There has been a great deal of speculation regarding whether or not the Manchester School Board will reverse course and tap it’s expendable trust funds to mitigate their budget woes.  Girard at Large has received conflicting information as to whether or not the board will take the matter up at its next meeting and, if it does, whether or not the votes are there to tap the funds.



No school board member Girard at Large spoke with was willing to go on the record.  That said, the emerging picture was relatively clear.  Though it seems inevitable that the school board will take another vote on using the expendable trusts, it also became clear that the outcome of that the timing and outcome vote is very much in doubt.

“Nobody wants to go through this again,” said one member.  As a result, some past supporters of using one time dollars from the expendable trusts were reluctant to cast favorable votes again.  They don’t want “disappearing revenues” next year that will leave them having to lay off teachers and other staff again.  That the teacher’s shot down the contract extension didn’t help.  “We can’t fix the problem without those concessions,” said one member.  “So why would we risk creating another problem for ourselves by using the trust money now?

There also seems to be a disagreement on the timing of such a vote.  Some are in favor of taking a vote before Tuesday’s special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.  The belief of some is that if they use expendable trust dollars, then there will be greater support among the aldermen for increased funding.  Some were adamant, though, that no vote be taken until after the aldermen “give us a number.”  “It makes no sense that we would vote on using the expendable trusts until we know what the aldermen are going to give us.”

Everybody we spoke with shared a common frustration over the aldermen’s failure to give them their budget number in a more timely fashion.  “We sent our budget to them in early April and we still don’t have a number,” said one member.  “We can’t really make any decisions until that number is finalized and I hope it’s sooner than later.”

Stay tuned to Oh My BLOG! for details as they develop.