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Minutes of Region 9 Board of Education Budget Workshop, 03/09/2016

AGENDA: Region 9 Board of Education-Budget Workshop

RECEIVED 03/15/2016 10:00am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

JOINT MEETING OF
REGION 9 BOARD OF EDUCATION & REGION 9 FINANCIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
March 9, 2016

Minutes

Attendance:
Region 9 Board of Education members: Coppinger, D’Agostino, Gombos, Hancock, Hocker, Johnston, King, Lewis
Financial Advisory Committee:  Coppinger, Krivit, King, Johnston
Administration: McMorran, Sullivan, Pin, Pierson Ugol, Sheehy, Geraghty, and additional members of the leadership team
Others: more than 50 members of the public, a representative Hello Redding, and the videographer

Mr. Hancock called the meeting of the Region 9 Board of Education to order at 7:30 pm in the Joel Barlow Media Center.

Mr. Coppinger reconvened the Financial Advisory Committee in public session at 7:30 pm.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Amanda Neville, Redding: Mrs. commented that her family moved to Redding specifically for the high school.  She offered her support for the proposed budget with no further reductions.

Jack Goldburg, Easton: Mr. Goldburg, a Barlow student, addressed the board in support of the Latin program at the high school. He commented on what the program has meant to him, and the lasting impact of the course on many students.

Jim Castonguay, Redding:  Mr. Castonguay addressed the board on the importance of the Latin program, both in the middle school and high school.

David Munson, Redding: Mr. Munson also spoke in support of the Latin program.

Gabby Colangelo, Easton: Ms. Colangelo asked that the board let the taxpayers decide on the 1.27% budget through the referendum vote.

Lynn Menapace, Redding: Mrs. Menapace moved to Redding for the Barlow education. She questioned whether the reductions were a result of the Common Core mandates.

Heidi Armster, Easton:  Mrs. Armster expressed her thoughts on the importance of diversity of offerings at the high school.

Henry Reinhart, Redding: Mr. Reinhart spoke in support of the Latin program.

DISCUSSION PF 2016-17 OPERATING BUDGET
Dr. McMorran stated that, as requested, the administration reviewed the budget proposal and will present further reductions in four tiers.

Mrs. Pin reviewed the list of reductions to the administration’s budget request to get the budget down to the 2.39% increase.  At the March 1, 2016, budget workshop, the budget was adjusted to reflect the cost to cover the retirement package and other minor savings, resulting in a 1.15% increase. Additional adjustments for the retirement savings and adding a full Latin program back resulted in a 1.27% increase, or $23,436,709.

Proposed adjustments:
Tier 1: adjustments in level of replacement for Science and School Psychologist , reductions in curriculum work, conference and other professional services, elimination of vacant student activity advisor positions, reduction in transportation, elimination of Special Education contingency, and elimination of cost for the budget flyer.
Results in a budget of $23,310,389, or 0.72%

Tier 2: adjustments in summer work for counselors, reduction in counselor time and secretary to department chairs  & athletic secretary summer work, reduction in school newspaper, ISTE conference supplies for PE, reduction in printing costs, administration professional development and driveway repairs.
Results in a budget $23,280,891, or 0.59%

Tier 3: adjustments in costs for orientation for freshmen and reduction in Fitness Center Strength Conditioning.
Results in a budget of $23,240,796, or 0.l42%

Tier 4: adjustments include elimination of orientation for freshmen, reduction of Latin program, elimination of EMT course, elimination of Fitness Center Strength Conditioning, and delay of introduction of AP Environmental Science and AP Computer Science Principles.
Results in a budget of $23, 143,491, or 0.00%

Board members discussed the proposed budget adjustments.
Mrs. Gombos requested information on the amount of costs currently in the lower schools for special education services for students who will move from the lower schools to the high school next year. Those costs represent a transfer of funding from the Town budgets to the Region 9 budget.

Motion #1: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve a budget of $23,314,316, or 074% increase that included Tier 1 adjustments for the Science and School Psychologist positions, elimination of vacant Student Activity Advisor positions and the Special Education contingency, plus the driveway repair from Tier 2. Coppinger, Hocker.

Discussion of the motion followed.

Discussion followed.  Before the motion was voted on, the Chair allowed comments from those in the audience.

John Shaban, Redding: Mr. Shaban spoke of the importance of the youth athletic program.

Richard Bloom, Redding: Mr. Bloom suggested the school districts (Easton, Redding, and Region 9) work together on funding issues.

David Munson, Redding: Mr. Munson commented on the impact of the special education budget and believes a 1.27% budget increase is acceptable.

Carolyn Colangelo, Redding: Mrs. Colangelo offered her support for the adjustments offered in Tier 1, but could not support further reductions.

Ray Gilmore, Redding: Mr. Gilmore spoke of the importance of the sports program. He commented that Easton and Redding have united many of their sports teams and he knows there are about 40 8th graders who plan to try out for basketball next fall.

Annette D’Augelli: Mrs. D’Augelli commented that some of the proposed reductions are concerning.

Phyllis Rhodes, Redding: Mrs. Rhodes commented on the negative impact on property values and the desire to live in Easton and Redding.

Amanda Neville, Redding: Mrs. Neville commented that the enrollment in Redding’s elementary school is not declining as much as anticipated. She added that she has seen her daughter gain confidence and overcome her shyness at Barlow primarily through her work in art classes.

Laura Hoeing, Redding: Mrs. Hoeing commented on the impact of the reductions on property values. She added her supports for the athletic programs at the high school.

Lynn Menapace, Redding: Mrs. Menapace offered support for the sports program and the fitness center, both of which give students something positive to do with their time.

Heidi Armster, Easton: Mrs. Armster commented that the high school budget has passed easily over the past 5 or 6 years.

Elias Papadomitriou, Easton: Mr. Papadomitriou spoke of how important the sports program was to him while he was a student at Barlow.

Vote on Motion #1:  Motion failed on a 3-5 vote. Voting for: Coppinger, Hocker, Hancock. Voting against: D’Agostino, Gombos, King, Lewis, Johnston.

Motion #2: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve a budget of $23,255,891or 0.485% that included all reductions in Tier 1 and Tier 2 plus an additional $25,000 reduction to be determined by the administration Lewis, D’Agostino.

Motion #2, Amended: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve a budget of $23,255,891or 0.485% that included all reductions in Tier 1 and Tier 2 plus an additional $25,000 reduction to be determined by the administration, taking none of the $25,000 from Tier 3 or Tier 4. Lewis, D’Agostino.

Vote on Motion #2 Amended: motion failed on a tie vote. Voting for: Lewis, Gombos, Johnston, D’Agostino. Voting against: Coppinger, King, Hancock, Hocker.

Following further discussion, another motion was made.

Motion #3: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve a budget of $23,301,319 or 0.68%, that included all adjustments in Tier 1 and $10,000 for Driveway Repair in Tier 2.  Coppinger, Hocker. Motion failed 3-5.  Voting for:  Coppinger, Hocker, Hancock. Voting against: Lewis, Gombos, King, Johnston, D’Agostino.

Motion #4: move that the Region 9 Board of Education approve a budget of $23,280,891 or 0.59%, that includes all adjustments in Tier 1 and Tier 2.  Gombos, King. Approved. 6-2. Voting for: Gombos, King, Johnston, Hancock, Coppinger, Hocker. Voting against: Lewis, D’Agostino.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Jeanne Wendschuh, Redding: Mrs. Wendschuh thanked the board members for their deliberation process and respect for the communities.

ADJOURNMENT
Motion: move that the Region 9 Board of Education meeting be adjourned.  D’Agostino, Coppinger. Approved. Unanimous.

Motion: move that the Financial Advisory Committee meeting be adjourned.  Krivit, King. Approved. Unanimous.

The meetings were adjourned at 10:17 pm

Submitted by Catherine Gombos, Region 9 Board of Education Secretary

Recorded by Mary Maday