Champion City Chapter 222 $39,000 $39,000
Budget Book Page 21 #22 AllOne Employee Assistance Program $39,000 $39,000
Budget Book Page x #23 Community Schools Facilities Charge Back $200,000 $200,000
Budget Book Page 21 #24 District Capacity Project $7,500 $7,500
Budget Book Page 22 #25 Potential Grant Loss Account $150,000 $150,000
       
$495,500Sum Round 2

 

Round 3

  5/7/2018   Cut Total Cut
Budget Book Page 8 #26 SPED Summer Pre-School Program $30,000 $30,000
Budget Book Page 8 #27 SPED Summer Therapists for all Summer Programs $70,000 $70,000
       
$100,000Sum Round 3

 

Round 4

  5/15/2018   Cut Total Cut
Budget Book Page 24 #28 SPED Curr., Materials, Special Nursing, etc. $100,000 $100,000
Budget Book Page 27 #29 SPED Nursing Home & Hospital $120,000 $120,000
       
$220,000Sum Round 4

 

Round 5

  5/24/2018   Cut Total Cut
Budget Book Page 2 #30 Project Grads Supplemental Funding Updated for Item #7 $(109,374) $(109,374)
       
$(109,374)Sum Round 5

 

Round 6

  6/11/2018   Cut Total Cut
Budget Book Page 2 #31 Project Grads Funded ~ Reverse Item #7 $(115,626) $(115,626)
       
$(115,626)Sum Round 6