Timberlane Regional School District Budget Committee Member Arthur Green has filed Right to Know Requests with the Timberlane Regional School District to obtain information district officials have refused to provide to facilitate his work on the committee.  We publish all correspondence as submitted.  ~Publis

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Right To Know Request
From: “Arthur Green” <[email protected]>
Date: Sun, November 09, 2014 11:43 am
To: “Earl Metzler” <[email protected]>
Cc: “George Stokinger” <[email protected]>, “Cathleen Gorman” <[email protected]>, “Josh Horns” <[email protected]>, “Gregory Spero” <[email protected]>, “Michelle O’Neil” <[email protected]>, “Jason B. Grosky” <[email protected]>, “Dennis Heffernan” <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, “Tony Cantone” <[email protected]>, “Richard Blair” <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>Dr. Metzler

Please consider this a formal Right to Know request under NH law for the following documents:
Tax allocation details for 2014/15, covering the details typically provided in the Tax Assessment section (3 pages) of the district’s annual report:
  • Proration factors based upon equalized valuation
  • Proration factors based upon ADM
  • Apportionment of appropriations
  • Summary of town-by town Operating Assessment, Capital Assessment, Education Grant, Impact Fees, and Total Assessment Required from tax sources
I am extremely disappointed that I am obliged to resume Right to Know requests for information that I need to execute my duties on Budget Committee.
My attached request, as well as several other information requests over the past few weeks, have not even been acknowledged, although in some cases they have been actioned:
  • The monthly and year-end financials requested in the attached note were posted to the district web site on Nov. 6.
  • Mr. Stokinger responded to a question by Mrs. Green at the Nov 6 School Board meeting, acknowledging that the district’s budget analysis of free full-time Kindergarten should not have included additional adequacy aid of $234,000.  The administration did not acknowledge (or reply to) my note of Nov 2 pointing out that the adequacy aid formula for Kindergarten is capped at half day participation.  This materially changes the budgetary impact of offering free full-time kindergarten.
  • On October 26 I asked for clarification on whether the A12 staffing filings do or do not include vacant positions.  I also asked for information on district-aligned positions which are not included on the school-by-school staffing reports.  No response, no acknowledgement.
  • On October 26 I responded to a note from Mr. Stokinger, in which he provided some public web links about some of the special ed providers used for out-of-district placements.  Mr. Stokinger indicated in this note that he believed it responded to my request at budget committee for itemized information about those placements.  No response, no acknowledgement.
  • On October 22, I asked about the source and methodology of the enrollment forecast for 2015/16, since the district is forecasting enrollment substantially higher than the NESDEC forecast.  No response, no acknowledgement.
Some of these latter items may not be subject to Right to Know, as I am not in a position to demand an existing public document.  However, all are material to our current activity in defining a fiscally responsible budget to support a quality education.
Please comment on how I can expect these and similar requests to be dealt with.
Regards
Arthur Green
603-218-9910
Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2014 10:03 PM
Subject: Information requests – Budget Committee
Dr. Metzler,
This query is intended for Mr. Stokinger, and I have .cc’d him for everyone’s convenience.
At the last budget committee meeting, we briefly discussed the posting of financials.  I see that the September report has been posted, and thanks for that.
We also discussed the final report for the 2013/14 year end, with complete revenues and accurate encumberances.  I do not see that report posted, my apologies if I have not found the correct folder.
Not mentioned at the meeting, I would also like to request the comparable August and September monthly reports for 2013… so far only July is posted.
Finally, since the towns are now reviewing the tax figures for the November tax bills, I would like to request the tax allocation calculation (3 pages) as would appear in the 2014 annual report, similar to what was shared with Budcom last fall.
Thanks very much for your attention to this request.
Regards,
Arthur Green
603-218-9910
Below are the un-responded to requests.
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Out of District Spec. Educ. School From: “Arthur Green” <[email protected]> Date: Sun, October 26, 2014 11:10 pm To: “Stokinger, George” <[email protected]> Cc: “Elizabeth Rincon” <[email protected]>, “Susan Rasicot” <[email protected]>, “Earl Metzler” <[email protected]>, “Cathleen Gorman” <[email protected]>, “Dennis Heffernan” <[email protected]>, “Gregory Spero” <[email protected]>, “Jason B. Grosky” <[email protected]>, “Josh Horns” <[email protected]>, “Michelle O’Neil” <[email protected]>, “Richard Blair” <[email protected]>, “Tony Cantone” <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>
#wmQuoteWrapper /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;} #wmQuoteWrapper /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, #wmQuoteWrapper li.MsoNormal, #wmQuoteWrapper div.MsoNormal {margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;} #wmQuoteWrapper a:link, #wmQuoteWrapper span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:blue; text-decoration:underline;} #wmQuoteWrapper a:visited, #wmQuoteWrapper span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; text-decoration:underline;} #wmQuoteWrapper span.EmailStyle17 {mso-style-type:personal-compose; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; color:windowtext;} #wmQuoteWrapper .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;} #wmQuoteWrapper @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in;} #wmQuoteWrapper div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;}Mr. Stokinger,I am sorry to say that this link does not answer my question.

The special ed team indicated that they have forecast for 2015/16 based on extrapolating from specific student requirements.  I would like to see a list of the expected 16 – 18 out-of-district placements stating:

  • service provider / institution
  • the nature of the program/service being provided
  • the annual cost forming the budget base for that service – breakdown of tuition/service fee, transport, other cost if applicable
  • ideally a one-sentence reason for the use of that particular service provider, for example this is the closest or only provider of the particular service
  • NO PERSONAL/IDENTIFYING INFORMATION FOR THE STUDENT REQUIRING THE SERVICE

I hope this clarifies my information request.  As always, if there is anything I can do to clarify or simplify the request, please contact me to discuss.

Regards,

Arthur Green

603-218-9910
From: Stokinger, George

Sent: Friday, October 24, 2014 12:36 PM

To: Arthur Green ; Cathleen Gorman ; Dennis Heffernan ; Gregory Spero ; Jason Grosky ; Joshua Horns ; Michelle O’Neil ; Murphy, Eileen ; Richard Blair ; Stokinger, George ; Thomas Geary, III ; Tony Cantone ; Zanello, Dean

Cc: Rincon, Elizabeth ; Rasicot, Susan ; Metzler, Earl

Subject: Out of District Spec. Educ. School
Bud Comm members,
The link below should provide the answer to Mr. Green’s question regarding special education schools and the services they provide.

The link is for the New Hampshire Private Special Education Association which represents private special education schools in NH.  There are links to all schools represented.  TRSD has used a variety of these school as well as some in Massachusetts based on individual student need.
http://nhpsea.com/
George Stokinger

Business Administrator, SAU 55

Hampstead School District

Timberlane Regional School District

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Fw: Enrollment Forecast for 2015/16
From: “Arthur Green” <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, October 22, 2014 10:55 pm
To: <[email protected]>correcting typo in the school board email

Dr. Metzler
At the Timberlane School Board meeting on Oct. 16, you stated that forecast enrollment for next year is down by 40 from the current year.  Given this year’s enrollment of 3,773, that would lead to a 2015/16 enrollment of 3,733.
As we are all aware, the NESDEC forecast for 2015/16 is 3,613, a decrease of 160 from this year.
The NESDEC forecast is generally considered to be highly accurate.  For example, this year’s enrollment of 3,773 is just 9 students different from the NESDEC forecast in their previous year report.
If the district is using a forecast other than the NESDEC number, can you provide the source of this alternative, the rationale for using this alternative rather than the NESDEC number, and the methodology by which the number of 3,733 was obtained?
If the district is using a higher number than the NESDEC forecast as a way of creating a margin of error in preparations for next year, then it would be more correct to say that the forecast is 3,613, but that you intend to plan for 3,733 to be on the safe side.  If this is the case, your clarification would be appreciated.
At the same time, it would also clarify that the best available forecast is continuing to show a strong downward trend in enrollment for at least the next five years.
Regards
Arthur Green
603-218-9910

Dr. Metzler
I have some follow-up questions about the A12B staffing reports.

  1. The 2014/15 report shows 688.4 Full-Time Equivalent employees.  Can you confirm that these positions are all staffed, or does this report include vacant positions?
  2. The 2013/14 report shows 694.9 Full-Time Equivalent employees.  Can you confirm that these positions were all staffed, or did this report include vacant positions?
  3. As part of the district response to Right To Know requests in January, you provided an FTE breakdown which included staffing at the District lever (not associated with a specific school) of 30.1 FTEs in 2013/14 and 31.1 in 2014/15.  Are these positions covered by a separate filing to the NH DOE?  If so, can you please provide those filings covering the years from 2007/08 to 2014/15?
  4. As part of the district response to Right To Know requests in January you provided a Staff Count breakdown which laid out the budgeted staff plan for 2014/15 as it would eventually be presented in the Annual Report – forecasting 740 staff.  Is this still valid as the staff headcount plan for 2014/15?  If not, can you provide your current staff headcount plan for 2014/15.

Thanks very much for your help with these matters.

From: Belcher, Catherine

Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 1:57 PM

To: Arthur Green

Subject: 2014/15 A12 staffing reports

Hello Mr. Green,

The information you requested has been uploaded to the staffing folder on the Budget Committee website as you requested.

Have a good afternoon,

Cathy

Cathy Belcher

Executive Assistant to the Superintendent

and Assistant Superintendent of Schools

(603) 382-6119 ext. 2217

[email protected]

__________________________________________________________
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT NO 55

Serving the Hampstead and

Timberlane Regional School Districts

From: Arthur Green <[email protected]> Date: October 14, 2014 at 6:58:18 PM EDT To: Earl Metzler <[email protected]> Cc: <[email protected]>, <[email protected]> Subject: 2014/15 A12 staffing reports

Dr. Metzler,

I am writing to request the 2014/15 A12B staffing reports for the Timberlane district schools.  As we discussed at the last budcom meeting, I am on the agenda to present at the next budcom meeting, and I would like to be able to reference the current numbers.  Since the state filing deadline for this information is Oct. 15, I am hoping that it is available for posting to the budcom sharepoint folder where the prior year A12B’s are saved.

Thanks very much for your help with this.

Arthur Green

603-218-9910