Public Meeting of HB Co-op Board Meeting held

Thursday, January 12, 2006 in the HBMS Middle School


In attendance: chair Pam Kirby, Anne Dumas, Jim Murphy, Tom Enright, HBHS Assistant Principal Rich Manley, HBMS Principal Pat Goyette, and SAU 41 Superintendent.  Rich Pike.


Also present were SAU Business Administrator Lee Ann Blastos, Co-op Budget Committee chair Forrest Milkowski and SAU assistant business administrator Melanie Capasso.


Pam Kirby called the meeting to order at 5:38 p.m.


Lee Ann Blastos distributed the latest budget change sheet, which showed an overall budget change from 6.88% up to 7.17% reflecting a contractual increase in mandatory Teacher Retirement Benefit contributions.


Steve Simons and Betty Hall arrived at 5:43 p.m.


Lea Ann and Melanie discussed the SAP account item, specifically some potential grant monies that may be available, however, the criteria and focus of the grant programs is changing from a prevention focus to an intervention focus.  Success of the grant is not guaranteed.


Rich Pike arrived at 5:50 p.m.


Melanie and Tom Enright discussed what that budget item represented, arriving at a mutual understanding.


Lee Ann further reviewed the discussions she had with the administrators over the past two weeks.   She opined that all program-related cuts should be discussed with the board and not made between her and the administrators.


Dan Peterson arrived at 5:58 p.m.


Tom Enright asked about the ESL position that the Co-op carries in its budget.  Of the 6 students in the program, only one is in the Co-op and Mr. Enright thought that maybe we shouldn’t be carrying this in our budget, since it is a $60,000 item.


A discussion of the mechanisms for how this works continued for a short period of time.


Anne Dumas made some inquiries into the proposed budget changes, and clarifying answers were given.


Jim Murphy raised the issue as to whether we should continue our current levels of funding of Vocational Education transportation.   He observed that the costs of transportation jumped from $50,000 to $100,000 and that we should look closely at which programs in which schools we’re offering.


Betty Hall echoed Mr. Murphy’s concerns that we might need to make some value judgments.


Forrest Milkowski said that the budget currently represents a $981,000 increase, but 30% of that would be new positions.  One possible position would be to accept a position of “no new positions.”


Jim Murphy asked Mr. Manley to report back the enrollments in Voc Ed at the various locations, and their corresponding transportation costs and tuition costs.


Tom Enright said he feels that Vocational Education is an important part of our school, and if we can’t offer it in-house, we need to offer them offsite.  We offer AP courses for some students, and he is not willing to discriminate against Voc Ed students.


A discussion ensued about how the budget growth is related to factors such as enrollment increases and cost of living.


Forrest Milkowski reported that the budget committee is considering changing their calculation to exclude special education and debt service.   While the committee has not met to make that official, he believes there is some movement in that direction.


Betty Hall observed that if we are going to consider curtailing spending in Vocation Education, maybe we should also look at AP courses and see if there are alternative ways of providing those programs.


Tom Enright renewed his request to see the contingency amount into the bottom budget.


Lee Ann and Melanie calculate that the budget, with changes discussed at the previous meeting is up $1,093,359, which is 7.2% in addition to the salary warrant articles.


Anne Dumas said we could look at what items we place into separate warrant articles versus what we put into the budget itself.


Pam Kirby asked the board to review the new hire sheet again.


Pat said that she needs the Social Studies teacher for the fifth team to not only complete the team but to comply with the No Child Left Behind criteria.


Both Ms. Goyette and Mr. Manley reviewed the new positions sheets again.


Some further discussion about the budget in general circulated, but no decision was made.


The meeting continued but Mr. Murphy departed at 7:20 p.m. to attend to a prior commitment.



Respectfully submitted,


Jim Murphy