out-of district tuition change, upcoming renovation vote
by Janet Stoica
REGION - The Bay Path school committee Monday night discussed proposed state policy changes to out-of-district vocational school tuition scheduled to go into effect for the 2013-2014 school year. Recently, a Dudley student began attending school in Norfolk and an amendment to Section 89 of the state’s fiscal 2013 budget would make Bay Path responsible for the out-of-district tuition in lieu of Dudley.
A letter from State Senator Stephen Brewer’s office stated that “The changes to out-of-district vocational student tuition included in the budget are intended to make the tuition system more sensible, while minimizing unexpected spikes in tuition for individual communities…..and our staffs and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recognize that we have not yet arrived at the right solution. The first step to finding that solution is to ensure that no policy changes to out-of-district vocational tuition are implemented in the 2013-2014 school year. To that end I am committed to amending the FY 2013 budget so that outside Section 89 does not go into effect for next school year.”
Transportation reimbursements for students attending out-of-district schools will be paid out of existing reimbursement programs for FY 2014. Superintendent Lafleche expressed support that details will be worked out for all towns’ benefits.
Commencing with Mr. Lafleche’s comments regarding the renovation project that Bay Path is awaiting voter approval on this Thursday, almost all school committee members spoke about the positive feedback and support they had received for the renovation. Mr. Lafleche stated that “many of you deserve a tremendous amount of thanks for all you’ve done over the past several months. We’ve been challenged on our facts and figures and the truth has prevailed.
However, if the vote does not go through, we would not be able to take advantage of any additional Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) funds as MSBA would not offer to throw good money after bad. In this case, the many building code issues that the current school faces are asbestos removal, water supply/storage, etc.”
Mr. Lafleche cited a local paper’s reporter who had contacted an MSBA representative who had indicated that because of the MSBA’s positive and favorable outlook on the anticipated 50-year life of the new renovation project and their equally favorable view of the expected graduation of hundreds of students due to the anticipated renovation, this meant that any piece-meal funding requests would have to start back at Stage 1. Because of the student overcrowding issues as well as the extraordinary amount of repairs necessary to the roof, windows, and boilers, repair funds would not be readily available even under an “accelerated repair” program.
The committee also approved the SPED program improvement grant; approved field trips for Health Assisting, Cosmetology, English, and Soccer Team Banquet; surplus equipment disposal; as well as acceptance of the superintendent’s goals. Additionally, the committee approved an outside masonry project for the Southern Worcester County Visiting Nurse’s Assoc. in Webster MA. The repair costs for two stonewalls will be borne by the VNA.
- Wednesday, 03 October 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Region