The 2012/13 budget adoption process is now complete and the adopted budget becomes effective July 1, 2012. With the newly adopted budget come a number of significant changes to the operation of the District made necessary by the financial constraints placed on all school districts by the stagnant economy and its impact on the state school fund. We are sharing the information below with you in order to give you facts about our budget and the changes that will take place over the upcoming year.
First, a few notes about our district’s funding levels:
The 2012/13 adopted budget includes the following reductions:
These duties will be covered by existing staff members and may affect the hours of public access to the District Office.
These duties will be distributed to other staff members in the Department of Teaching and Learning and will not impact the District’s compliance with TAG requirements.
One year ago our Director of Technology position became open and the position was not filled with an administrator, but rather, with a TOSA. In order to move forward with our technology plan, we are replacing the 1.0 FTE TOSA with a 0.5 FTE Director.
This reduction strategy includes all administrators, certain year-round classified staff and confidential employees and results in an additional two furlough days on July 5 and July 6 for those employee groups. School facilities will be closed these two days and most activities will be cancelled, with a few exceptions such as transportation to out of district programs and some athletic activities.
One licensed and one classified staff member opted for the early retirement incentive. The savings represents the estimated difference between an employee on the top step of the salary schedule and their replacement lower on the salary scale.
This reduction takes us back to one grounds maintenance worker that we had prior to the building of the Ridges campus and the expansion of the high school. This reduction will make it impossible to keep up with the landscape maintenance in the front of school facilities and district offices. Each school will look to their PAC’s and other parent and student groups for assistance with this work.
This will lessen the amount identified in the long-range plan for bus replacement for next year. The result is the bus fleet will continue to age potentially increasing future maintenance costs.
The City of Sherwood has tentatively agreed to reduce the District’s utility costs by giving the District a credit on its storm drainage fees for the next two years.
The District currently uses Education Service District credits to purchase speech pathologist services. Hiring the District’s own speech pathologist, at a lower salary, will result in a savings.
The staffing ratio will increase from 25.5:1 to 26.5:1 at the elementary level, 23.7:1 to 26.75:1 at the middle level, and 28.0:1 to 28.5:1 at the high school level. This will result in a loss of 3.0 FTE at the elementary level, 3.5 FTE at the middle level and a reduction of two projected growth positions at the high school level. The effect of this reduction strategy will be an increase of the ratio of kids to teachers across all levels of instruction in the district. This strategy also eliminates one of the two band director positions at the middle school level and results in the remaining band director teaching band classes at both middle schools.
The information below explains how staffing ratios affect class size, for a true “apples to apples” comparison of class size.
The elementary staffing ratio does not include P.E., music or technology teachers. It only includes classroom teachers; therefore, it is a truer average class size ratio.
Schools and departments will decrease supplies and materials budgets by approximately 20%.
Savings were achieved through an increase in the participation fees per sport of $25 and reductions to materials and services line items within the athletics budget. These two strategies will result in a savings of $46,500 and therefore a reduction in the general fund contribution to athletics in the same amount.
All of these reductions will become effective July 1, 2012.
As you can imagine, this has been a tough year for our district and many difficult decisions have been made that affect our staff and students. Some incredible educators lost their jobs this year. In addition, class sizes are growing; staff are feeling the effects of additional students in their classrooms, the burden of fewer work days and professional development days, and reduced classroom supply budgets.
This next school year will be the second year our teachers have not taken a cost of living adjustment, in addition to a loss of pay for three furlough days. This is also the second year for administrators to go without a cost of living adjustment and they will be taking five furlough days in 2012-13. Finally, our classified staff will experience a reduction of between three and five work days.
One of the most difficult realities is that we don’t expect relief anytime soon. Due to projected increases in employer retirement contributions, a projected slow down in the growth of new students and continued flat funding, we expect to make deeper cuts next year as we prepare the 2013/14 budget.
Please accept our thanks for your support, your collaboration and for advocating for the students of Sherwood. While this is a somber note, we will continue to do everything possible to make Sherwood a great place for ALL kids.