Introduction to 2010-2011 Budget Discussion

Board meeting: December 15, 2009

Tonight, the Superintendent for Schools, David Fleishman and the Assistant Superintendent for Business John Chow will be giving the Board of Education and the community preliminary background information about the 2010-2011 school year budget. Hopefully this year's budget will be as well received as last year's final budget that was approved by 82% of the voters. As was mentioned in the first presentation tonight, one of the drivers to successfully developing a budget will be getting community input. Community feedback is one of the significant inputs the Board will consider when we use our "best judgment" to finalize a budget for the entire community.

I expect the information given tonight will help the Board guide the administration for when it presents its recommended budget in February. The numbers presented tonight DO NOT represent a proposed budget, nor do they indicate anything other than what it would cost the district taxpayers to roll this year's programs forward to next year. They are not estimates or anticipated numbers nor are they projections. These numbers are simply a marker or basis to begin the discussion. This is the start of the process. A process that we expect will take time and will require compromise.

I want to make one last point before we begin. In my discussions with NewCastleNow over the weekend they indicated to me that there were people in the community who thought the Board agreed on a budget and presented it as a fait accompli. That cannot be further from the truth. This is the first time the Board has seen the presentation. All of our deliberations are in public. We come in with no group consensus or predetermined agreement. Like you, tonight we listen, we ask, and we comment. We only come to consensus as a Board at the end of the process.