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School Committee Action Notes

" SCAN ," issued by the Superintendent's Office in conjunction with the School Committee, is designed to inform staff members and interested others of matters discussed and actions taken by the Jamestown School Committee at its most recent meeting. SCAN does not represent meeting minutes.

Jamestown School Committee Business Meeting: April 7, 2005

Information and Proposals

Lee Rabbitt, North Kingstown Director of Technology, presented that department's capabilities and outlined the fee structure for the services that Jamestown proposes to purchase through the North Kingstown School Department.

New Business

Consideration and Potential Vote on SORICO Legislative Positions : The School Committee agreed by unanimous vote to endorse the Southern RI Educational Collaborative's resolutions calling for reform in five areas: the pension benefit system, to lessen the unpredictable and unreasonable burden on local school budgets; education funding, to provide a predictable, equitable and adequate formula for allocating state education aid; the fire safety code, to allow the display of student artwork and teaching materials; regional busing regulations, to limit a district's obligation to transport non-public school students only to schools within the geographic boundaries of the district itself; and the initiation of a scope of bargaining study to support future legislation defining permissible and non-permissible areas of bargaining. The committee will send copies of the signed resolutions to the Town Council to seek its support.

The School Committee also responded to the Town Council's request that it review and comment on the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2005 (H6095). Sponsors of the bill have asked the council for a resolution in support of the proposed legislation. The school committee identified several areas that it could support and others that it could not. The bill's sponsors have offered to meet with the council to discuss the proposed legislation; the school committee indicated an interest in being at that meeting.

Reconsideration and Vote on Budget 2005-2006 with New Adjustments : By a vote of 4-1 (with Mr. Brennan voting no), the school committee voted to reduce the bottom of the budget by $28,725 to reflect lower estimates for health insurance, Delta Dental and workers' comp insurance..

Old Business

Continued Discussion of Reorganization/Restructuring/Shared Services : Superintendent Sipala reported on the ongoing discussion of shared services at a recent meeting of South county superintendents. Don Decosta, Director of Newport County Regional Special Education, shared with the group the benefits of regionalized services in the East Bay. While Mr. Decosta emphasized the resultant efficiency of services, he could not cite specific cost savings. The South County group indicated an interest in studying the East Bay program, as well as other regionalized models; and in exploring the feasibility of a regional bus system, an expanded alternative learning program, a regionalized preschool program and shared purchasing of textbooks for students at non-public schools.

The next business meeting of the Jamestown School Committee will be on April 28. All meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the Melrose Multi-Purpose Room.