Good Afternoon Norm and Jerry,

Hope you and your families are doing well during this most trying time for everyone.

Jerry, I appreciated the opportunity on Saturday to discuss the concerns brought up in the note from you and Norm, to the Hampton School Board and me.

Let me describe to you the actions that have been taken by the school board since March to address potential revenue shortfalls. In early March I requested a budget freeze and the SB supported this effort.

Only purchase orders essential for the work were approved. PO’s in the system that were not essential were cancelled. All Professional Development and training sessions were cancelled. Once the “State of Emergency” was declared by the Governor,the substitute lines in the budget were closed, All bus contracts (regular Ed and Special Ed) were renegotiated to support only the payment for drivers. Major projects have been placed on hold i.e. repair to the district pickup truck( winter use only).

Mr Lessard dropped all the heating requirements and by virtue of closed classrooms the electricity demand has been reduced. All end of the year expenditures for graduation and celebrations have been cancelled. All of the spring extra curricular stipends will not be paid. 

We have had some expenses related to the pandemic, in order to conduct remote learning. However those expenses will be refunded through the Federal Government’s CARE Grant. Below is a sample of those expenses that are eligible;               

  • Cleaning products to sanitize all areas of the schools
  • Electronic signature program
  • Online student registration program 
  • Bus costs associated with drivers (regular education as well as special education)
  • Technology support i.e. “kajeets (hot spots providing access to the internet), replacement parts, additional chromebooks and charges
  • General supplies, ink, paper etc. 
  • Food Service expenses including food items as well as supplies not a  part of the lunch program

On Tuesday the SB voted to enact a freeze on several vacant positions and charged the administration to develop additional recommendations for the 2020-21 school budget. They expect a report at their May 12th SB meeting.

SAU 90 is working closely with SAU 21 since we share families and we are both committed to working with the town of Hampton to be partners in this work.

We understand the current situation and the impact it has on our citizens.

I am preparing a press release to the community to address this issue and to inform the public of the actions taken by the Hampton School Board.

Please do not hesitate to contact me (401-1123) if you have any questions.

Jerry and Norm, you have always reached out with inquiries, I hope this relationship will continue.

Best Regards,
Kathleen A. Murphy
Superintendent
Hampton School District SAU 90
7 Scott Road
(603) 926-4560
kmurphy@sau90.org

Potential Revenue Shortfalls

One thought on “Potential Revenue Shortfalls

  • April 27, 2020 at 11:30 am
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    Kathleen, thank you very much for your response to our communication on what the schools are doing to reduce costs as a result of the pandemic. It is expected that revenue shortfalls will affect the town and schools as well as the State, which will all magnify the problem. We recognize the SAU90 actions to date that you have taken and the transparency associated with your recent 4/24/2020 online posting to the public, which was very helpful.

    We recognize the costs you have occurred as a result of the pandemic that will be covered via the Federal “Care Grant” to some extent, but there are areas that we are still anxious about. Our comments follow:

    1) Of all actions stipulated what were the cumulative dollar savings to date that will help the community and what % will be the projected savings to the overall end of the 2019/2020 budget year.

    2) We see no labor cost saving yet labor makes up the majority of the SAU90 budget (80%) and presents the largest opportunity for savings now that the schools are shuttered and will be for all of May and June. We question whether earmarking all personnel as essential is correct.  We suggest, if it’s not already happening, that all labor driven accounts be scrutinized such as regular and special education, guidance, health services, support services and related student services.
                          
    a)  Some specific examples to the above accounts immediately come to mind such as the need for 50 paraprofessionals (we realize some are grant financed)? What about librarians, guidance counselors, therapists and the like. Are all janitors, hall and cafeteria monitors, crossing guards, 100 plus teachers and cafeteria workers, necessary?  We see school being over except for the educational programing effort and we feel that there is a lot of cost reduction opportunities that can be developed.

    In our mind the question boils down to WHO IS REALLY NECESSARY AND ESSENTIAL over the next two months to get the “required” job done?    We feel this is where the real saving opportunities are.
    Lastly, reopening in late August or in September (with a new budget) if delayed will be a very trying time. School virus infestations may shut the schools down again. There should be a plan for each possibility that may occur.  We hope that action plans and cost saving initiatives will be expeditiously enacted if, and when confronted with actual situations. The “What If” scenarios need to be identified and planned for in a manner that balances the interests of students, employees and the taxpayers.

    Respectfully,
    Norm and Jerry 

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