May 29, 2013 Budget Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Budget and Finance Subcommittee
Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair
2nd Floor Conference Room, NAGE Building
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 5:00 p.m

  1. Presentation of Requested Options - Mr. Mullaney

  2. Discussion and Prioritization of Options - Subcommittee Members

  3. Other Business/Adjournment


Budget and Finance Subcommittee Meeting

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A meeting of the Budget and Finance Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm in the 2 nd floor Conference Room at the NAGE Building. Present were Mayor Thomas Koch, Mr. Paul Bregoli, Mrs. Kathryn Hubley, Mrs. Emily Lebo, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Dave McCarthy, and Ms. Barbara Isola, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Assistant Superintendent Colleen Roberts, Mr. Michael Draicchio, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Ms. Beth Hallett, Mrs. Jane Kisielius, Mrs. Joanne Morrissey, Mr. James Mullaney, Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Mr. Keith Segalla, Ms. Judy Todd, Mrs. Ruth Witmer; Ms. Allison Cox, President of the Quincy Education Association; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Ms. Isola called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm. Dr. DeCristofaro reviewed the options that were requested at the previous meeting, including a teacher leader for the Middle School library staff, possibly a small department chair stipend (around $2,800). He also noted that requested information on Athletics Fees from surrounding communities was shared via email and copies were distributed at the meeting. Mayor Koch reviewed the discussion about the Athletics revolving account from the previous Subcommittee meeting. The Mayor is proposing to address the structural deficit from Athletics by moving $200,000 from the System Reserve for Textbooks to reinstate Freshman sports and full seasons for Varsity and Junior Varsity levels. He is making this proposal with the understanding that the $100,000 in the revolving account can be used to purchase uniform and equipment as needed, along with the additional revenue from user fees and gate revenues. In the fall, the Mayor will reinstate the $200,000 funding for the System Reserve for Textbooks to purchase Core Curriculum materials through another source, possibly Chapter 70 money or from free cash.

Mayor Koch made a motion to reduce the System Reserve for Textbooks by $200,000. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCarthy. On the motion, Mr. McCarthy asked for clarification that the System Reserve for Textbooks would now be $400,000 and Mr. Mullaney confirmed this. Ms. Isola asked for a review of the line item’s history. For FY2013, the System Reserve for Textbooks was $200,000; FY2012 was $100,000. In the fall, the Mayor will provide funding to increase the System Reserve for Textbooks from $400,000 to $600,000. Per Mrs. Roberts, this timing of fund availability should not affect the plan to purchase Common Core materials.

Mrs. Lebo joined the meeting at 5:10 pm. Ms. Isola gave her a short review of the discussion so far. Mrs. Lebo asked the Mayor to explain the rationale behind his motion. He noted that the budget increase for Athletics would address the program’s structural deficit for Athletics, restoring it to the minimum budget level needed for full seasons for all levels. Since the System Reserve for Textbooks budget fluctuates from year to year, this can more easily be addressed by additional funding sources on an as-needed basis. The Mayor is confident that finding this additional funding will not be an issue. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 6-0; Mr. Bregoli ABSTAINED.

Mayor Koch made a motion to appropriate $200,000 to the Athletics program to address the structural deficit and Mr. McCarthy seconded the motion. On the motion, Mr. McCarthy thanked Mayor Koch for addressing the issue and restoring the Athletics program, following the rebuilding of many academic programs in the last several budgets. The new High School Athletic Directors will start without having to address this issue. Mrs. Lebo also thanked the Mayor for the continued opportunity to rebuild from the cuts in FY2010. Mrs. Hubley asked that the School Committee consider increasing the Athletics fees line to keep Quincy in line with other surrounding communities. Ms. Isola said that with the additional support for Libraries and Athletics, we have made significant progress in restoring the budget cuts from FY2010.

Mrs. Mahoney asked whether there have been deficits in the Athletics account over the last few years; Mr. Mullaney confirmed that for the last two years there have been similar-sized deficits. Mrs. Mahoney referred to the per sport cost information that was shared and asked about equity between spending on boys and girls sports. Mr. Mullaney showed there is little or no difference between boys and girls teams for similar sports and offered to provide the detail behind the spreadsheet. Mr. Mullaney clarified that some freshman sports, such as volleyball, field small teams and were able to be transported along with the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams at no cost. Mrs. Mahoney asked about teams that were cancelled; Mr. Mullaney said Quincy High School Junior Varsity Lacrosse and North Quincy/Quincy High School Girls Golf were issues because not enough players had signed up. Dr. DeCristofaro said that the issues with the Girls Golf Team have been addressed through assistance from the Presidents’ Golf Club.

On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 6-0. Mr. Bregoli ABSTAINED.

Ms. Isola moved onto the next item on the agenda, review and prioritization of options. Dr. DeCristofaro would like the Middle School Librarian Teacher Leader to evolve as part of the hiring process.

Ms. Isola asked if there were any other options that should be reviewed. Mr. Bregoli asked about adding back office assistants for the schools that do not that position. Dr. DeCristofaro said that in light of the number of academic professional teachers requested, the SLT did not recommend that. Mr. McCarthy asked about the funding; $150,000 would be needed to reinstate the aides in nine elementary and middle schools. Mr. Bregoli requested that item be on the table as a future consideration. Mr. McCarthy mentioned Foreign Language instruction in the Middle Schools, which currently offers Spanish in Grade 8 (Grade 7 Spanish and French for both grades was cut FY2010). Mr. McCarthy asked about the Music and Art specialists and whether we are comfortable with those staffing levels. Mrs. Roberts said that those positions are contractual and increase as the number of classrooms grow. The instrumental music program has been reorganized so that teachers are at the elementary feeder schools for their middle schools. Mr. McCarthy noted that the high school band numbers are lower than in previous years and asked about uniforms. Mrs. Roberts said that there is still funding from the movie rental from 2011 to provide the uniforms and she is working on getting that order finalized.

Mayor Koch left the meeting at 5:40 pm.

Mr. Bregoli asked if band students in high school receive academic credits; since it is a scheduled class, students receive 5 credits for this course. Mrs. Lebo said that sometimes there is a scheduling issue and a student may chose an academic elective over band or chorus. Mrs. Roberts said that effort has been expended at the elementary level to build up interest in instrumental instruction. Mrs. Lebo asked if ROTC was still offered before school, would that be something to consider for band. Mrs. Mahoney suggested that many of the musicians were interested in playing in a concert band or small orchestra and that being in a marching band was a different skill. Mr. McCarthy suggested that with a bigger group of musicians, you could develop a small marching band.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to increase elementary middle school lunches by $0.10 as required to meet the minimum meal charges established by the National School Lunch Program. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bregoli. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 6-0. Mayor Koch was ABSENT.

Mrs. Lebo made a motion to accept the Subsidized Service Budget as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. McCarthy. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 6-0. Mayor Koch was ABSENT.

Mrs. Mahoney made a motion to move the FY2014 Budget to the Public Hearing on June 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm at the City Council Chambers. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Hubley. On a roll call vote, the ayes have it 6-0. Mayor Koch was ABSENT.

Mr. McCarthy motion to adjourn at 5:55 pm. Mrs. Mahoney seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.