I was not at the TESD meeting last night – I was at Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors Meeting. (See last post, ‘Control of Tredyffrin Township in the Hands of 4 . . . Residents Will Now Play by Their Rules!’)
I have received several emails, telephone calls and also comments for Community Matters in regards to the School Board meeting and the standing room only crowd. Last night the School Board Directors decided with a 6-3 vote to limit the district tax increase to the Act 1 index of 2.9%. For many taxpayers this represented a complete reversal of where the last few days appeared to be heading . . . especially with the lobbying efforts of TEES Union President Debra Ciamacca. The school district teachers (and some of the T/E parents) were hopeful that the School Board would vote in favor of applying for Act 1 exception which could conceivably have sent the district tax increase to nearly 7%.
With a proposed 2010-11 school budget indicating a deficit of $9.2 million, it is difficult to understand exactly where the administration and School Board members will propose cuts . . . remembering that program cuts can translate in to teacher furloughs. Ray Clark provided us with some of his observations on last night’s TESD meeting. His remarks can be found here. Ray points to the February 8 Finance Committee as the next step in the district budget timeline. In anticipation of another large audience, it is suggested that the School Board relocate the meeting to the school auditorium.
I am anxious to get the dialogue going about the school budget; what does last night’s meeting represent for the school district? How will the School Board and administration prioritize the program cutting that will be required to meet the remaining deficit? Will the teachers and parents have any influence on the decisions?
Between the School District meeting and the Board of Supervisors meeting, last night represented a night of decisions that could have a long-lasting effect on our community. I look forward to hearing from you on both topics.