I would like to correct a number of items from last week’s headline story: “Ricci: Schools’ expectations exaggerated?”
I didn’t reveal that school officials are contemplating the construction of a kindergarten-to-second-grade primary school as well as a new high school. The Finance Committee was discussing the prior evening School Committee’s meeting, and I said I was surprised they had submitted an application for a high school when a few years ago a School Committee task force determined, after a substantial amount of work, that the most appropriate long-range plan would be to start with a primary school. When someone noted the School Committee had already submitted an application for an elementary school, I said that then I had no concerns. I am very mindful that it’s the School Committee’s responsibility to make those decisions.
Patty Wenger came to talk about the strain the number of school-choice students was putting on The Bromfield School, to make sure we weren’t holding the School Committee to a certain dollar revenue from school choice and to see if there was a way we could help alleviate the problem. She noted that the School Committtee is currently looking at adding about 13 new choice students next year to replace those who graduated this year.
Next year’s (fiscal year 2008) school budget assumes school-choice revenue of about $450,000. Although this is higher than the current year’s budget, it’s the same as this year’s actual school-choice revenue. The Finance Committee shares the concerns of increasing the number of school-choice students and shared with her that we’d stated that position during the budget process.