Present: Albert St.Pierre; Lucien Beam; Steven Dalessio; Frank Emig; Alan Dustin; Sarah Vogel; William Stahl; Joseph Levesque
Absent: Mary Henry; Scott Bushway
Chairman Mr. St.Pierre called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
Motion made to approve the minutes of the October 16, 2019 meeting by Mr. Dustin, Second by Mr. Emig. All in favor. Minutes are accepted as presented.
The committee continues work on plan for withdrawal of Charlestown. Mr. Beam has a review of the numbers that the budget subcommittee has put together. The final document from 10/11/10 will be used by the finance committee. Mr. Levesque will create the report on final numbers to be included in the plan to show the financial impact of the remaining four town upon withdrawal of Charlestown. Mr. Beam noted that it is based on the initial budget that the selectboard members reviewed in July with Mr. Fenn. This budget identified where the costs were coming from. He is confident that there is a justification for the numbers. The FY21 budget is a projection of the responsibilities of the remaining four towns to include the salaries/benefits and a 2% increase to cover the cost of doing business. A few other items, such as the addition of 3 year olds to the preschool program in three of the four remaining towns, are in FY21 but not in FY20. These are the numbers that will be potentially challenged when it comes to a district vote. FY20-21 is the transition year. Mr. St.Pierre asked if this is the budget that the remaining four town want to include in the plan. Mr. Dalessio notes, yes, the remaining four towns agree that the numbers are what they are.
Mr. Dalessio clarified that fy20 is the current budget, and fy21 is the transition year, starting July 2020. Mr. Beam brought forth alternative allocations, and the cost per student if a different method is used.
Mr. Dalessio noted that the district currently uses it’s own determination under the title “Projected Local FM Assessment Formula.” Projected local assessment is what is agreed on for the plan.
FY20 compared to FY21: FY20 for the remaining four towns without Charlestown $20,540,417.00 in 2021, increases $22,118,649.00. Current budget for FY20 with Charlestown included as a part is about 23 million. And will drop to about 20.5 million because Charlestown specific items are taken out. The drop is not significant, as the teachers pay and Charlestown specific costs simply move to Charlestown. A lot of the costs are associated with support staff and things of that nature. These are still paid by Charlestown, through the SAU. At the SAU, Jim Fenn asked for an additional $200,000 for asst. Superintendent and an asst. Business admin as well as additional Spec. Ed. support. The current articles still allocate this to the five towns, based on the methods. The SAU cost is shared for a minimum of one year, or until Charlestown may start the proceeding to begin their own SAU. There are not a lot of positions to be eliminated. Maybe some bussing or a maintenance person. What is left is that 20 million is divided by 4 towns and not 5. This is a moving number, a guesstimate, as the budget is not solidified. It is Mr. Fenn’s numbers, which were determined by the select board members to be fair and balanced. There is probably room for the number to go down, but this is a point to launch from. As it is presented, Acworth will increase by a potential $200,000. Alstead will increase by $430,000. Langdon will increase by $120,000 and walpole will increase $825,000. In essence, this is the impact of the four remaining towns.
Mr. Dalessio asked which part of the presentation will be going into the plan. Mr. Levesque is summarizing these budgets, and will give the bottom line. Mr. Dalessio would like to see the simple number.
Mr. Levesque asked Mr. Fenn at the previous nights school board meeting about tuition for Charlestown. Mr. Fenn could not commit to any number, but offered that an equation: Gross budget, minus transportation, minus one on one paraprofessionals, minus any out of district placements would be the amount needed to tuition Charlestown students to FM, divided by the number of students. Mr. Dalessio noted that this equation is what will be in the plan. Mr. St.Pierre asked if the school board accepted that Charlestown students will be attending students to FM? Mr. Levesque clarified that Yes, the school board will accept students from Charlestown. Mrs. Vogel noted that this is a beneficial agreement for both parties. The tuitioning of Charlestown students will be in the plan accordingly. For the plan, the equation will be used, and when the official school boards for Charlestown and FM are in office, a tuition number will be negotiated.
Mr. St.Pierre offered info regarding the State Board of Education. He attended the monthly hearing held on October 10, 2019 for the purpose of asking the board for the extension until December 1, 2019. The board confirmed that they had an email regarding the request for an extension from the committee to present a plan. However, they would not be able to rule on it until the following meeting held in November, which is after the deadline. We are at a point of no answers, but we did not get an extension. As a note, at the Board of Education meeting, the SAU withdrawal of Timberlane was on the agenda. The board viewed the 158 page report and still the board had questions before acceptance. Mr. St.Pierre feels that this committee can submit a report by the original deadline, and know that the Board of Education will ask questions. The next meeting of the BoE is in Woodsville, NH on the third Thursday of November — 11/21/19 at 9:30 am.
Mrs. Vogel made amendments to the plan document as they were being discussed.
Mr. Beam asked if the Educational Impact subcommittee had a report? Yes, per Mr. Stahl. He will complete the report to be sent out to the committee by Friday 10/18/19.
Public Comment. Mr. Spilsbury offered the Goshen withdrawal plan for the appendices to the plan.
Motion to adjourn made by Mr. Dalessio, second Mr. Stahl. All in favor. Meeting is adjourned at 8:02 pm.