Yesterday I got an email from another parent, saying that most if not all Boston public schools are facing substantial budget cuts next year.
For example, Winship Elementary (where my son goes) shows a WSF allocation of $2,867,109 for FY14 (http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/108/Budget%20Resources/7._fy14_wsf_budgets_by_school_20130202.pdf page 115) and a projected WSF allocation of $2,349,227 for FY15 (http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/184/FY15%20budget%20resources/FY15%20Allocations_2015.02.05.pdf page 3) — a decrease of $517,882 or 18%.
Are schools getting that big a cut? Or am I comparing numbers that sound as though they correspond, but don’t really? Or is the budget shifting from WSF (weighted student funding) allocation to some other mechanism? Or what?
We’ll try to get answers. My impression is that the budget is tight overall, but does not involve an overall cut. State education aid to Boston is roughly flat. There is money moving around among schools, in part based on enrollment. But let us get a better answer for you.
I have pasted below the reply from Mayor Walsh’s Government Relations Director. If you need more information, just get in touch with us again and we will research the answers.
Barbara Miranda, Chief of Staff to Senator Brownsberger
BPS is still using the Weighted Student Funding model, this has not changed. The BPS FY15 budget allocates $5 million more to schools through WSF compared to last year, but under this model just over half of the schools will see budget reductions and just under half will have budget increases. The key factor is corrections in our FY14 enrollment projections: Just over half of our schools are experiencing reductions in enrollment projections, driven mainly by over-projections in FY14 and corrections for FY15 based on actual enrollment trends.
I think the most helpful resource is here: http://bostonpublicschools.org/budget and the attachment shows specific FY14 vs. FY15 enrollment and budget changes for Winship Elem.
If this parent has additional questions, please let me know and I can connect him/her with someone in BPS central office/finance who can dive into more specific details.
Thanks, Barbara. Dan, let us know if we can help you dig further.
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