May 15, 2014 Budget Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Budget and Finance Subcommittee
Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building
Thursday, May 15, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

  1. Preliminary Discussion of the FY2015 Quincy Public Schools Budget - Vice-Chair Hubley, Dr. DeCristofaro, Mr. Mullaney

  2. Other Business/Adjournment


Quincy School Committee
Budget & Finance Subcommittee Meeting
Thursday, May 15, 2014

A meeting of the Budget and Finance Subcommittee was held on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the 2 nd Floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mr. Noel DiBona, Ms. Barbara Isola, Mr. David McCarthy, and Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mr. James Mullaney, Mrs. Maura Papile, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd; Ms. Allison Cox, Quincy Education Association President; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Hubley called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm. Dr. DeCristofaro thanked Mayor Koch for this year’s budget appropriation; it is a pleasure to work with a budget increase. He thanked the School Committee members for their input; he also met with the Principals and Superintendent’s Leadership Team members to ensure that we are looking at all areas of the school system in creating this draft budget. Areas of consideration have been identified and options organized to address areas of impact. The total Quincy Public Schools budget is $97,306,723, a $3.6 million increase over the FY2014 budget. There are two sources of funding: $94,106,723 from the City appropriation (3.23% increase) and Circuit Breaker funding of $3,200,000 (25% increase).

The appropriation allows Quincy Public Schools to meet all contractual obligations, percentage raises, step and level increases. After these are met, there is $1,675,500 additional funding to address class size and academic programs, including $985,000 of breakage courtesy of 27 retirements in FY2014. Mr. DiBona asked if we are anticipating significant change in grant funding and we are not anticipating that for this year.

For Academic Classroom Teachers, School Committee guidelines are the deciding factor. Elementary levels are looking at a decrease of two positions across the 11 schools due to population shifts. For middle school, there is a proposed expansion of the foreign language program for adding French language instruction to Grade 8 (2.5 positions). The other middle school restoration is Technical Education teachers (2.5). An additional ELA teacher is needed for Central Middle School (1.0), a halftime position at Quincy High School for Physics will become full time (0.5), and longevity funding will be decreased based on retirement projections for 2014-15.

For Academic Programs, the suggestion is for small stipends to be available for Literacy, Library, Health, Physical Education, Music, and Art to compensate teachers providing professional development and assisting the curriculum coordinators. The increasing ELL population needs would be addressed by additional positions (2.0) and Literacy positions added so that each elementary school will have at least a full-time Literacy teacher (1.5). An additional instrumental music teacher will be added (1.0), plus Special Education teachers to address increased needs and state requirements (2.0).

For Academic Support, the budget calls for an additional school psychologist (1.0), IT technicians staff (2.0), restores full-time Kindergarten aides to all classrooms (10.0), and increases Special Education aides (10.0). For non-Academic Support, the budget has an additional position for Custodial Services (1.0). For Academic Expenses, grant funding and publisher professional development will allow for a $13,000 reduction to the professional development, offset by an increase in funding for purchasing and repairing musical instruments and repairs for $7,500 and increased funding for testing. Special Education tuitions would be increased by $300,000, based on projections for student out-of-district placements. For non-Academic Expenses, proposed increases for natural gas ($100,000), Special Education transportation ($275,000) would be offset by decreased funding for transportation purchases. For transportation purchases, the current 3-year lease purchase agreements are complete; we are looking at purchasing one large bus and three mini-buses over three years beginning with FY2015.

In the proposed budget, the allocations are 10% for Academic Classroom Teachers, 22% for Academic Programs, 29% for Academic Support, 2% for Non-Academic Support, 19% for Academic Expenses, and 18% for Non-Academic Expenses.

Mr. DiBona thanked Mayor Koch for the appropriation and thanked Dr. DeCristofaro for reflection of School Committee priorities in this draft budget. Mr. McCarthy echoed Mr. DiBona's compliments, and likes the focus on restoration. Mr. McCarthy said the middle school Technology positions were a good rebuilding step and asked for an outline of the curriculum that would be covered. He asked about the textbook line and whether an increase would be needed.

Ms. Isola asked whether the middle school technology would be .5 in each school or will they be allocated by population. Dr. DeCristofaro said the scheduling plan for the middle school is still to be finalized. Ms. Isola said that adding French as an option at Grade 8 is a great start and asked for the cost to have Foreign Language instruction in Grade 7. Ms. Owens has researched the current Grade 9 students taking Spanish 1 vs. Spanish 2 and will share that information at the next meeting.

Mr. Bregoli asked about the allocation of the additional Foreign Language teachers and this will be done based on interest in the program. Parents will have the option to choose the language for their Grade 8 students. Mr. Bregoli asked where the additional instrumental program teacher will be assigned and scheduling decisions are still to be made. Mr. Bregoli asked if there are different enrollment parameters for classes with labs; Science and Technology classes at the middle and high schools are capped for the number of work stations.

Mr. Bregoli asked for confirmation that the Special Education aides are one-on-one and based on IEPs. Mr. Bregoli asked if a custodian at Quincy High School could be utilized to maintain the Coddington Hall building and there will be shared staff. Mr. Bregoli thought the instrumental increase is small and would like to discuss the extracurricular activity funding at a future meeting.

Mrs. Hubley thanked the Mayor and Dr. DeCristofaro for the appropriation and draft budget. She agrees with Ms. Isola about seeing the cost to add Grade 7 Foreign Language as an option; very happy to see the increased positions for Literacy. Mrs. Hubley asked for clarification on the Kindergarten Aides; this would fully restore the aides so every Kindergarten classroom would have a full time aide.

Mrs. Hubley announced the next Budget and Subcommittee meeting will be Tuesday, May 20 and focus on Revolving Accounts.

Ms. Isola made a motion to adjourn the Budget and Finance Subcommittee meeting at 5:50 pm. Mr. Bregoli seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.