It’s That Time Again

Here is a quick snapshot of the Superintendent’s proposed budget:

2.39%, or $1,582,381 increase
Total proposed budget amount $67,608,323

Staffing Increases:
2 Elementary Remedial Math Teachers
1 Elementary Science Teacher Grades 3-5
.6 Strings Teacher
1 Teacher and 1 Paraprofessional for an additional Pre-K Classroom
Funding to continue 1:1 chromebooks for students in grades 2-12
Addition of a Kindergarten early start program
Increase of $25,000 to major maintenance

Reductions:
1 Seminar Teacher at WHS
.6 teacher Sage Park
$50,000 reduction in summer school costs
$20,000 reduction in textbooks

The format of the budget, as well as our budget adoption process, is essentially identical to prior years. The Superintendent has stated that we have made changes and are more “transparent” this year, but if you compare this year’s budget book to last year’s they look essentially the same. While our finance committee this year is a committee of the entire Board, our process has been exactly as it was in prior years. This is disappointing to me, as many Board members gave suggestions as to changes we’d like to see, and they just didn’t happen. In terms of the additions and reductions, I have a hard time moving passed the elimination of the seminar teacher at the High School. Seminar was once a truly great gifted and talented program, and with this cut we are completely eliminating our gifted and talented program at the high school. The reaction to this cut from the Board has been mixed, with the exception of President Santos, who appears to be on a mission to demonstrate how unnecessary the seminar program is. Unfortunately I fear this is motivated by her desire to stand in opposition to anything a Republican member supports, as she knows how important this program is to myself and other Republican members, and not out of any real concern for the well-being or enrichment of our students.

We continue to hold public forums and finance committee meetings as we work our way through the budget. Please come and share your questions and concerns on the budget with us.

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