REDDING BOARD OF EDUCATION
REGULAR MEETING WITH BUDGET WORKSHOP
John Read Middle School – Community Room
February 6, 2020– 7:30 p.m.
Board members: Parkin, Whaley, Pilato, Hocker, Hoffman, Oulton, Reilly
Administration: McMorran, Pierson Ugol, Reiss, Del Conte, Amori, Hammond, Wallin, Hankla
Others: 3 members of the public and staff
CALL TO ORDER
C. Parkin called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education approve the minutes of January 7, 2020 Regular Board of Education Meeting as submitted (Reilly, Oulton). Approved. Unanimous.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
M. Hoffman is concerned about a budget vote today with so many things open ended.
C. Pilato shared that she was personally disappointed by the Greenwich Leadership Partners report, but felt the board should still act upon the actionable recommendations, such as developing a long-term strategic plan.
H. Whaley thanked Julia Pemberton for the luncheon and conversation.
M. Hoffman complimented Mrs. Wallin on a program called Leadership Skills: a reverse inclusion program whereby regular education students are partnered with students in the BASES program. Mrs. Wallin stated that there was such a favorable response from regular education students, exceeding the need.
DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION: 2020-2021 OPERATING BUDGET
Mr. Reiss shared Technical Amendments as of Tuesday, February 4, 2020 including an update to a not-yet-finalized out-placement, the updated phone system replacement strategy, and a tri-district concert amendment. Discussion followed.
Insurance Broker, Mr. Jay Fiorello, from Brown and Brown Insurance presented a fiscal year 2019-20 and fiscal year 2020-21 Budget Review to the Board. The presentation covered the historical performance of health plans, a budget review, and the State Partnership option. Mr. Fiorello stated that the High Deductible Plan is performing very well overall for the combined ER9 district, despite the well-above average spending currently impacting Redding. He reviewed important points about the current plan.
Mr. Fiorello shared a cost analysis that indicated that the State Partnership Plan option was not a cost-effective option for the combined ER9 district at this time.
Mr. Reiss reminded the Board that if necessary loans can happen between districts. The challenge is if all three districts need extra money to cover health insurance costs in the same budget year. Mr. Fiorello made 2020-21 budget recommendations and explained the assumptions included in those recommendations.
The Board appreciated the presentation.
C. Parkin moved the discussion on to the topic of Workers Compensation and explained that the current strategy does not appear to be in favor of the Board, but rather benefits the Town. J. Reilly and S. Reiss provided supporting data. Discussion continued and assessed the potential benefits of moving all insurance into the Town’s budget, thereby reducing the Redding cost-per-pupil and the threshold from which we can receive Special Education Excess Cost reimbursement from the state.
K. Yonkers, Chairperson for the Board of Finance, requested a spreadsheet to facilitate an informed decision.
The Board reviewed the role, schedule and strategy of Guidance Counselors at John Read Middle School.
C. Parkin lead the Board through Section 6 of the 20-21 budget binder, and then onto Function 1126. Discussion followed.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education take a brief recess (Reilly, Hoffman). Approved. Unanimous.
After the break, J. Del Conte presented a slideshow about Least Restrictive Environment and suggested options for building in-house capacity and programs as an alternative to out-placement. The Board entertained creative solutions to staffing, most involved sharing services with Easton.
C. Parkin suggested that a discussion of this topic be put on the agenda for an Easton/Redding Board meeting for possible implementation in 2021-22.
C. Parkin summarized a list of open questions and asked the Board if there were additional questions.
M. Hoffman said he has unresolved small class size issues at JRMS and RES.
C. Hocker said he’d like a further analysis of the exact Excess Cost Reimbursement Number instead of an estimation.
Dr. Amori circulated class size data for RES and JRMS. Discussion followed.
M. D’Agostino, Glen Hill Road, Redding: Good meeting.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENT
M. Hoffman: Thank you for the public comment.
Motion: move that the Redding Board of Education meeting be adjourned (Oulton, Whaley). Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:40p.m.
Colleen Pilato, Redding Board of Education Secretary