Learn about the proposed school budgets at public forums on Tuesday

by susan on March 25, 2013

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Above: Superintendent Gobron will speak with residents at a school budget forum on Tuesday

We all know the K-8 and Algonquin school budgets make up the lion’s share of our town’s spending. If you’d like a better handle on where your tax dollars are going, and what requests are being made for fiscal year 2014, consider attending one of two public forums being held on Tuesday.

At the forums, Superintendent Charles Gobron will give a presentation on the Southborough K-8 budget. Members of the school committee will also be there to participate in the discussion and help answer questions from taxpayers.

There will be two forums on Tuesday, one at 9:30 am and another at 7:00 pm. Both will be held in the cafeteria at Woodward School (28 Cordaville Road) and both are open to the public.

If you’d like to do a bit of homework before the forum, you’ll find a copy of Gobron’s K-8 budget presentation here.

1 Frank Crowell March 25, 2013 at 7:11 PM

I wonder if TM can pass an amendment to the school budget that requires closing of Neary in 2014/15 school year and transfer to the town?

2 Rob March 26, 2013 at 7:01 AM

What will the town do with the Neary? How do we benefit?

3 Al Hamilton March 26, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Rob

Assuming that the closed school is Neary, which is likely, the Municipal side of government would be the biggest beneficiary.

We have 3 expensive to maintain buildings that are in poor to fair condition. Cordaville Hall (unusable second floor), the “Arts Center” (aka the money pit), and Fayville Hall (condemned second floor). All of the activities that happen in these facilities can be consolidated into Neary, which is in good condition, with ample space left over. The 3 facilities could then be sold and the town would reap several million dollars in return (we paid about $2 million for Cordaville alone). These funds could be used as a down payment on a police station, a fire station, to pay for the inevitable increases in labor costs, or heaven forbid to keep our tax rates under control. We would also be shedding ourselves of the costs associated with keeping 3 rotting buildings limping along.

That is my vision of how we would benefit. There are others.

4 Al Hamilton March 26, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Frank:

I do not believe that Town Meeting has the authority to do this. My understanding is that once a facility is transferred to the Schools it is under the authority of the School Committee. The only way to transfer the facility back to the municipal side of government is for the School Committee to declare the facility as surplus to their needs. At that time it reverts to the control of the Selectmen.

On the other hand Town Meeting is under no obligation to fund an operation that it believes is unnecessary. The number that I have heard bandied about is $150,000 in savings in the School Budget if we were to operate 3 vs 4 schools. (The biggest financial impacts of school closings happen on the Municipal side where millions of $ are in play). It would be perfectly reasonable to hold the K-8 budget and move to reduce it by $150,000. In the event of passage the school committee has a choice. Maintain an inefficient housing plan and cut teachers or rehouse and keep teachers.

5 Neil Rossen March 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Futile. TM will give them whatever they request. The school committee will applaud. Taxes will go up yet again. The issue of the unions and teacher pay will not be addressed. I will hope for such a large increase that an override is required.

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