Thanks to my friends and acquaintences who attended the budget forum I had this morning at Real Coffee. I got to speak with 5-10 folks about some of the district's financial woes. It was more timely than I ever thought it would be, coming on the heels of the administration's staffing proposal for next year. The news just went from bad to worse for the district, with an estimated $950,000 deficit expected prior to any cuts. Four scenarios were then presented with increasing levels of cuts and differing levels of bottom line. Option 1 cuts 6.14 staff, mostly teachers, pushes back cash in lieu to $4314 for everyone (saving $42,000!) and, if no increase is factored in for either salary or benefits, results in a $104,000 deficit situation. Option 2 radically changes the middle school to a traditional schedule, cutting another 4 teachers and option 3 adds a GT position to the block and option 4 a reading specialist. Review the plan on the district website noted below.
The administration noted to the board that their timeline was tight (lay off notices are due April 15) and they wanted board action on the proposal on April 8. Board president Kathi Swanson noted that if they have public and staff listening sessions, the technology implementation plan completely laid out and the staff development plan to implement the changes budgeted and planned by then, then that will be fine. Also, the board needs the information well before April 8 to study and fully understand the final proposal. My guess is that the vote will be delayed until the April 29 meeting (April 22 is the reorganization meeting and the committee meetings are the 29th). The administration can issue the notices and rescind any that are unnecessary by June 15 or something. It yanks around folks unnecessarily, but this board has failed to take a meaure to vote for lack of information through two different administrations. Nobody should be surprised that they weren't willing to vote without public and staff input. They have been about the community and the kids since day 1 and I for one am ready to back these kinds of moves. Nobody should have to vote on 10 peoples livelihoods without proper feedback. Good job school board for sticking to your guns on this issue.
Please vote on April 2, no matter who you support. I'm all about democracy in action. Let's shoot for a 50% turnout. Let your voice be heard! There's also a supreme court choice to be made that could very much impact the work done on schools in the future because Act 10 is headed there, I'm pretty sure.