February 25, 2010

Re: Times of Drasticness

Justin Katz

By way of follow up, I asked Director of Administration and Finance Doug Fiore a couple of questions after tonight's school committee meeting, here are various interesting data points derived from our conversation:

  • Approximately $130,000 of the $450,000 increase in health insurance costs would have been erased from the next budget if the union hadn't blocked the intended coshare increase from 12% to 18%. I assume (but did not clarify) that $260,000 would have been saved if that percentage had been applied to this year and next.
  • The layoffs and reassignments that the district is leaving open as possible by sending out notices to teachers would, in total, save $1.3 million.
  • That same amount could be saved by reducing combined salaries and benefits across the board by approximately 8%.
  • That means that the current shortfall of $750,000 could be covered with an across-the-board reduction of about 4-5%.

I want to stress that these are ballpark figures provided while wrapping up a meeting, so they shouldn't be taken as working numbers. I'm merely trying to illustrate comparative options for covering the budget shortfall that, for some reason, aren't aired publicly.