MANCHESTER SCHOOL DISTRICT
                        BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMITTEE
                               Special Meeting
                               March 26, 2008

      The Board of School Committee met at the School Administration Offices on
Wednesday, March 26, at 6:30p.m. Present were Mayor Guinta, Vice Chair Labanaris,
and Committee Members Craig, O‟Sullivan, Herbert, Soucy, Gelinas, Beaudry, Dolman,
Cote, and Langton. Present from Administration were Acting Superintendent Aliberti;
Business Administrator, Ms. DeFrancis; and Asst. Supt. Burkush.
      Mayor Guinta presided and called the meeting to order. The Committee shared in
the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silent meditation. The clerk called the

       Mayor Guinta said the purpose of the special meeting is for a public hearing on the
Manchester School FY09 budget.
       Mr. Robert Tarr came forward. He said he wished to make recommendations or
considerations regarding the budget. Going over the proposed budget this weekend he
was a bit surprised by some of the numbers. For instance, $770,000 for additional staff,
$50,000 for maintenance projects, $200,000 for the replacement of old computers. He
said that some of those numbers are quite high. He is concerned as a taxpayer that we
need to look at the budget very closely because we are possibly headed to a recession
with the economy and obviously we need to be very frugal. The listing of maintenance
projects is very vague and it doesn‟t say what kind of maintenance projects they are. He
said “if the maintenance projects are not something that would cause harm‟s way for
students or other persons and they can be postponed he would suggest they are put off
until the next budget cycle.” There is a proposal for an attendance officer to work with
Mr. Cruikshank. Mr. Tarr said that Mr. Cruikshank has done a fabulous job with the
students in his neighborhood that he knows are truant all of the time. He knows he is
very busy. But to hire another attendance officer to work with Mr. Cruikshank is
something he thinks the District could hold off on in this budget cycle. And there is the
proposal for additional secretaries. He knows that all of the schools have secretaries and
in fact McLaughlin has 3 secretaries. He understands there is one secretary per grade.
He thinks the District should be able to hold off on additional secretaries.
       There is a proposal for an assistant superintendent for secondary at $150,000.
Obviously the budget had a typographical error as it was originally listed as $50,000. But
just looking at these items in the budget we need to be very frugal. His last
recommendation would be to look at the lunch money that is currently generated based
on current revenues of $2.6million and the expenditures of $2.5million. This leaves
about $29,000 left over for replacement of tables and other food item needs. His
recommendation would be to raise the milk price from the current cost of 25 cents to 40
cents and the lunch price from $1.70 to $1.85. This would help generate a bit more
revenue so that the District can continue to keep the food program going and for it to be
nutritionally sound. He said “again, I‟m very concerned as a taxpayer. I understand that
heating costs, fuel costs, food costs etc. go up but we have to be very considerate of the
budget we have and the kind of economy we‟re in right now and the ways and means of
the people out there that are trying to survive paycheck to paycheck. We need to be very
diligent on what we offer for our budget. Thank you for letting me speak with you.”

       Mr. Peter Sorrentino, Milford Street in ward 10, came forward. Obviously he was
here to talk about the reason for the meeting, the budget for the School District. He said
that he has owned his home on Milford Street for about 20 years and right now he pays
about $5,200 in taxes on that house. That is just under $500 a month. He thinks that is
too high but he also thinks gas prices are too high. It doesn‟t mean they‟re not set
correctly. He doesn‟t know that. For the last few years he has spent hundreds of hours
looking at the City‟s budget and also looking at the State averages. For 8 years he was a
business consultant and primarily he spent time helping large corporations in cutting
costs. He said “one of the things you always do is to look where the costs may reside. So

March 26, 2008                              1
you look at the big areas. You‟re not going to save a lot of money looking at one
individual in a company of 100,000.”
        He said “if you look at the City, clearly, one large sum of money is in the School
District. When you look at benchmarks around costs for schooling what you learn is that
we have a very economical school system. In some ways that is good, and in other ways
that is not so good. It‟s good in that we know we‟re somewhat efficient, according to
benchmarks. It‟s not so great if you want to try to reduce taxes or save money in the
school system because it‟s hard to find fat when you‟ve got that situation. How do I
know this? It‟s not a gut feeling. I‟m not emotional about this. I go to the State website
and I look at the numbers. The State publishes the average cost per student in each
municipality of the State. If you look at Manchester we are the third most efficient
district in terms of the cost per student of the almost 200 districts in the State of NH.
We‟re substantially below average in terms of what we spend per student.” He said “so I
thought well that is all well and good but you know what, maybe it is because the really
small districts aren‟t spending any money and that‟s the way it works out. But if you try
to compare, and it is difficult of course to compare like municipalities, you find that
Nashua spends substantially more than we do. Frankly the only district that is at all
similar and close to us is Salem. Salem is about comparable to ours. Everyone else
spends substantially more.‟
        He said “with that said, I‟m sure we can find things to cut here and there. But I
defy somebody to show you a substantial that will actually have a material impact on my
taxes without cutting meat, without cutting out muscle. As it is now, it‟s hard to believe
we haven‟t already done that given what is currently spent.” He said “one of the
consulting jobs I did was for Thompson Learning and one of the things that I wanted to
understand was how learning could scale. As capitalists brought up in the United States
many of us think in a capitalist way and we believe that there should be some economy of
scale. Thompson Learning believed that same thing. They believed that and because of
that they believed there were things to pursue. In fact, study after study shows there is no
economy of scale in education. I don‟t know why. My intuition tells me there should be.
I‟ve sought it out and I went looking for it and found the opposite. I went looking to cut
fat in the School District and found the opposite.”
        Mr. Sorrentino said “so I think anyone here who believes truly we‟d save a lot of
money in that area are wrong. If you go and look at all of the dollars per student spent
and you actually correlate that to standardized test scores we hear all the time that the
amount of money and test scores aren‟t related. You can do things better and smarter and
it‟s not true. Look at the data. Go to the State website. The school districts that spend
more money achieve higher test scores. That doesn‟t mean that they‟re achieving higher
test scores because they‟re spending more money but there is certainly a correlation
between those two.”
        He said “I agree that my taxes need to be reduced as most people in the City do. I
will go to the municipal budget meeting. I think if you look very carefully at the City and
you want to try to find places to cut, you‟re not going to find them in the School District,
not without even further compromising the education here. On the other hand, if you
compare the municipal side, which is a bit more difficult to do, to other municipalities
that are somewhat similar, there are certainly things that are very out-sized there. And
you could argue it‟s services-based. It‟s a bit tougher to see. The data is not quite as
accurate and it is not quite as readily available but to the extent that I looked it does
appear that there is more to be had there.”

       Kathy Staub, 374 Laurel Street, came forward. She said she is the president of the
Manchester Coalition for Quality Education and she served and is continuing to serve on
the District in Need of Improvement Monitoring Committee. She said “as budget season
is upon us again I am compelled to come here and advocate for the necessary resources to
implement the District improvement plan. If we‟re ever going to move the School
District out of the district in need of improvement status we need to invest in change. We
must commit to the kinds of strategic practices that will improve instruction which
research has shown is the very best way to improve student achievement. We need to
focus on adopting a system for managing and disseminating curriculum so that everyone
understands what students are expected to learn at each grade level, a professional
development program that provides classroom teachers with the tools and strategies they
need to ensure that every child will meet those expectations, and an assessment system to

March 26, 2008                               2
evaluate how successful we are at achieving our goals and to give our teachers the
information they need to identify what their students need.”
       She said “as always the problem is how to keep the plane flying while you redesign
it. This year the School District committed to 2% raises for nearly every employee which
combined with rising costs for utilities, benefits, and everything else is going to present a
real challenge, particularly in the light of the current economy. What will be required is
some innovative thinking and it may be that everything needs to be put on the table and
scrutinized for its effectiveness. This is going to be very difficult and I think that this
might be a good time to introduce transparency to our budget process.” She said that in
previous years the public has received conflicting and sometimes misleading information
about where the money is going and what it is being spent on. What is needed is full
disclosure. She called the Nashua School District to find out how they are able to make a
line-item budget available on line to everyone. She was told that their on-line budget is
based on the DOE-25 form that every school district, including this one, files with the
State. She asked if any special software was required for this and she was told that they
are using a 20-year old system that runs on DOS. She said “I guess where there is a will
there is a way. I think that at this crucial time in our history we need to come clean. We
need to put everything on the table and everyone needs to know what is going on. We all
need to have the same information so that we can move forward and figure out how we‟re
going to change things to make them better for our kids and our Community.”

       Mayor Guinta asked if anyone else wished to speak. There was no else. He asked
Dr. Aliberti to present the budget.
       Dr. Aliberti said this evening they were here to present the Manchester School
District budget as adopted by the School Board for 2008-2009. He thanked the Board
members and the public for being in attendance this evening and he appreciates the
public‟s comments. He said they certainly would consider those as they go through the
budget process. Ms. DeFrancis and he would be presenting the budget overview as
adopted. To begin with he would do a brief overview. The public could focus their
attention to the projection screen that has the various slides that will be talked about this
       He said that this budget is a progressive budget. It provides for items that the
District needs in order to move forward. He will review some of those. It is a 4%
increase over the FY08 allocation. It represents approximately a $5.8million increase in
expenditures. There are no position eliminations in this budget. There are no program
eliminations in this budget. This budget presently will support the current level of
allocations for supplies and textbooks. It also supports the City‟s recommendations for
services to maintain the school buildings and other services such as nursing services to
the students within our schools. It also supports anticipated increases in other line items
of the budget; for example, salaries and benefits, fixed costs such as electricity and oil
and gas and these types of costs.
       It adds the following items to the budget such as $50,000 for maintenance projects.
Many people know that the District has completed a $105million renovation project in
the City. That included a lot of renovations and upgrades to the elementary schools as
well as to the middle and high schools. By including funds for maintenance within the
City services and also for other unforeseen maintenance issues we‟re able to maintain the
buildings at an appropriate level so that type of expenditure of $105million won‟t be
needed in the future. It also includes $33,000 for grant-transferred positions. Presently
we have some positions that are funded through grants. This refers specifically to the
Manchester School of Technology. Under the Perkins Grant associated with the School
of Technology, we have a teacher as well as 2 other para-professional positions that we
are going to transfer from the grant which no longer will fund those positions into the
General Fund. Thus that $33,000 shows up here. Dr. Aliberti said “some of you in the
audience may be thinking that a teacher is more than $33,000 and it certainly is but
because we‟ve been able to transfer other positions out of the General Fund into grant
positions we come up with a net cost to the General Fund of $33,000.”
       There are community partnerships. We have partnerships with programs that help
support our students such as the STAY Program and the TAP Program and we also have
the NHJAGS Program. The allocations for these programs for next year would be
       Another addition is additional workdays for elementary school secretaries. As
everyone knows we‟ve had 4 school cancellations this year. The State requires us to

March 26, 2008                                3
complete end-of-the-year school enrollment reports for our students. Each student in the
District has an identification number. The State tracks these students based on those
numbers. Our drop-out rates are calculated based on these identification numbers etc.
etc. We need these additional funds so that we can pay some of the secretaries at the
elementary level additional days so that they can complete those reports according to the
timeframe the State requires them.
       Regarding additional staff, we have approximately $707,000 for additional staff.
There is approximately $303,000 for math resources. Dr. Aliberti asked “what does that
mean? We presently are using an outdated math program throughout the elementary
level. This was stated by one of the speakers this evening. We are a district in need of
improvement. As part of that process we‟ve identified certain committees to establish
and make recommendations to the School District. One of those committees is the
Curriculum Committee. Part of their work was to develop a review cycle for all of the
curriculum that we use within the District. This year at the elementary level we are in the
process of identifying materials that we want to bring in to the elementary schools, pre-K
to 5, for students to use to learn mathematics. Right now there are teachers in the District
as well as administrators who are reviewing over 11 different math programs to make that
decision and selection for one. This money would help purchase those materials for
students in grades pre-K through 5.”
       The purchase of a student information system is an expenditure of approximately
$264,000. What is a student information system? Some of you probably know we have
the Redeker system. Doesn‟t Redeker do what we want to have done? Well, it doesn‟t.
What we‟re looking for is a system that would prepare a data base of all test scores for
students. We can access this data base, sort based on student characteristics, not only
gender and grade level but the number of days that they attend, the tardies, as well as
different ethnic categories. This is important for us for teachers to access this material so
that when they assess students they receive that test data and they can compare the
various assessments that we use. Not just the State assessment, the NECAP, but also
local assessments that we have in place. We have assessments for language arts as well
as for mathematics. This spring we‟ll be giving the State‟s science assessment. This is
all data that teachers can use and access on a regular basis and it‟s important to have that
access. Is it just used within the schools? No, it isn‟t. There are modules of this program
that would allow parents to access their own students‟ information so that they could see
up-to-date information on how their kids are performing just by getting on line and
having an access code and accessing the system.
       For the West academy model we are allocating $274,000. People may have heard
some information about the West academy model. People know that we are losing
students out of West High School. In an effort to bring some educational initiative and
innovation to West High School a group of individuals has really over at least a 2-2 ½
year period developed an academy model for West High School. This would fund that
       There is $200,000 for the replacement of old computers. The District has
computers that we are unable to really access the current system and software because of
their operating systems. We don‟t have enough computers for all students to utilize
within their daily academic lives. This $200,000 would help purchase and replace older
computers. We‟re looking at purchasing over 200 computers with this money. Also,
there is $126,000 allocated for equipment sub-notebooks. That student information
system and the systems that we have in place now that teachers can access for data or test
scores and so on and so forth is great if they have the equipment to access those websites.
They don‟t. These sub-notebooks are a very simple computer system. It‟s a solid-state
notebook. It doesn‟t have a hard drive but it has memory within it. It can access web-
based computer sites. That is important. These units sell for approximately $300-$400 a
piece. We would be able to purchase this type of equipment and get it into the hands of
the teachers that have the older operating systems that they can‟t access or run current
       Dr. Aliberti said he would go through the additional staff positions that he
mentioned earlier. There are 11 staff positions that were identified. He asked “are these
the only staff requests that the Administration received?” He said “certainly not. We
received over 100 different staff positions requests. But these were prioritized based on
our district in need of improvement plan, high school accreditation, as well as special
education law.”

March 26, 2008                               4
       Central High School needs a special education teacher based on the caseload and
students that we have at Central High School. At Memorial High School they‟re looking
at an additional half-time guidance counselor to address accreditation issues. There is a
District elementary music teacher. Since 2000 the District has added 17 full-time
kindergarten classes to the District. What does that mean? Full-time classrooms access
the specials that we have for regular classrooms. In other words, they have library and
they have art and they have music. We have not added teachers since that time. We‟ve
added an additional art teacher in the past to address that additional load at the
elementary level but we have not added an additional music teacher. Also, there is a
request for an attendance officer. There was a comment made this evening by the public
about an attendance officer. We have had a law passed that increases the attendance age
for students. We have over 17,000 students in the District and we have one attendance
officer. An additional attendance officer would help in assisting to make sure that
students stay in school and get to school. Why is that important? Well as everyone well
knows, students that are in school are learning. If they‟re out of school they‟re not
learning and they are potentially getting into mischief. Another request is for a Central
business teacher. We have now a computer technology requirement. This teacher would
help to meet that requirement at Central High School. This is a State requirement.
       Also, there is a request for a curriculum coordinator for half time because the other
part of this salary would be paid through federal funds. A curriculum coordinator is
based on a DINI recommendation. A district of this size should have a curriculum
coordinator. Dr. Aliberti said that he looked at a survey of 32 school districts in NH and
out of the 32 responding 12 or 16 of them had a full-time curriculum coordinator. Those
systems are all much smaller than we are. Regarding an assistant elementary principal,
last year the School Board adopted a phase-in plan for establishing additional assistant
principals at the elementary level. The phase-in plan was for one principal for the 1st year
and then 2 in the 2nd year and 2 in the 3rd year. This would begin that phase-in process.
       As part of the Technology Department‟s request, there is a request for a technology
trainer and also for a data and assessment coordinator. The coordinator request is coming
through the DINI plan. These individuals are working in coordination with the additional
computer equipment that we‟d be picking up in the District as well as trying to approach
and provide training for staff and others on how to access our data bases as well to get
that information out to the public and to the parents.
       Every elementary school has one secretary. That does meet the State requirement.
But when you look at schools that are approaching 600 and 700 students such as Beech
Street School and Northwest Elementary School those secretaries are tremendously over-
worked. They are constantly monitoring visitors to the school as well as answering
phone calls, registering students, and doing their daily functions within the day. An
additional secretary at these 2 schools would assist in the efficiency of how those schools
are operated.
       Lastly, there is the assistant superintendent for secondary position. There was an
error on the District‟s website. I thank Mr. Tarr for pointing that out. When the
information was scanned it wasn‟t picked up when it was placed on the website. This
position was eliminated 2 years ago and the District is seeking to bring that position back
as part of the administrative team with the new superintendent that is coming on board.
       Dr. Aliberti said “I hope that has provided you with an overview of our budget
request as well as an explanation of the positions that are being requested.” At this time
he would turn the hearing over to Ms. DeFrancis to take the Board and the public through
the more difficult process of explaining the numbers that are on the pages.

       Ms. DeFrancis said she would walk through the expenditure line items. The
salaries and benefits account for 71% of the total bottom line and the total budget the
District is asking for is $153,108,326. The top 6 areas of the budget are the salaries and
benefits, the 2 transportation lines, the tuition line, the utilities, the City services, and the
debt service. Those 6 areas make up 95% of the budget. Ms. DeFrancis said „as a
taxpayer pointed out earlier there is not a lot of room in here to decrease the budget.
These items are fixed costs that as long as we have these employees on board we need to
provide the salaries and benefits that go along with it.”
       To touch a bit on the salaries, included in the salaries are all of the current
employees and they have been set up for raises and steps for next year. In addition to the
current employees they‟ve added the new positions that Dr. Aliberti spoke about earlier.
In addition to the regular salaries there are other things included in the salary line item.

March 26, 2008                                  5
There are ed pays for our BLICs and our mentors. There are the grant-transferred
positions that Dr. Aliberti spoke about. There are the athletic salaries for $742,000.
There are the extra-curricula stipends for $290,000. There is the severance for the
retirees. There are 51 teacher retirees this coming year. That cost for the severance is
$1,753,000. They have been able to offset the salary costs by replacing those teachers at
a lower salary. The District will save about $1million by doing that. Another highlight
of the salaries is the substitute line item that accounts for about $1million of the salary
line. In total the salaries are $79,841,194.
        The next line item would be the employee benefits. The total benefits are almost
$29million. If one were to divide that by the total salaries of $79,841,194 you would
come up with a percent of 36.3%. That means that for every $50,000 we pay in a salary
we have to pay $18,150 in benefits.
        The health insurance accounts for 55% of the total benefits. That cost is
anticipated to be about $16million or $15,865,000. That assumes a 5.8% increase in our
health insurance and it as well adds the new positions assuming those individuals would
take the health insurance. The next item would be the dental insurance and that assumes
a 10% increase.
        The next 3 items, line items #240, #242, and #243, are the professional
development line item and tuition lines. These are in accordance with the collective
bargaining agreements. Our professional services, line item #322, consists of our special
education consultants for items such as nursing services and speech therapists. It also
includes our legal and audit fees. Line item #340 is contracted services for $374,000.
That includes our waste management for solid waste and recycling pick-up as well as
athletics for referees and ticket-takers and different areas of athletics. Our repairs and
maintenance line item for $450,000 covers our copier maintenance on all of the copiers in
the District. Also, it accounts for any repairs that have to be done on our computers. It
also accounts for the maintenance on our elevators, alarms, and our intercom systems.
        The rental of land and buildings, line item #441, at $666,000 is for the lease of our
modular classrooms, our Easter Seals building which is where the preschool and Wilson
kindergarten is housed, the Commercial Street office that we‟re in today, and also our
warehouse. The rental of equipment line for $90,000, 99% of that is for copiers.
        The next 2 line items are for transportation. We have $2.6million for our regular
ed transportation and another $2.6million for our special education transportation. Our
insurance line item for $248,000 is for our property insurance on our buildings. Ms.
DeFrancis said “just a note on that, we are actually self insured for the first $100,000 so
any claim that we have for up to $100,000 we would have to pay for first before the
insurance would kick in.”
        The next line item is for telephone. This covers our local and long distance as well
as the maintenance of our telephone systems. Postage is for the mailing of our
documents. Advertising is for our personnel recruitment as well as our bid postings. The
next line item of printing and binding covers our book rebinding that we do at the end of
the year over the summertime before school starts as well as the printing of our school
handbooks and forms.
        Tuition at $6.4million is for special education out-of-District costs as well as for
our Ombudsman Program. Travel and conference fees is for the mileage reimbursements
that we reimburse our employees at the IRS rate in accordance with the collective
bargaining agreements. Supplies is for classroom and administrative supplies including
paper, lumber, and toner, as well as other classroom supplies. The next 3 line items are
utilities that would cover our heating and our lights. Books and subscriptions are at just
over a million dollars, $1.1million, and that would cover materials for classrooms and the
library which includes textbooks, workbooks, and subscriptions. Library books for
$30,000 is to update the current collection of our library books. Our equipment line item
is at $866,000. This is for computers as well as for special education equipment that is
needed. Also, as Dr. Aliberti pointed out, we do have $200,000 in there for the
replacement of old computers. There is $126,000 for the sub-notebooks and $264,000 for
the student information system.
        The furniture and fixtures line item is at $30,000. That is a small amount.
Basically we just cover any emergency or safety or special education furniture that is
needed. Dues and fees include principal dues which is in accordance with the collective
bargaining agreement as well as we have the NH School Boards Association and the New
England Association of Schools and Colleges and some other dues and fees that we pay
in that line item. Our City services are for the various City departments that we work

March 26, 2008                               6
with. Under Parks & Recreation the budget that they have requested is $617,000 and that
would include the services for our school grounds as well as the plowing of our facilities.
It also includes the athletics‟ maintenance of the fields and facilities as well as the rental
of Gill Stadium. The Highway Department sweeps our parking lots and that budget
would be $5,000. The Building Maintenance Department is for the repair and
maintenance of our buildings including custodial and preventive maintenance contracts
with Aramark. That budget is $5.8million. The Health Department provides nurses at
our schools. That is $1.7million. And the Police Department covers our Resource
Officers and crossing guards at $535,000.
       Our graduation costs are anticipated to be $25,000. That would be for the rental of
the Verizon Arena as well as for diplomas and ramps that we have to rent along with
some other costs involved with graduation. Community partnerships include our
Southern NH 21st Century Program, our YMCA STAY and TAP Programs, and our
       The debt service is the debt on the additions and renovations to our buildings. That
number is given to us by the City Finance Department. The maintenance projects at
$50,000 was actually eliminated out of the current year‟s budget and we found it is
difficult when we get an emergency or safety need and we don‟t have the money to fix
some of those items. So we would like to put $50,000 back in the budget for that.
       That would bring things for the total expenditure budget of $153,108,326.

       Ms. DeFrancis referred to the revenue side of the budget. The first 4 items come
from the State. The first is the Adequate Education Aid. The $49million represents the
same dollar amounts that we are getting in FY08. There is no increase to that number for
FY09. The School Building Aid is just over $2million and that is our entitlement for
completed building projects that we‟ve done in the past. Our Area Vocational Aid is
$528,000 and that is based on the tuition costs of attending out-of-District students at our
vocational school. The Catastrophic Aid is at $500,000. That is based on eligible
       There are 2 items under the federal revenues. They are our ROTC Program which
is a reimbursement from the Government for a portion of the ROTC Program. And the
Medicaid $1.1million is based on services provided to eligible students.
       The next few items are considered our local revenues. The first item is our
operating tuition. That is what the sending towns; Hooksett, Auburn, Candia, and
approximately 225 Bedford students will be paying us next year at a per student cost of
$7,500. We also have our preschool special education tuition and vocational educational
tuition as well in that line item. The tuition for the capital costs would be from Hooksett,
Auburn, and Candia and that represents their share of the addition and renovations costs
to our high schools. Pupil activities are the gate receipts that are collected at the athletic
games. The interest income is the interest earned on our investments. Our indirect costs
are at $300,000 from what we would receive from the grants. That covers our
administrative costs as well as building overhead. There is actually a rate that is
designated by the State at the beginning of the year.
       The remainder that we need to collect through taxes is $87,247,196. That is
needed in order to balance the total budget of $153million.

       The final page tonight refers to the District‟s School Food & Nutrition Services
Program. Ms. DeFrancis said “we are not anticipating a price increase for fiscal year ‟09.
The total revenues budgeted are $5,826,500. Our federal reimbursement is 49% of that.
That is based on the federal reimbursement rates established by the Government.
       There are a few highlights regarding the expenditures. There are the salaries and
benefits that account for 43% of the budget. Under the salaries, that would include the
kitchen staff, the drivers, and the administration. Under the professional services, line
item #322, for $46,000, that is for the registered dietician. Line item #340, contract work
for $30,000, would cover several things including pest control at the schools, our armored
car service, and maintenance of the fire suppression systems.
       The food is the next highlight. The $2.5million represents 44% of the total
expenditures. Again, the total expenditures agree with the revenues of $5,826,500.
       Ms. DeFrancis said this concluded the presentation.

     Vice Chair Labanaris noted that Mayor Guinta had been called away. She asked if
any Board member had anything to add. Comm. Beaudry said he had a question on the

March 26, 2008                                7
benefits. He said “we always use 32 or 33% for benefits but now it is up to 36.3%. What
made that significant change?‟ Ms. DeFrancis said “in the budget book there is detail on
that. Back in FY04 the rate was 29.1%, in ‟05 it went to 30.4%, in ‟06 it was 30.7%, in
‟07 it was 33.3%, and in ‟08 we‟re projecting 34.7% and the 36.3% is what we expect for
‟09. So it has been gradually increasing over the years. The majority of that would be
our health insurance. We started out in FY04 at $11,221,000 and we‟re anticipating
almost $16million in FY09.” Comm. Beaudry asked “and that is with the new rate that
came in?” Ms. DeFrancis said that was correct.
       Comm. Dolman said he had a question on the transportation. He asked “does the
transportation on the student services include the $400,000 that the federal government is
taking away from us from the Medicaid money?” Ms. DeFrancis said “actually that
would be on the revenue side. If you look at our revenues you can see that we‟re
expecting our Medicaid revenues reimbursement to be $1.1million. Typically that would
be $1.5million. So we‟ve reduced our revenues because we would not collect that
transportation piece from the Government.” Comm. Dolman said “OK but now we‟re
going to have to pay to transport those students aren‟t we?” Ms. DeFrancis said “we
currently do pay for that as well.”
       Comm. Dolman asked a question about the ROTC Program. He said there is a
portion that the Federal Government gives but what portion does the local level pay for
the ROTC Program? Ms. DeFrancis said “we pay the salary in accordance with the MEA
schedule for those 2 individuals.”

      Vice Chair Labanaris said that this being a special meeting of the Board of School
Committee for a public hearing on the Manchester School District FY09 budget no other
business could come before the Committee. She called for a recess in the meeting to go
into non-public session for the discussion of a personnel matter. Comm. Beaudry made
the motion to recess the meeting. Comm. Soucy seconded the motion. After a roll call
vote a recess was in effect. Comm. Kruse had arrived at this time. Asst. Supt. Burkush
and Ms. DeFrancis both left the meeting at this time.
      The Committee was in recess for the discussion of a personnel matter. Comm.
Kruse made a motion to return to public session. Comm. Craig seconded the motion.
The motion passed by unanimous vote.
      Comm. Cote made a motion to accept the Acting Superintendent’s
recommendation to appoint Shelly Larochelle as the new principal of Northwest
Elementary School. Comm. Langton seconded the motion. The motion passed by
unanimous vote. The Committee expressed congratulations to Shelly!

      Comm. Soucy made a motion to go into non-public session once again for the
discussion of another personnel matter and for a legal matter. Comm. Craig seconded the
motion. Following a roll call vote the Committee returned to non-public session.
      Comm. Gelinas made a motion to return to public session. Comm. Beaudry
seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote. Comm. Soucy made a
motion to seal the minutes of the non-public session for the purpose that legal strategies
and a personnel matter were discussed. Comm. Gelinas seconded the motion. The
motion passed by majority vote; Comm. Kruse voted in opposition of the motion.
      Comm. Kruse made a motion to direct the Superintendent to enter into
negotiations with the Business Administrator, Ms. DeFrancis, for a new two-year
contract beginning July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2010, upon approval by the Full Board.
Comm. Beaudry seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote.

     Comm. Gelinas made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Comm. Craig seconded the
motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 9:52p.m.


Suzanne O. Sears
Clerk of the Board

March 26, 2008                              8
March 26, 2008   9

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