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.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Board Adopts Five-Year Capital Plan

The Bronxville School in Bronxville, New York.Assistant Superintendent Dan Carlin presented the Bronxville Board of Education with a five-year capital plan as reviewed by the facilities committee. The plan was prepared by district architects, KG&D, reflecting the findings of the building conditions survey shared at the December Board meeting. The Board accepted the architect's report, designating the overall building condition as satisfactory. The capital plan, also endorsed by the Board, encompasses ongoing maintenance and infrastructure needs as well as projects contemplated for some indefinite time in the future, including renovation of Middle School science labs and major improvements to the auditorium. The Board discussed the need for private capital drive to underwrite these projects (in addition to Foundation support). The finance committee is also considering establishing a construction reserve. The plan can be found here, and schematic designs for future projects are here. The Board does not expect to consider these plans earlier than 2012.

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