Friday, January 21, 2011

Quattrone Sets the Stage for 2011 Budget

Anticipating the season of Board and public dialogue, Superintendent David Quattrone outlined some of the key issues facing the community in this year's budget cycle. He restated the need to establish a "sustainable model of excellence," citing the current state proposal to cap local property taxes. He described the goals of the 2011 spending plan and reviewed the actions taken last year to contain costs (retirement incentives, outsourcing custodial services, clerical reductions) and decisions to retain certain programs and services (field trips, HS science labs, skills support). He proposed Elementary class sizes in the low twenties for next year, representing an increase of two sections, but said existing guidelines needed to be suspended in order to provide flexibility as the Board reviews its competing priorities.

The Board expressed interest in knowing the implications of a flat budget for various programs and services. Potential reductions will be identified at the February 5th budget workshop. Quattrone suggested that the Board focus first on various productivity and efficiency options, such as clerical reductions. Later in the meeting the Board approved a retirement incentive for teachers that would generate savings.