My Freedom Of Information Request to the School Board

This is a copy of the email I sent on Dec. 20, 2013.  You might think that the school budget committee as a whole would get the information I request below as a matter of course, but that is not the case, which might make you wonder about the level of scrutiny the budget committee is able to provide.  My request was as a private citizen because the law requires a prompt response. I had previously requested some of this information on Dec. 9th as a Budget Committee member.
Timberlane Regional School Board Chairman, SAU 55
Mr. Rob Collins and Dr. Metzler:

This is an official Freedom of Information request for the following information to be given to me before Jan. 16, 2014:

1) Default budget with a detailed breakout of the salary and benefits lines. Specifically, how was the increase in benefits calculated?  Number and kinds of health insurance coverage, etc. For healthcare benefits, what is the cost for a single plan, a two-person plan, a family plan.  If there is a choice, please provide the cost of each choice as well as the deductible for each and the percentage cost to each employee.  Provide this for union vs. non-union employees.

2) A balance sheet for the district for 2012-2013; projected balance sheet for current year and 2014-2015 if available. This is a statement of assets and liabilities.

3) Exact costs for all new positions included in 2014-2015 budget broken out for insurance benefits, salaries and professional development, etc. with each position specifically identified. I am not requesting names of employees, only position.
4) Staffing breakdown as published in the annual report for 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and projected for 2014-2015.

5) List of all staff in the middle school and high school by specific position, title and salary (names not being requested). Identify all non-teaching positions staffed by qualified teachers (with the exception of teacher’s aids who are involved in assisting with teaching). Show the change in non-teaching positions from 2011-2012 to projected 2014-2015.

Thank you,
Donna Green
Here is Mr. Collins response on Dec. 23, 2013:
Mrs. Green,

First of all, in NH, the proper term is the Right to Know Law not the Freedom of Information Act.

Second, I’ve consulted with the Superintendent about your email.  We will make every effort to provide the information you’ve requested.  It will take some time to pull together given the breadth of the request. We anticipate most everything should be available for you after January 9th, during regular business hours  The SAU will be in touch.  If you desire to make hard copies of anything the staff will be prepared to do so for you at $.10 per copy.  This may not happen the day of your request as staff may be busy with other duties.  Possibly, you could mark the pages needed to be copied with a sticky note and that may make it easier for the SAU staff to find what you need for copying later.

 In providing this information we are fulfilling your request.  If you require further analysis or formatting of the information the SAU will not be available for this purpose.  Any further information requests must be made through myself and DR. Metzler.
Happy Holidays!
Here’s the information request I made on Dec.9th at 9 a.m. four working days prior to what turned out to be our very last Budget Committee meeting before public hearing.  It is addressed to Greg, Budcom chairman, and George, SAU business administrator. Much of the information was forthcoming at the Dec. 12th meeting especially concerning revenue, but some was left outstanding.  I am including this to show just what information we are required to ask for, information I think one might reasonably expect to be presented in the normal course of examination and review.
to TRSD, George
Greg and George:

You might recall that at the beginning of this year I asked to do our deliberations backwards.  By this I meant having the annual report information to us first so we could see the big picture. Revenue directly impacts tax rates so before we vote for a budget increase, we should all be aware of the revenue projections and how solid they are.  Revenue projections for the 2014 yr were given out at deliberative this year.

Please provide for the next meeting:

1) final ACTUAL revenue figures for 2013 in detail

2) up-to-date revenue projections for 2014 (including 2013 surplus amount) and 2015 year.  (Is state aid decreasing?)

3) Balance sheet for 2013

4) Full accounting of the 2013 expended of 61 million.  (Unless I missed something, we have a 2013 expend of 58 million on our district summary… but I can’t find how this turned into 61 spelled out.)

5) School tax rate recap for the proposed 2015 budget broken out by town as in the annual report.

6) Staffing as broken out in the annual report for 2013 year, 2014 year and projected for 2015.

7) Enrollment projection for 2014-2015

8) Actual number of new positions requested in 2015 budget and their salaries and benefits per position.

9) 2014-2015 TTA salary increase (the second of the three year contract and the lion’s share.)

10) All the function codes under Mr. Hughes authority:  2610,2620,2630,2640,2650,4200,4600….. anything else?

Thank you.


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