Blog #4- Budget

October 25, 2013

Dear Faculty, Staff, Parents, and Students,

 

Recently, due to economic difficulties, our school district has been faced with the complex task of cutting 20% of our budget. This is a devastating loss. Wonderland County Public Schools has been forced to make decisions about the fiscal budget. These decisions were not taken lightly. Many students will be affected by our lack of funds but we at Wonderland County Public Schools will prevail. Included in this document is a list of programs that will have to be modified or cut in order compensate for the direct loss of funds.

 

The first major cut will involve library resources. As many periodicals and journals are available online through websites and databases, the budget for periodicals and journals will be cut by 50%. In maintaining students’ access to resources we will not cut academic technology which will allow students the opportunity to access such resources available online. Some print sources will not be renewed for the 2014-2015 school year. This includes a cut to textbook adoption; Wonderland County Public Schools will cut the spending budget for new textbook by 80%. Although this may seem drastic, many teachers have expressed that they use many different resources besides the textbooks to deliver instruction. We expect the budget to be restored to a higher level next year and believe that all new textbooks can be held off during this fiscal year.

 

Next, field trip funds will be cut entirely for the 2014-2015 school year. This lack of hands-on instruction will be difficult, we believe that our faculty and staff are so creative and innovative that they will be able to find a way to supplement the lack of funding for field trips. This does not mean that schools will be unable to go on field trips. This cut just means that direct funds will not be available. Students and teachers alike will be able to come up with ways to raise funds to go on field trips.

 

One of the divisions that will be cut deeply by our shortage of funds will be Student Services. We have decided to maintain summer school, preschool special education, positive behavior support, and the Parent Resource Center. Some programs that will see cuts are athletic/recreation programs, student activity bus, and after-school programs. Once again, we believe in our staff and students and know that they will triumph. Athletic programs will not be able to buy such things as new jerseys and may have less staff members available to coach teams but with marketing of school games they may be able to make up for some of the cuts. The student activity bus, while very helpful for many students and parents, will be removed entirely for this year. We will revisit this as funds allow.

Unfortunately, tuition reimbursement for teachers will be cut by 50% and staff development will be cut by 60%. This was a difficult decision as we pride ourselves on our well-developed and educated staff. If funds become available, we will revisit the idea of reimbursing teachers for these expenditures. However, we found that it might be more helpful to maintain jobs for teachers rather than allow for reimbursement for some teachers and job cuts for others.

With that being said, we will not cut any teacher, instructional aide, maintenance, library, office, part-time employee, or custodial staff positions. We value each and every one of you. While this year will be tough, we want to preserve jobs although this does mean cuts in key areas. We know that Wonderland County Public Schools will overcome.

 

Regards,

 

Alisha Abrams

Superintendent

 


 

Points

20% cut

Protect instructional staff
Avoid layoffs of core content teachers*

10

10

Avoid layoffs of special subject teachers**

10

10

Avoid cuts to health benefits

6

6

Protect Staff
Teacher instructional aides

5

5

Full-time office staff

5

5

Part-time employees

3

3

Limit reductions to the library
Staff

3

3

Books

5

5

Periodicals/Journals

4

2

Protect Building Services
Custodial staff

3

3

Building repair and maintenance

4

4

Protect Learning Resources
Academic technology

5

5

Textbook adoption

5

2

Teacher Instructional Budget***

5

5

Field trips

5

0

Protect Faculty Services
Employee tuition reimbursement for college courses taken for license renewal or advanced degree

4

2

Staff development for teachers – workshops, support to attend conferences, etc.

5

3

Protect Student Services
Athletic/recreation programs

5

2

Student activity bus

2

0

Parent Resource Center

2

2

Positive behavior support

2

2

Preschool special education

3

3

Summer school

4

4

After-school programs

5

2

TOTAL

110

88

 

 

 

 

***This is a fictional school district and fictional plan.

Categories: EDCI 506.

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