School Committee Again to Tussle With Budget, Common Core

The agenda for the Barrington School Committee meeting tonight, Jan. 23, includes more input on the 2014-2015 budget and the Common Core State Standards.

Barrington School Committee Chairperson Kate Brody. Credit: W.Rupp
Barrington School Committee Chairperson Kate Brody. Credit: W.Rupp
More input on the 2014-2015 budget and a discussion of the Common Core State Standards top the agenda for the Barrington School Committee meeting tonight, Jan. 23.

The meeting will be held in the School Committee Meeting Room in Town Hall. It starts at 7:30 pm.

Budget input will come this week from the school principals, the School Committee and the public, according to the agenda.

Finance Director Ron Tarro provided input on a framework for the budget at the most recent meeting of the board on Jan. 16. He said a "realistic budget for all stakeholders" is one that is zero-based; monitors enrollment, which will be stable for a few years before declining; financially responsible and transparent; efficiently reallocatess resources, and is utilitizes financial indicators, such as real estate values and the changing demographics in Barrington.

Tarro said some of the most significant factors and influences on the budget are the cost of all-day kindergarten; state aid; salary increases for certified staff; and pension contributions and the cost of health insurance. He also pointed out that starting in FY '16, state funding will be based on enrollment.

The Common Core standards have come under increasing criticism from the Barrington-based citizens group, Stop Common Core RI, which includes School Committee member Scott Fuller, a vocal opponent of the current implementation plan what he sees is a loss of local control over the district's curriculum.
Here is the complete agenda for tonight's meeting:

Government Center, 283 County Road
January 23, 2014
7:30 p.m. 

A.     PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE (approx. 7:30 – 7:32 p.m.)                                                                                                      
B.     ACHIEVEMENT RECOGNITION (approx. 7:32 – 7:35 p.m.) 
C.     BPS SPOTLIGHT ON TEACHING AND LEARNING (approx. 7:35 – 7:40 p.m.) 
D.     INFORMATION AND PROPOSALS (approx. 7:40 – 8:20 p.m.)
1.      Elementary Differentiated Instruction / Enrichment
2.      Budget Input (Principals, School Committee & Public) 
E.      GENERAL PUBLIC DISCUSSION AND INFORMATION (approx. 8:20 – 8:30 p.m.) 
F.      OLD BUSINESS (approx. 8:30 – 9:10 p.m.)
Superintendent and Staff
1.      Budget Update
2.      Strategic Communication Plan Update     
School Committee
1.      All Day Kindergarten Task Force Update
2.      Governance Workshop
3.      District Website School Committee Link
4.      Common Core State Standards Discussion 
G.     NEW BUSINESS (approx. 9:10 – 9:12 p.m.)
Superintendent and Staff
1.      Personnel
Emotional Regulation Specialist 
School Committee 
H.     DECISION ITEMS (approx. 9:12 – 9:13 p.m.) 
I.        DISCUSSION ITEMS (approx. 9:13 – 9:20 p.m.)
1.      Discussion Future Agenda Items
2.      General Discussion to Guide Future Recommendations 
J.       GENERAL PUBLIC DISCUSSION AND INFORMATION (approx. 9:20 – 9:30 p.m.) 
EXECUTIVE SESSION (approx. 9:30 – 10:00 p.m.) Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws:Section 42-46-5(a)(1) for personnel;Section 42-46-5(a)(1) for Superintendent evaluation;Section 42-46-5(a)(3) for discussion relative to school buildings security issues; andSection 42-46-5(a)(8) for discussion relative to student disciplinary hearings.  


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