A Message from Superintendent Cordie

posted Jun 22, 2012, 1:23 PM by Corey Thompson

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 District is slated to receive $6,079 per student beginning July 1, 2012.  This amount is slightly higher than the amount received by the District on a per student basis for 2007/08 of $6,023. 
  • The District’s general fund budget adopted for 2012/13 is $38,738,658.  This is slightly higher than the 2011/12 general fund adopted budget of $37,828,790. 
  • The 2012/13 general fund budget was reduced by $1,339,485 from what it would have been had all programs been rolled forward from the previous year.  In addition to the reductions explained in more detail below, the budget draws down the general fund balance in 2012/13 by $1,227,995.  It should also be noted that the adopted budget draws down reserves in the amount of $1,475,000. 
  • At the end of the 2012/13 fiscal year, the District is projected to have $1,496,276 in general fund balance and $2,240,083 in reserves.  These two amounts will be at their lowest level in the past five years and are expected to be fully depleted by the end of the 2013/14 school year.


The 2012/13 adopted budget includes the following reductions:


  1. Reduce District Office Receptionist (1.0 FTE) $57,336

These duties will be covered by existing staff members and may affect the hours of public access to the District Office.


  1. Reduce Secretary for Talented & Gifted Program (0.6 FTE) $28,895

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.


  1. Reduce Technology Department Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) (1.0 FTE) $62,166

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.


  1. District-Wide Summer Closure – 2 days $32,800

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.


  1. Early Retirement Incentives $20,000

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.


  1. Reduce Maintenance Position (1.0 FTE) $69,668

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.


  1. Reduce Bus Replacement Fund $100,000

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.


  1. Waiver of Fees by the City $50,000

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.


  1. Hire In-House Speech Pathologist $34,000

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.


  1. Increase Staffing Ratios – Licensed Staff Reductions (8.50 FTE) $624,750

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.

Middle school and high school ratios include all teachers, including P.E. and electives; however, not all teachers are teaching at the same time, as some teachers are on prep each period of the day. Therefore, the ratios are not a true representation of class sizes at the secondary level.  The calculations below are a more accurate representation of average class sizes at each level; the 2012-13 ratios represent projected enrollment and are based on the budget proposal.

Elementary class size formula: Number of students ÷ classroom FTE
Example: 1,853 students ÷ 69 teachers = 26.86

Middle schools class size formula: Number of students ÷ classroom FTE ÷ .83 (to account for teachers on prep)
Example: 1,186 students ÷ 44.33 teachers ÷ .8333 = 32.1

High school class size formula: Number of students ÷ classroom FTE ÷ .80 (to account for teachers on prep)
Example: 1,517 students ÷ 53.08 teachers ÷ .80 = 35.72

Ratios Presented for 2011-12

Actual AverageClass Sizes for 2011-12

Ratios Proposed for 2012-13

Projected AverageClass Sizes for 2012-13*











High School





*Determining staffing levels at each building by ratio allows for a more equitable allocation of FTE district-wide. 2012-13 staffing ratios bring the two secondary levels closer to parity.


  1. District-Wide Reduction of Supplies & Materials $213,370

Schools and departments will decrease supplies and materials budgets by approximately 20%.


  1. Athletics Reduction $46,500

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.