School Budget Update
These are my notes from the 3/31 School Board meeting, the notes are based on the presentation and the Power Point presentation print outs. Some of the additional information is from the 3/17 meeting. Any mistakes are my own and not the presenters. I apologize in advance for those. I have my own opinions on the school budget which I tried not to allow to cloud my information sharing. You may see them in a later blog post.
Although in these fiscal times it’s hard to imagine a budget that anyone would like, I’m impressed with the great deal of work that Asst. Superintendent for Business Affairs Bill Hogan, Superintendent Dr Colucciello, and the Board members have put into this budget. I’m also impressed with general fiscal responsibility our district has shown so our budget, while dramatic, is not nearly as dramatic as it could be, especially when compared to many local districts.
Upcoming Program Presentations:
April 12: Board Special Budget Session to adopt the budget (7:00, Albany High)
April 14: Board Round Table Meeting and adopt budget (if not done one the 12th). (7:00 at Delaware Community School, cancelled if the budget is adopted)
April 28: Budget Newsletter Mailing.
May 5: Board Meeting and Budget hearing
May 17: Budget Vote Day.
All programs are analyzed under the following guidelines in order to make sure any programs that are cut are done so responsibly.
- Is the program mandated?
- Does the program raise student achievement?
- How many students are impacted?
- Is the program currently successful? (% of students passing)
- Can the program be reduced and brought back later? (Alternate year offering)
- Are the students in the program completing the sequence as needed for graduation?
- Has the program been evaluated?
- What level of savings is realized with the elimination?
- What is the community sentiment for the program?
- Is there student interest in the program?
- Is there support for reduction or elimination?
- Does the reduction jeopardize health & safety standards?
The projected shortfall for the budget this year is $2,787,399, this number is achieved through looking at the projected 2011-12 Revenues $201,417,000 (this includes all state aid from the NYS budget) and the projected 2011-12 Expenses $204,204,399 (this includes reduction from the Federal Jobs Bill and the Tier 1 reductions).
In order to decrease this shortfall, and thus decrease the pressure on taxpayers the following cuts are proposed, please note, the Tier 1 reductions are already included in the above information:
The Tier 1 cuts are voted on from the school board and will be considered part of the budget. When able, I will add a descriptive note in parenthesis below the budget item.
Read list as:
Tier 1 Reductions, Possible Savings
HS Teachers (15), $1,080,000
(from Abrookin and
Security/ Hall Monitors (3) $144,000
Administrators (4) $504,000
Counselors (2) $144,000
(from Abrookin, and ½ from each middle school)
Social Workers (2) $144,000
(from Albany High and one district-wide elementary)
Pre-K (9 teachers, 9 TA’s) $531,000
(this would be done by contracting a third party organization to take over most Pre-K classrooms, the number of Pre-K classrooms would not change, however district teachers would no longer be in those classrooms)
Clerical (3) $144,000
Middle School Teachers
Teacher (1) $72,000
TA/Assistant (1) $43,000
Art (.6) and Health (.4) $72,000
Reading Teacher (1) $72,000
Coaches Math (3) and ELA (2) $360,000
TA’s/Assistant (3) $129,000
Special Education Teachers (9) $657,000
(This will be achieved by consolidating students in the co-teaching classrooms, numbers are currently well below legal limit, after consolidation would remain below legal limit, some students will also be sent to BOCES)
Special Education TA’s (10.5) $451,500
Prioritize Textbooks $280,000
Additional 5% reduction in:
Repairs, Supplies, Equipment, Field Trips $250,000
TOTAL $5,233,500 reduction
Tier II Possible Reductions, Possible Savings, School Board Members Vote (Yays)
Employee Wage Freeze, $2,000,000, 7 Yays
Adult Tuition- Based Programs, $5,000, 7 Yays
(Make this program self-sufficient as it is in most districts)
Elementary Librarians $288,765 3 Yays
(Replace 6 with TA’s)
Middle School Summer School $36,000 4 Yays
(remove 6th and 7th grade summer school, discussion about the benefits of this program happened, while many Board members feel that summer school is important, the current program which has students taking a general education program as opposed to their specific failed subject does not give the results Board Members hope for)
Operations and Maintenance Staff (2) $113,760 7 Yays
Technology AV Position $48,000 7 Yays
III Possible Reductions, Possible Savings, School Board Members Vote (Yays)
Abrookin Vocational Program (3) $216,000 6 Yays
(The reductions would be in the following programs (parenthesis will note the number of students effected): The following programs cut: Career in Financial Management (13), Teen Mother Program (12). The following programs will go from a full time instructor to a part time instructor: Electrical (60) reduced to .6 part time, Auto Mechanical (40) reduced to .4 part time. It was not stated if the Auto Mechanical department would still be able to do Inspections, in a previous meeting it was mentioned that a cut in that department might take that part of the program away).
After School Programs $48,000 0 Yays
Career Explorations $280,000 0 Yays
Reduce Interscholastic Sports by 50% $385,400 0 Yays
(Voted on reducing sports by a number smaller than 50%, one meeting mentioned 10- 30% but no exact percentage was noted in this vote which garnered 5 Yays)
Reduced Physical Ed Teachers $108,000 6 Yays
(1.5 Pre-K reorg.)
It was discussed that most of these Board Items are more long term items that will need to be discussed over the summer. The reducing art/ music would not necessarily fall into that category (long term item), but each board member that spoke about this was very against it. Also discussed was looking at the possibility of the closing a school, grade level standardization, and the Pre-K Center being discussed more in depth in a committee instead of being part of the budget session. A more careful, better thought out decision could be reached in each of those categories.
Reduce Art/ Music Elementary to 1x every other week ($188,500 savings)
Close a Building ($600,000 savings)
Standardize Grade Levels in Buildings
New Requests for Additional Spending
New Spending Requests, Additional Costs, Board Vote (Yays)
Attendance Verification (.5) $40,000 3 Yays
Teacher Assessments Mandate (2) $144,000 0 Yays
(There was a second vote on having one person in this position instead of 2 @ a cost of $72,000, when that was voted on there were 5 Yays).
Department Chairs $30,000 7 Yays
(This is linked to the 4 Administrator Reductions)
FTE plus resources)
There was more to the presentation that I have not included here, but this was the meat of the program. If anyone was at the meeting and feel that I should have included something, or caught a mistake that I most likely made, feel free to send an email to me at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading!