Montpelier Board of School CommissionersMinutesMinutes - March 19, 2014

Minutes - March 19, 2014

  1. Call to Order The meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m.
  2. Adjust/Review Agenda The public comments portion of the meeting will take place during the budget reductions discussion.
  3. Discuss Possible Reductions for FY15 Budget/Public Comments Superintendent Ricca used a three-tiered approach for outlining possible reductions in the budget. The first tier included a further reduction in funding for the Community Connections program, identified savings for lease of a driver’s education car for Montpelier High School rather than purchase, and use of additional money from the fund balance. The second tier proposed elimination of baseball at MSMS, elimination of girls’ lacrosse and National Honor Society at MHS, and reduction of a new custodial position at UES from full time to half time. The third tier identified savings from elimination of field trips at UES, as well as FTE reductions in the areas of English, math, social studies and science at MHS. Superintendent Ricca also proposed use of an additional $65,000 from the fund balance. Superintendent Ricca’s list of items totaled approximately $233,000.

Chairwoman Aldrich then opened the floor for public comments. The Board heard many impassioned pleas from parents and other residents not to reduce the recently defeated budget any further, as well as a handful of comments supporting further cuts.

Break: 8:04-8:21 p.m.

Mrs. Aldrich addressed the need for the Board to address tonight’s suggestion from several community members to present the original budget for re-vote with no further reductions. A straw poll was taken and there was no Board support for this idea. The need for further reductions was unanimous. Mrs. Aldrich then addressed the need for the Board to decide the process for considering further reductions. The issue at hand was whether to entertain individual board member’s suggestions for cuts outside of the tiers, or limit the discussion to the items on Superintendent Ricca’s list. A straw poll was taken, with the majority of board members voting in favor of limiting the discussion for further reductions to the tiered items presented by Superintendent Ricca.

The Board then discussed each item on Superintendent Ricca’s list of proposed reductions. There was support for some of the suggestions, and no support for others. Following extensive discussion, board members agreed on a new package for reducing the proposed FY15 budget by $158,266. Included in the package were savings from reductions in the amount of $93,266. These savings included $12,500 from leasing the driver’s education car at MHS rather than purchasing, $28,406 from reducing the new custodial position at UES from full time to half time, $29,004 from a 0.4 FTE English reduction at MHS, $8,434 from elimination of girls’ lacrosse at MHS, $4,560 from elimination of baseball at MSMS, $2,288 from elimination of National Honor Society at MHS, and $8,074 from salary reductions in the assistant principal positions at MSMS and MHS. The package also included an increase in revenue from the fund balance in the amount of $65,000. With the new package, the proposed FY15 budget totals $17,891,803. Mr. Jones said he had hoped for a larger reduction and asked the Board for their commitment to exploring necessary systemic changes in order to avoid even more painful budgets in the future. Additional discussion in regard to the assistant principal position at MSMS and the technology education teacher position at Union Elementary School followed. Following that discussion, Mrs. Braun moved, seconded by Mr. Phillips, to accept the $158,266 reduction in the FY15 budget ($93,266 from reduction of expenditures and $65,000 from increase in revenue from the fund balance) for a total proposed budget in the amount of $17,891,803. Motion carried unanimously.

4.  Consent Agenda

a.  Minutes of March 5, 2014

b.  Warrants

c.  Pool Fee Increases for 2014

d.  Co-Curricular Contracts

Mr. Phillips moved, seconded by Mr. VanDerlip, to approve the consent agenda including minutes of the March 5, 2014 regular meeting, Warrants 46, 47 and 48 dated March 27, 2014 in the amounts of $759,089.58, $21,926.37 and $45,631.96 respectively, proposed pool fee increases for 2014, and a co-curricular contracts (see listing). Motion carried unanimously.

5. Announcements/Review Meeting (+/∆)

- Mr. Jones reported on a recent Vermont Schools Board Association meeting.

6. Adjournment On a motion duly made and seconded, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:56 p.m.



Heather Michaud


 Co-curricular Appointments


Barker, Scott

Tennis, Boys: Co-Coach


Cain, Brian

Golf Coach


Cain, Lilli

Tennis, Boys: Co-Coach


Chater, Myles

Lacrosse, Boys: Head Coach





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