Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting: February 21, 2019

by Diane Payne

Lee Huang and Leticia Egea-Hinton co-chaired the meeting; Committee members Wayne Walker and Joyce Wilkerson were also present. Board members Mallory Fix Lopez and Chris McGinley attended the meeting.  Two APPS members attended the meeting; one spoke in defense of public education. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved. This meeting was held at 4:00 p.m. in response to community requests for a more public-friendly meeting time.  Huang indicated that they would try to schedule “some” of the F&F meetings at this time. The meeting was well attended and featured seven public speakers. Once again, it was difficult to hear Board members and District staff. Several requests were made from the audience (as have been made at previous meetings) for presenters to speak into the mic, which went mostly unheeded. In addition, the wall speakers were on the lowest possible volume.  The PA Sunshine Act states that meetings are not public if the public cannot hear the official business being conducted. Is “transparency” just a buzzword for the Board or will they make sure that the public can hear and participate at all meetings?

(Meeting agendas and power-point presentations can be viewed on the SDP website by going to the BOE page and clicking on “meeting materials.”

Presentations by Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Update: This first presentation highlighted the 2nd quarter’s actual fund balance compared to the projected fund balance.  Unfortunately, the balance is 26.1 million less than projected.  The reasons for this difference, as explained by Monson, are two-fold: the revenue impact of the City’s “tolling bill” and increased payments to charter schools.  (More on the charter school payments under “Speakers Comments” below.) Monson reported that once the City and State release proposed budgets and revised revenue estimates, the SDP baseline budget will be updated, and either priority investments or potential cuts are added.

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