The following was prepared by a Templeton Town resident, took much time and effort to complete. His report as well as a letter to the editor was accomplished by looking at town reports, town meeting results and financial paperwork from the school district as well as information from DESE (department of elementary and secondary education)
Perhaps M. Hughes was not aware of this information as she spoke of Templeton being under effort in it's support of schools. Remember, it is Templeton who stood alone and put up the 47 million dollars so the district can have a new building for some elementary kids.
There are two towns in the school district, one said no and the other said yes, that again, would be Templeton.
Perhaps this posting will make for an awkward moment or two at a school committee meeting, I do not know, nor do I care. I care about the residents of Templeton being told they do not support something or they have been under effort, when that is simply not true.
Perhaps that under effort statement can be corrected at the next meeting of the school committee?
Subject: TEMPLETON’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO ITS SCHOOLS
On April 2nd The Gardner News published an article titled “Assessment Challenge Withdrawn” which contained a number of statements by Superintendent Miller regarding Templeton’s Local Contributions to school expenses.
She was quoted as saying that Templeton was “under effort” for education funding last year by nearly $ 800,000, when in fact we were nearly $ 800,000 over the “effort” level. She was also quoted as saying, “The reason that Templeton’s increase is higher … is that they’ve been under effort for a few years,” when, in fact, the last five years the town of Templeton has funded education not only above the Minimum Required Local Contribution level but, above the Target (effort) level by an average of 10 percent.
Each year the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) calculates a number of values for towns to follow while supporting their school systems. These calculations can be very complicated and confusing to the general public. When discussing these numbers it is important that you understand which value you are talking about. Each year DESE calculates a town’s - Maximum Local Contribution (MLC), Target LC, Preliminary LC, and Required LC. Two of these values are important; these are the Target LC and Required LC. To simplify this issue you need to know that the Target LC is sometimes referred to as the Effort Level and the Required LC is often called the Minimum Required Contribution. A more complete and technical definition of these terms may be found under:
The Minimum Required LC is that number that a town should never fund below. It is the absolute minimum local contribution that can be budgeted by a town for its school system. In this case, the Required LC includes two numbers, Templeton’s share of Narragansett Regional School District (NRSD) costs and our share of Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School (MRVTS) costs.
The much higher, Target LC is that number that DESE encourages towns to contribute.
The first comment made in the April 2nd article was that Templeton’s required contributions increased recently because “… the town has been chronically ‘under effort” according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education…” This statement is not true. The TGN article went on to quote Ms. Miller as saying, “the town was under effort by about $800,000 in the last fiscal year.” The last fiscal year was FY14.
page 1 of 2
April 5, 2015 page 2 of 2
Templeton’s Education Contributions, Rev 2 (continued)
Revision 2 changes are bolded in red.
I believe Ms. Miller may have been misquoted, because this is not true. Actually, the 800,000 difference had nothing to do with the town actually being “under effort” or below Target. It was simply the difference between DESE’s Target figure and Required Contribution figure on a calculation sheet for FY14 that was “about $800,000”.
( FY14’s Target [effort] 4,963,418 minus FY14’s Required 4,170,850 = 792,568 )
Again, the above “$800,000” difference had nothing to do with Templeton’s actual contribution for FY14. In fact, the town was not only well above the Minimum Required LC but, was significantly higher than the Target LC. Templeton’s actual contribution (as related to the DESE requirements) was $5,582,130. (ATM Art 27, voted $4,430,615 plus an override Oct STM Art 1 of $550,459 plus ATM Art 20 for Monty Tech of $601,056 = $5,582,130).
With a Target LC of 4,963,418 and actual payments of 5,582,130 Templeton was actually over the Target (effort) Local Contribution amount by 618,712. (12.5%)
Also, for this year (FY15) we will be $ 720,880 over Target Local Contribution. (14.4%)
All of the data supporting these conclusions are a matter of public record and may be found on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website and on the Town of Templeton’s website.
I have spoken with DESE’s and Narragansett school officials and been assured that my “numbers are all good.” However, because the preceding figures can be confusing to some, I have been asked to emphasis, in this letter, the following: Although Templeton has contributed a five year average of 10.0 percent over Target and 34percent over Minimum Required LC, a good part of this support is due to three overrides during FY 12, 13 & 14. If you take override support out of the picture, then these percentages drop to an average of 3.8 percent over Target and 26.7 percent over Minimum Required Contributions.
It is understood that this letter was submitted to The Gardner News in early April and
so far, the letter has not been published