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District Budget Update - July 27, 2016

posted Jul 27, 2016, 7:53 AM by Scott Latimore   [ updated Jul 27, 2016, 7:53 AM ]
At its July 21 meeting, the Board of Education was provided with a budget update and recommended reductions to balance the district budget. While the County Commissioners did provide additional funding this year, the request was not fully funded, and we were forced to make reductions to balance our operational plan, at about $1.5 million dollars.  

The top priority of this budget is securing highly qualified and effective teachers in every classroom. Competition for educators, increasing turnover rates, and lower schools of education enrollment levels were all major factors in our decision to raise our teacher salary supplement. Similarly our other budget priorities were linked to recruiting and retaining staff, including our classified staff.  When the budget request was submitted, other reductions were anticipated in order to fund these priorities, but our leadership team and the Board reached consensus that these priorities were paramount.

This year’s budget also includes a lot of positives. We were able implement the state salary increase, increase our teacher salary supplement, implement the final phase of the classified pay study, and begin a teacher assistant-to-teacher tuition reimbursement program.

Nevertheless, reductions became necessary.  A recommended reductions list was shared and discussed with our principals and cabinet, who supported the recommendations. We tried to focus on protecting the classroom, our programs, and our services as feasible.  We have reduced our budget by millions of dollars over the past several years, which left very few options aside from personnel. In total, 23 local positions will be eliminated.  The proposed reductions do not result in any layoffs, but will require reassignments in some cases.  The recommended local reductions are as follows:

 Item      Number of Positions Savings 
 Elementary Media Assistants  11 $385,000
 Middle School Gifted Specialists 2 $140,000
 MS PE Off Team 4 $280,000
 High School Clerical 3 $135,000
 Central Office Admin Positions 2 $180,000
 Central Office reorg. further reduction 1 $35,000
 Supplies  $96,996
 Utilities  $300,000
 Total  23 $1,551,996

The Board's feedback suggests they concur with our recommendations. We will take the necessary steps to finalize the budget and implement the reductions over the next few weeks. We expect the Board will formally adopt the budget on August 18, 2016.

We would like everyone to know that these were not easy decisions to make, especially those that impact the livelihood of our dedicated employees. Fortunately, we will be able to offer those affected continued employment with the district.  Our Human Resources team has already started contacting affected employees to offer other positions and aide with transition.