Superintendent of Schools John Macero said this week that the biggest item on the School Committee agenda for Thursday (August 9) is for the Committee members to discuss and approve the school department budget based on the $16,142,300 allocation from the town.
Macero also declined to comment on the status of negotiations with the Winthrop Teacher’s Association (WTA), or speculation that the two sides had agreed to a tentative agreement, because School Committee had pledged not to discuss the negotiations publicly until a deal has been struck.
“We have been working within that budget allocation ($14.142 m) as we prepare for the school year,” explained Macero. “But once the School Committee actually approves the budget, it will be set and if we need to move any money around from line item to line item, it will have to come back to the School Committee for authorization at that point.”
Macero said that he does expect that there will be discussion among the committee members about the budget, following his presentation of the final budget proposal.
“I really can’t talk about the negotiations with the teacher’s association, because we had said that we wouldn’t discuss the negotiations until the teacher’s have had a chance to act first,” said Macero. “I know that there has been speculation about a tentative deal, but we can’t really comment on that at this time. If and when the teacher’s ratify an agreement and that agreement comes to the School Committee for a vote, it will be discussed then.”
Macero did acknowledge that the budget preparations for FY 2013 have been informed by the discussions with bargaining units.
“Obviously, as you prepare for the year, and you get an idea of what may be possible in an agreement, you try to move things around the be prepared for that,” said Macero. “However, it really is not appropriate to discuss specifics of potential or tentative agreements, until the teachers have had a chance to review and discuss things among themselves.”
In other issues likely to be discussed at the meeting on Thursday, Macero noted that he will be providing the committee with an update on the status of the school building process and the school utilization report being compiled by the architects, HMFH, and the local School Building Assistance Committee.
“We’ll also have to have a vote to officially accept the $43,500 gift that was made by Viking Pride Foundation last year,” said Macero. “Though that gift was made and the funds were utilized as they were meant to be, we realized that the School Committee had not taken an official vote to accept the funds, so we’re going to make an official vote for the purposes of the record.”