The ran in the red last year, and it will do so this year too. But a decision the Board of Education made at its Feb. 7 meeting should keep 2012-13 in the black.
The board approved an approximately $739,000 cut in the 2012-13 school year budget. That's in addition to $134,000 already trimmed from this year’s budget. Together, roughly $873,000 in expenses has been cut.
“We weathered the storm longer than other districts, but it’s caught up with us now,” said Dr. Charles Penberthy, superintendent of the school district.
In the future, the district won't be able to use reserves to provide the services and programs it has in the past.
He said the board kept two things in mind in when making its decisions: Effects on student programs and services, and effects on staff.
Cuts are expected to result in the following changes:
- Deferrment of the social justice professional development program for next year.
- Reduction in scope of facility study.
- Elimination of paper check stubs. Staff will receive this information electronically.
- Reduction in the hours of the professional development coordinator.
- Reduction in secretarial services for , and the district's central office.
- Delay of computer replacement schedule.
- Reductions in window, roofing, energy management and capital projects expenditures.
- Reduction in an early childhood teaching position from full-time to half-time.
- Elimination of a teacher assistant position at McGrath and Mark Twain.
- Reduction of administrative intern position.
- Reduction in Parent As Teachers staff.
- Reduction in social worker contracted days.
- Reduction in teacher assistant contracted days at all buildings.
The cuts won’t put fund balances back where district officials want them to be, but they will at least stop deficit spending, Penberthy said.
"Really there’s only one way to right this boat, either cut expenditures or you increase revenue," he said. "It sounds pretty simple. It’s not, but it sounds simple."
He said the process started several months ago when the board reviewed a list of faculty-suggested cuts.
Penberthy will retire this year and be , the current assistant superintendent.