During the April 12 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Brad Buck spoke about the District’s efforts to balance the budget in light of limited increases in state school funding.
Steve Graham, Executive Director of Business Services, also gave an overview of the District’s FY17 budget.
We encourage you to watch these videos and hope they demonstrate the District’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and maintaining student programs.
As an overview, a six-year decline in state school funding has forced the District to make nearly $20 million in budget reductions over that time period. (In short, state school funding increases have not kept up with school district expenditures.) As a result, the District has approximately 150 fewer employees than we did in 2010; these cuts have been almost evenly divided between support staff and teaching and administration positions. In making necessary reductions, the District always tries to minimize the direct impact on class size and student programming, though we recognize that all personnel cuts impact students.
Faced with another year of inadequate state funding, we must cut $2.3 million from the FY17 general fund budget. However, as you also heard in the video, the costs for the Smarter Balance assessment and changes to alternative kindergarten programming drives the actual budget reduction need to $2.8 million. To address this, we are shifting some general fund expenditures to other authorized funding sources, including (as shown in the video) moving $665,000 of annual non-instructional software costs from the general fund. We are also making staffing adjustments that will result in cost decreases across all segments of the workforce. This includes support staff, administrators, and teaching positions. Some of these adjustments will happen through attrition as current employees either retire or choose to leave the District.
We continue to work diligently to optimize the resources we are provided to the benefit of our students. We are committed to maintaining a balanced budget and to being transparent with and responsible to the taxpayers of our school district.