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City of Framingham School Committee Votes To Approve Fiscal Year 2019 Budget For The Public School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/4/18
Chair, Framingham School Committee
Media & Communications Manager
Framingham Public Schools
CITY OF FRAMINGHAM SCHOOL COMMITTEE VOTES TO APPROVE FISCAL YEAR 2019 BUDGET FOR THE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
An equity based funding model proposing fiscally responsible investments now goes before the Mayor and then City Council for review and enactment
Framingham, MA - Last night the City of Framingham’s School Committee voted 9-0 to support the Superintendent’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019. This budget is built upon the philosophy of investing in academic achievement; responsible spending with sensitivity to community budget needs; access and equity models; continued streamlining of operations; creating opportunities for innovation; and data-driven decision making. Totaling $133 million, this budget funds the district’s education efforts in numerous departments, as well as at BLOCKS Preschool, nine elementary schools, three middle schools, Framingham High School, and the Thayer Campus.
“Building this budget from the ground up, together with the entire leadership team, has been an important step in developing a shared vision for the future of the Framingham Public Schools. Prioritizing spending to address identified inequities across the district while simultaneously creating opportunities for greater student achievement are among the key goals of this budget package,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Tremblay, “I am proud to work alongside of our School Committee to take our district to the next level using the Strategic Plan as the roadmap and the budget as the fuel to drive this important work.”
Fully aligned with the new Framingham Public Schools Strategic Plan 2017-2020: Where Every Child Can and Will Reach High Levels of Achievement, school improvement plans at all individual schools, and state standards; this forward looking budget creates a better pathway to optimize student success. The budget was developed with transparency in mind, with public forums, meetings, workshops, and web-based communications from the Fall of 2017 to the present. Three Superintendent Budget Workshops with the Mayor, City Council Finance Subcommittee Chair, and School Committee were held, as were FY19 budget updates and discussions at six School Committee Meetings. In full compliance with Article VI of the City Charter, the School Committee held a public hearing on the budget on March 21, 2018.
“At this critical time in Framingham’s history, we believe that this responsibly crafted budget is the plan we need to begin a long term strategy to make transformational change in support of student achievement,” said Adam Freudberg, Chair of the Framingham School Committee, District 4. “Together with our Superintendent, the School Committee is an enthusiastic and willing partner ready to appear before the Mayor and City Council as we seek final authorization in a timely manner so this important work can begin, and residents in school communities across the city’s nine districts can benefit from our collective investments.”
The FY19 Budget’s New Investments:
- Financial support to Athletic Department to offset the loss of Athletic Fee revenue, as the athletic fees for the 2018-2019 school year are eliminated
- Supporting Our Bilingual Department
- Dual Language Portuguese Bilingual Program at Potter Road
- Seal of Biliteracy Initiative - Award given in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in two or more languages by high school graduation
- New Bilingual education teachers and support
- Preparing for School Expansion
- Addition of one new grade and a new bus at King Elementary School, as they add 4th grade for the first time
- Supporting Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Career and College Readiness
- Innovation Grants for all School Councils to encourage new programming that drives achievement
- New college and career initiatives and partnerships to support high school students
- Providing New Tools and Personnel to Reduce Student Stress & Anxiety
- Targeted investments to support the social, emotional, and behavioral health needs of our students
- Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Coach from part time to full time
- To foster Social, Emotional and Behavioral Learning (SEB)
- Part Time Assistant Director of Health and Wellness also to become full time to support the department and SEB
- Strengthening School Safety & Security
- New position of Director of Safety and Security
- Part time Safety Coordinator under the Out of School Time and Community Resource and Development Department in the High School
- Long-term Planning, Communications, and Professional Development Supports
- Supporting our educators with responsible cost of living and steps increases
- New Media & Communications Manager to strengthen communications between FPS and families, as well as ramp up social media, and reform the FPS website
- Part time Principal Mentor
- Ed Gotgart as a part time contract employee to continue to co-chair the School Building Committee including Fuller Middle School Building project and to help work on long-term enrollment projections and planning
The budget’s equity-based model restructures how monies have been allocated to schools in the past by developing cost centers for streamlining of purchases and for alignment of curriculum. This reform seeks to fairly provide resources relative to school need.
With any budget comes the need to plan for year to year drivers. This fiscal year, the FPS has carefully planned for projected increases in enrollment, English language learners, special education, and staffing (as it is a collective bargaining year with six contracts currently in the re-negotiation process). Meeting social and emotional needs, as well as language needs, providing support for students who struggle due to the effects of poverty, homelessness, lack of mental health services, as well as those students who have interrupted or limited formal education, are some of the reasons for the budget’s carefully thought out investments for our students.
This budget, in accordance with the City Charter, has now been submitted to the Mayor. This on time budget submission by the School Committee now allows the Mayor sufficient time to review and add the Framingham Public School’s Budget to the total municipal operating budget the Mayor is required to submit to the City Council.
The FY19 Budget Book can be found at https://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/SchoolCommittee/Budget
The Framingham School Committee is responsible for exercising co-leadership with Superintendent Dr. Tremblay in the vision, planning, policy making, evaluation, and advocacy for the mission of continuous improvement of student achievement in the district. Together, they are all committed to providing the highest quality education for all students and strive to do so while staying within the appropriation from the city.