April 6, 2011 Budget Sub Meeting

Quincy Public Schools 
Budget & Finance Subcommittee

City Council Chambers
April 6, 2011
6:00 p.m.


A. Academic Class Size Update

B. Academic and Non-Academic Expenses Review FY2011

C. The Bragg Account


Budget Subcommittee

April 6, 2011

A Budget Subcommittee meeting was held on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Present were Ms. Isola, Mr. McCarthy, Mrs. Bragg, Mrs. Dwyer, Mrs. Lebo and Mrs. Mahoney, Chair. Also present were: Dr. DeCristofaro, Mr. Mullaney, and Mrs. Tefta Burrelli, Clerk.

Academic Class Size: The Superintendent reviewed enrollment and class size figures. Class sizes are tracked during the school year. The official enrollment is done on October 1 and checked again on February 1 to see if class size has changed, if it is significant, if there are any issues. Ms. Roberts will meet with principals, coordinators and program directors next week to take a look at each site. Ibis allows us to see what we would need for staffing for next September.

Highlited was Broad Meadows grade 6 which is 83. It is small, but they had two small classes coming up from Snug Harbor and a very small class that we dealt with from Atherton Hough. It was a one-class type of thing. From Kindergarten registration, we know that there is going to be a good solid two classes at Atherton Hough. That enrollment at Broad Meadows grade 6 will creep up.

K-3: An average class size of 20 or 21.
Grades 4-5: the average class size now is 22.
Grade 6-8: -90% of our classes are 25 and below.

Grades 9-12 -almost 80% of classes are 25-30 and below. As the budget becomes clear, there may be something we can do at North Quincy and Quincy High School to balance the figures.

Ms. Isola asked for a breakdown of how many of each class there are. She would like the actual class size. Also, if there are classes above our guidelines (2 classes in grade 3) whenever it exceeds the guidelines, she would like to see what those classes are and how we're remedying them.

The Superintendent reported that Kindergarten Registration went well. We are just about where we were last year and a bit beyond. We will be monitoring that. He will have those figures in their packet for the May 18th meeting.

Academic Expenses Review: Mr. Mullaney listed the Academic expenses for FY09, FY 10 and FY 11. In 2009 expenses were $10,523,829, in 2010 they were $11,475,035 and FY 11 they are $12,228,959. Mr. Mullaney warned that the out-of-district tuitions have been rising steadily.

Non-Academic Expenses: In FY09 the expenses were $5,918,741, in FY 10 they were $7,188,066 and in FY 11 they are $5,987,889. The bump up between FY09 and FYlO was due to the unemployment tax as well as an increase in repairs and maintenance of buildings. In FY 11 we no longer have unemployment so that was is not an amount we need in our budget. This will be on the City side.

Mrs. Lebo asked if all that money was used for unemployment and if we have received reconciliation. Mr. Mullaney said we had not received a reconciliation to date. We plan on using $500,000 in our budget. Of the $2 million taken out of our budget we added $500,000 back in.

Mrs. Lebo asked if this money will come back to us. Mrs. Mullaney said that there was discussion if it would be the schools money if it wasn't needed for unemployment. We would like to see it come back; however, it is in the General Fund. It would have to go to City Council. Mr. Mullaney said we did plan on the $500,000 in our budget and we probably spent half of the savings already.

Mrs. Bragg asked about the jump in transportation. Mr. Mullaney said this is due to out of district costs. We are limited by what the law says. We did lock in at a good price with gasoline.

Mrs. Mahoney asked when he stopped with the reconciliation discussions. Mr. Mullaney said he was in contact, but they were busy setting the rate. Mrs. Mahoney asked ifhe felt confident there will be a surplus in the reconciliation for the employment and Mr. Mullaney answered there has not been $2 million in unemployment for the Quincy Public Schools.

The Bragg Account: When they did the budget, Mrs. Bragg had put aside $38,100. We have a lot of new Professional Development money that came in through grants. She received a letter from Citywide. She asked that we be cognitive of their concerns: They would like to:

  1. Restore literacy program

  2. Funding for Media Center books and specialists

  3. Technology programs at Middle School

  4. Reading program at Middle School level

  5. Community service requirement at high school level

  6. Standardization of math packets and summer reading for all grades.

The Superintendent said Mrs. Roberts' two priorities are agenda books for grades 4, 5, 6 and grade two math textbooks. She would like the money to go to that.

On a motion by Mrs. Bragg, seconded by Ms. Isola, the Committee recommend of Mrs. Roberts to use this money for agenda booklets and grade 2 math texts. Order them this year for next year. The ayes have it. This would place math books at the second grade level.

On a motion by Mrs. Dwyer, seconded by Mrs. Lebo, the Budget subcommittee adjourned at 6:45p.m.