A couple items of particular note from last night's meeting:
* As of July 1st, all Melrose employees (including teachers) who have carried Melrose healthcare for at least two years will be able to opt out of the plan, provided they guarantee participation in another healthcare plan. In return, they will receive quarterly cash payments. This pilot program is designed to save on healthcare expense while ensuring that employees have access to an appropriate plan (and get the health support they need!).
* ECC tuitions, athletic fees, and Education Station fees were all approved for FY15. For the ECC, there will be a 5-7% increase depending on the program (which was expected, since last year we raised the tuitions 10% but knew that they would need to be raised again this year to ensure that the program is self-sustaining). For athletics, Tier II sports increase $25; three sports move from Tier II into Tier III and Tier III pricing increases $50; the hockey fee increases by $20; and there will be no student or family caps. Education Station fees will increase across the board, but by 3% maximum.
* Supt. Taymore reviewed Revolving Account projections for FY15 (where monies for some expenses comes from) as well as her draft staffing and contracted expense budgets. It's helpful to reference her Draft FY15 Budget powerpoint from the 2/11/14 meeting to follow the items she proposes adding. We had great discussion on this topic, and the Supt. explained how the proposed new positions would improve teaching and learning.
All building principals along with Dr. Adams and a few teachers attended the meeting and they answered questions thoughtfully. We meet again next week and tackle supplies, materials, and technology. For more info on what budget topics are being addressed and when, check the packet documents (under IQM2 on the School Committee section of the melroseschools site) for the 2/11/14 meeting. Let us know what you think!
Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.