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

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
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Barometers

May 8, 2018

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 $(5,494,836)
Total Savings & Reductions
$3,666,031Round 1: $3,070,531
Round 2: $495,500
Round 3: $100,000



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