Monday, January 2, 2012

Town of Winchester, NH Budget Committee Meeting December 27, 2011

Members Present: Bob Davis, Elisha Jackson, Harvey Sieran, Brian Moser (Chairman), Ken Gardner (Selectmen Rep.), Hubie Crowell (Vice Chairman), Jack Marsh, Kevan Whippie (School Board Rep.), Kathy Hebert, Rick Horton, Rikki Bolewski (Secretary)

Others Present: Charlie Paulin (Business Manager), Jim Lewis (Principal), Dr. Ken Dassau (Superintendent), Chris Boyle (Tech. Director/Support)

Meeting called to order at 7pm


-          Brian questions the cost of Pre-School – was told last meeting that it was about $100-$125/mo.  He did some research and found that this was not comparable to others in the area – Dr. Dassau explains that he gave an estimate of the cost, he didn’t have the actual figures – he will look at the research that Brian did and bring it up to the School Board, who determines the cost.

-          Discussion regarding budget

-          NECAP Scores – discussion regarding how we are doing – do we compare our scores with other schools in NH – will look up the numbers as to which grades are scoring well and which aren’t for next meeting

-          Discussion regarding Music budget lines

-          Discussion regarding budgeted money for digital cameras – what they’re going to be used for, who will use them, etc. – suggestion to look into a camera company or Walmart to see about donating them – Principal Lewis will look into

-          Continued discussion regarding budget and Nature’s Classroom

-          Rick requests a copy of the manifest to date (the cover sheet) for Thursday’s meeting

-          Discussion regarding the shortfall from last year’s budget.

-          Continued discussion regarding the budget

-          Discussion on where cuts are going to come from – Rick comments that cuts always seem to fall on the Elementary School students and cutting the materials and things like that, where are the real cuts going to happen to cut in areas which don’t effect the kid’s education. Because of the numbers charged by Keene for the High School students, that affects the students in the Elementary School. He questions what they are going to do with an $8.8 million budget, because it can be raised by 10%, if the Budget Committee doesn’t make any changes, what are they going to do? Dr. Dassau answers that if the Budget Committee is unilaterally reducing the budget by 20%, knowing that the public can’t raise it more than 10%, then that is illegal. Brian explains that first of all, that was not what the question was and second of all, when the motion was made, there was never any discussion that it can be raised to $8.8 million. Rick also explains that when the motion was made, they didn’t even know what the budget was, they had not been given a budget. Brian states, again, that the Budget Committee never made reference, when the motion was made for the $8 million that that means the most they can get is $8.8 million. Rick questions again, what if…what will they do? Dr. Dassau replies that, if you look at the fixed costs and the contractual obligations, it’s going to come out of the Elementary School, as that’s the only place where you have any control. Rick mentions that there is also control out of the SAU and all of the administrative numbers, Dr. Dassau acknowledges this and states that it’s now up to the Budget Committee to make their decision and let the public decide.

-          Discussion regarding teachers sending lists home of supplies for parents to supply for students – has not been discussed, some teachers do send lists, some don’t

-          Continued discussion regarding budget and how the school is currently using the budget and what kinds of programs and changes they would like to implement with future budgets

-          Discussion regarding Tech. Director/Support lines

o   Spends some time working for Hinsdale as well – they pay a flat $20,000 to us for that work – they share the same software, work on that is for both schools.

o   Discussion regarding computer labs – 2 labs, 1 is a teaching lab, 1 is used by Middle School for the students (7th and 8th grades) to work on projects

o   Discussion on difference between Tech. Director vs. Tech. Support – Tech. Support - working on the equipment, including hardware, printer, and software issues, Tech. Director – implementing new ways for the school to meet the needs of the students and staff as well as imputing testing scores (i.e. MAP testing data), report cards and training staff on the new technology

o   It is found that the retirement for this position was calculated as a teaching position rather than a non-teaching position – Mr. Paulin will make the adjustment.

o   Rick makes a motion to extend the meeting for 15 minutes past 9:00, to finish with this section of the budget, Elisha seconds. Motion carries 10-0

o   Continued discussion regarding the computer systems, how they are working, needed repairs for the current computers, etc.

o   Jack questions whether Mr. Boyle would meet with the Town to see if combining the Town and School systems would save money – Mr. Boyle is willing to do this.

o   Elisha questions where all the computers are located – Mr. Boyle explains some areas, he will get a breakdown of where they are located.

-          Dr. Dassau goes over the un-funded or under-funded mandates such as Spec. Ed. And Catastrophic Aid that Jack asked about at the last meeting

Rick makes a motion to adjourn, Harvey seconds. Motion carries 9-0

Meeting adjourned at 9:20pm

1 comment:

school parent said...

These minutes are too vague, we as parents need to know what these discussions were. Not everyone can attend these meetings and the minutes need to be expanded to contain all pertinent information. Simply stating there was a discussion tells us nothing !