In attendance…Tina Martucci, Cory Daily, Nikki Giannaras, Jacqui Fortsch, Jeanette Dennis, Allen Frank, William Lennox
Jeanette projected the 2023-2024 Budget on the Zoom screen for the band parents to see. She stated that we moved some categories around in order for the budget to make sense. We had 180 students with a $150 Fair Share. (SEE PROJECTED BUDGET–ATTACHED). Last month’s meeting notes state all of the changes in the budget.
Sue Testa asked about the actual income that came in, not including Fair Share. She wants to know why Fair Share is going up when there is a healthy amount of money in the account.
Jeanette stated that actual income will not be part of this year’s budget, but it will be included in next year’s budget (starting income). This is because the new board took over this year and inherited the books from the previous board. In addition, the Charms software, which is excellent, was implemented mid year, so we only have data from when we started using the new software system. Also, there are new budget lines that are brand new that are guiding us to raise the Fair Share in order to cover rising costs.
Mr. Frank stated that as we look forward, the board is positively looking at an increase in the band, and due to that increase, we are looking at replacing many instruments. We see the surplus, but we need to be cautious because of the purchases that we need to make. We are looking at multiple pipes and percussion instruments. We need the surplus in order to fix our instruments as well.
Sue Testa stated that all money that is made without Fair Share needs to be shared with the parents. Jacqui Fortsch stated that we inherited this budget and we need to revamp it. We also cannot hold a lot of money in the account because of our status.
Sue Testa understands that we adjusted things because of expenses. Fair Share should not pay for everything. It is important to know what is coming in above Fair Share so that we do not burden the parents with a high Fair Share cost, especially with parents that have more than one child. Sue stated that she is having a hard time passing the budget because of this.
Tina asked Jeanette if she could make a spreadsheet to answer Sue’s questions. Jeanette said she could…but it would not be easy. This budget was hard to work with and it was handed to us. Sue commended the board on their hard work. She understands…she just is unclear on the surplus being what it is…yet we are raising Fair Share. She understands why we are increasing the budget, but why are we raising Fair Share when we are making money in other areas?
Jacqui Fortsch stated that we needed to pay $3,000+ to cover the expenses of the concert. We had smaller student numbers, but concert expenses stayed the same. We tried to cover the expenses, and then we had to raise the Fair Share. Cory Dailey stated that some of the money in the budget is in student accounts. It does not belong to us to pay our bills. Sue Testa challenged the board to not raise Fair Share, but to wait until next year when we see what the projected/actual income is and make up for it that way. Cory Dailey stated that the General Fund does not make a lot of money with fundraisers. Jacqui Fortsch stated that less than 20% goes into the General Fund. Most of the money goes back to the kids in their accounts. Tina Martucci asked if we could create a budget that states what comes out of Fair Share/General Fund? Can this be done? Sue Testa stated that all you need to do is add two more line items for General Fund Income/Fair Share Income so that we can get a good estimate to see what the total amount is and what we need to make. Jacqui stated that we started using Charms mid year and do not have that data yet. We will for next year.
Jeanette will now review next year’s budget (SEE ATTACHED BUDGET).
Projected band participants for next year is 185 students with a Fair Share of $170. There will be 15 orchestra students at $85 per student.
Projected budget $51, 945.00.
Sue Testa asked about concert expenses–lighting. Where does the projected number $5,000 come from when we spent $4,000 last year? Jeanette stated that it was for inflation and just in case we need to cover more for the concert next year.
Also, why did we spend $4,000 on instrument equipment previously and then it was raised to $5,500? Mr. Frank stated that when we look at instrument purchases versus this section here…this category covers bagpipe reeds, wrapping snare drums, sticks, etc. that with an increase in student numbers and band sections (drummers increase to 33 next year), we need to make sure that we have parts for instruments in order for students to be successful. We need to get our program back up to the standard. Sue Testa asked if this is because of the rising number of students or because we need to get the instruments back to the standard that we used to have. Mr. Frank stated that it is a yes to both questions. The bagpipes are a huge cost…and we need to be sure that they have the items that they need. We need to purchase two new bass drums, two new cymbals…so some items are yearly items, but some of it is us getting our program back to where it should be. It may not be as frequent once we get it back up.
Mr. Lennox stated that the prices are going up because of maintenance expenses. We want to have cleaning kits, etc. for kids. It is important for kids to clean their instruments. We need to have things available for the kids to do this. It would be nice if we had these items to give the kids instead of them buying everything on their own. Sue Testa stated that a separate line item needs to be added so that we need to know what is needed…and do we need another fundraiser in order to have these items taken care of? Maintenance of the band and instruments is key. Taking care of instruments is very important. Mr. Frank stated that what the district gives our program is not a lot, and we rely on the band parent organization for that help. This will be a multiyear process–getting the kids to the point where they have good instruments to play in all areas.
Tina asked if Fair Share will be paying for everything next year. If there is enough money in the General Fund, why are we raising the Fair Share? Is there a surplus? Jeanette stated that the amount coming in from Fair Share is less than the budget amount. Sue Testa stated that it is important to understand what can come out of the General Fund. We need to wait until next year to raise the Fair Share. Cory Dailey stated that the amount in the General Fund is also holding the money that is to be refunded to the parents from the trip. Moving forward, we will need to make some changes. We realize that. Jeanette stated that not all students pay the Fair Share, so that is a problem. The budget is projected…but we may not get it because some students did not pay their fair share for last year and some for a few years.
Sue Testa would not motion to pass the budget because of the raised Fair Share. Cory asked if any parent would make a motion to pass the budget. No one raised a hand to pass the budget. Tina asked the total amount that will be increased if we raise the Fair Share. Sue Testa said the difference is $4,000. Jacqui stated that this is the amount that we covered for the concert and lighting. That is why it was increased. Tina stated that you can fundraise the $170 Fair Share. It is quite easy. We offer lots of opportunities.
The concert expenses were not the only items in the budget that increased.
Becky Sullivan stated that not all students can fundraise because they need parent participation. That is sometimes hard. Becky stated that the extra $20 is an investment in her kid…and it can be lowered in the future. Because the records are not available…why hurt the kids? Let’s say that if at the end of this year the Fair Share did not need to be $170…we can lower it in the future.
Becky Sullivan made a motion to approve the budget. Brenda LaBar seconded the motion.
Voting —9 Yes (Jacqui, Yi-Wen, Tina, Nikki, Deena, Cory, Jeanette, Mr. Frank, Becky)
6 N0 (Diane, Christine, Christian/Nicole, Sue/Joe)
It is stated that in the future we will look at the budget and hopefully lower the Fair Share for the 2024-2025 school year.
Adjourn–Sue Testa/Joe Testa