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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education Budget Workshop, 03/08/2018

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education Budget Workshop

RECEIVED 03/14/2018 12:31pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Budget Workshop
Joel Barlow High School – Library Learning Commons
Thursday, March 8, 2018
7:30 p.m.

Region 9 Board of Education Members: D’Agostino, Coppinger, Johnston, Hocker, Denny, Graziano, Hancock, Williams
Administration: McMorran, Pin, Reiss
Others: 16 members of staff and public and videographer

Mr. D’Agostino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Motion: move to approve minutes from March 1, 2018 Region 9 Board of Education Budget Workshop Meeting. Hocker, Hancock. Approved. Unanimous.

Laura Hoeing, Umpawaug Road, Redding spoke as a parent and Redding Board of Education member about the ERCC data collection efforts and her desire to continue working with the Region 9 Board of Education on the goal of school safety.

Kathy Katz, Silver Hill Road, Easton spoke about the cost of student sports participation at JBHS. She indicated that booster clubs, fundraisers, and parent financial contributions are significant in continued sports for students. She added that the special education and outplacement of students are large expenses in the budget.

Mr. D’Agostino stated that the Athletic program at JBHS is fully funded. Due to the growth of the program, booster clubs and fees are helping to preserve existing programs.

Dr. Pin spoke about the New Incremental Reduction Tiers and Exercise to Negative Budget. She explained reductions in general education due to teacher attrition and related expenses. Dr. Pin spoke about the athletic cost reductions due to combining teams on buses when participating in sports events. Mr. Santangeli apologized for previous calculation errors and explained how he arrived at his strategy for reducing costs for athletics.

Mr. Coppinger requested clarification on athletic calculations. Mrs. Graziano spoke about range of costs of each sport and importance of transportation for students. Mr. D’Agostino spoke about activity, parking fees and how they offset budget expenses. Dr. Pin spoke about the reductions at the level of Tier 4 and how they could potentially compromise district work.

Ms. Roszko spoke about Special Education reductions in the OT/PT funding section as the students requiring these services in the coming year are unknown.

Dr. Pin indicated that reductions in Tier 5 and Tier 6 could be too limiting for students’ course selections. Ms. Denny spoke about course reductions and alternating years for course offerings. She said students would need advance notice if this was implemented. Mr. Coppinger suggested the board maintain documentation of all staff reductions year to year.

Members of staff explained how courses are constructed and class size is determined.

Mr. Hocker, Mr. Hancock, Mrs. Denny and Mrs. Williams spoke about Tier 5 and Tier 6 reductions being too severe and could affect the quality of education.

Mr. D’Agostino spoke about hiring a SRO pending funding discussions with Easton and Redding town officials. The board can explore the option of including a separate line in the referendum for the SRO’s salary.

Mr. Johnston, Mrs. Graziano, and Mrs. Williams spoke about town funding for a SRO. Mr. D’Agostino indicated that two questions on the referendum could potentially increase voter turnout.

Motion: move to approve the Region 9 budget for 2018-19 reflecting reductions as shown in Tiers 1-4 from the Incremental Reduction Tiers handout, with the exception of leaving $15,000 in the Special Education budget for unanticipated OT/PT needs and adding $87,085.00 for School Resource Officer (SRO) salary. The proposed 2018-19 budget will be $24,507,453 and the year-over-year increase will be 3.02%. Johnston, Denny. 6 to 2, passed. Mr. Coppinger and Mrs. Graziano voted No.

Barbie Powell, Sanford Drive, Easton spoke about a SRO as an important addition to manage school safety issues. She did not want to see further cuts in the athletic budget as she feels that parents already are paying significantly for their children’s sports participation.

Eva Ortiz, Cricklewood Road, Redding, believes that funding for SRO should be from town budget.

Kathy Katz, Silver Hill Road, Easton spoke about concerns about how athletic budget was calculated and suggested making more transparent to board members and public what sports are funded with participation fees and what percentage of those fees go to each sport.

Mr. D’Agostino and members of the board thanked administration for their hard work in preparing 2018-2019 budget proposal. Board members discussed pros and cons of cost for an SRO coming from Board of Education or Town funds.

Motion: move that the meeting be adjourned. Hancock, Coppinger. Approved. Unanimous.

The meeting of the Region 9 Budget Workshop was adjourned at 11:17 p.m.

Submitted by Chris Hocker,
Region 9 Board of Education Secretary

Recorded by Deborah DeLorenzo

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