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Budget Update

March 9, 2012

For understanding of the fund balance, please see my previous blog.  I am not going to revisit the fund balance conversation here.  Here, I just want to share the reductions we are anticipating and our current plan to address them.  I think I have touched on this previously so the details can be found in the blog and/or previous emails.

FY 2013 Reductions (next year)

Black budget used one-time money – $11.7 M  – for on-going expenses with the hope of passing a mill levy.  Since the mill levy did not pass, we need to work this delayed reduction into our budget on a reoccurring basis.

PERA increased $2.2 M so we must either pass part of it on to employees or cut to fill the gap. 

We negotiated $4.2 M last year away from pay for performance to backfill 4 furlough days.  We would like to pay GREAT employees more, and to do that, we need to pay great people to help us build out the pay for performance framework.  Therefore, we are currently working to reduce/reallocate $4.2 M through negotiations.

The state may not fund growth.  This means that PPR will be reduced by $124.40 per student if they don’t fund growth.  This is approximately $7.5 M. ($124.4 X 60,000 students = $7.464 M)

The homestead tax may come back and part of or all of the $100 M needed to fund it may come from K-12 education.  This is a wild card and could cost us $8 M (worst case scenario).  I don’t think this will happen, but it is entirely possible that we could have to absorb part of it.  We will leave this out for now, but know that it is there.

11.7 + 2.2 + 4.2 + 7.5 = $25.6 M (worst case scenario without the Senior Homestead ACT impact to k-12)

Q – How Will We Balance Our Budget?

A – We have to start with our values and priorities.  Smart budgets do not blindly give across-the-board reductions.  Smart budgets personalize or differentiate reductions based on priorities and values.  We are committed to (in no particular order):

  • Using available reoccurring dollars to reduce the cut (cost of business reductions)
  • Cutting away from students/classroom where possible – we want to put every dollar possible into the classroom
  • Leading where we must go
  • Lowering class sizes, maintaining specials/electives, preserving components of the middle school concept or variations of as decided by middle school leaders/staffs/parents
  • Maintaining and/or improving economics/benefits for all employees – attract and retain the best
  • Planning for a future  that leads to significantly better compensation for our great employees
  • Focusing on long-term strategies
  • Advocating for no reductions and for the funding of growth at the state level
  • Using one-time money for appropriate one-time expenses that align to our plans
    • Paying great employees for innovation and development work:
      • Modern Curriculum (GVC) – Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins
      • Balanced Assessment – Dr. Syna Morgan
      • Professional Learning – Pat McGraw
        • World Class Education Units
        • Restorative Practices
        • Student Advocacy
      • CITE/LEAD – Pat McGraw, Dr. Chris Cutter, Dr. Syna Morgan
      • World Class Education Targets – Dr. Jefferson-Jenkins, Dr. Chris Cutter, Dr. Syna Morgan
      • Opportunities for students aligned to our plan
    • School exploration of learning models (IB, Reggio Emilia, Artful Learning…)

Here is our current plan:

  • $50 SBB Reduction in Elementary (with a goal of $0) – $1.3 M
  • $100 SBB Reduction in Middle School (with a goal of $50) – $1 M
  • HS Teachers Teach 6 – meet student requests/needs, lower class size, keep electives – $3.6M – $5.7M
  • Negotiations $4.2 M – $5.6
  • Central Administration Reduction $1 M
  • Elementary Planning Grant $1 M
  • Cost of Business $5 M
  • Capital $2 M

Note:  Schools and departments are allowed to use their carry forward money for FTE for the first time in FY 2013 (next year).  However, the reality of one-time money (carry forward) is that eventually it will be gone and those positions will not be funded without an improvement in state funding.

As always, my team and I are interested in hearing your comments and questions. We would like to encourage you to direct them to the specific District department they are related to at Feedback Central. Since it has not always been feasible for me to provide detailed responses within this blog, comments and questions will be addressed by myself and my team in future meetings, blog posts and articles.