As a result, each school was given a funding amount based on student population, including weighted discretionary dollars, to make budget decisions that best fit the needs of their school. The goal was to provide as much flexibility to schools to meet the needs of their school population. Subsequently, we have heard from our school staff that this new formula is detrimental to our schools. Please know we listened to your concerns and funding of our classrooms and schools remains our first priority.
As of today, $1.8 million has already been restored to schools and the Executive Directors of Schools are working with school leaders to have the remaining amounts in place this week. We intend to fully restore what was cut during the WSS allocation.
End of update.
In an e-mail that was sent yesterday to SPS principals, Executive Directors and the Superintendent Leadership Team (but not the Board) by Michael Tolley - this was at 3:42 pm, about a half-hour before the Board meeting started, he told the principals a slightly different story than what was previously understood.
He says that the WSS committee had first decided on "the strategy of giving schools as much flexibility as possible...by converting some positions to discretionary dollars, knowing that schools could buy back positions if needed." Ah, the Sophie's Choice for principals.
He said then they cut $4M from discretionary dollars.
Then he said that in the all-staff letter Tuesday morning they "communicated our intent to fully restore the $4M with....money we received from the State and projected SPS reserves." Great.
BUT "schools that lost positions will see the restoration of funds as discretionary dollars. We strongly recommend that this restoration of discretionary funding be used to restore staff positions that may have been cut through the budgeting process."
The point is - if you are missing it - that the staffing positions, as needed parts of a well-run school, are NOT being restored. Instead the principals are being allowed to make the choice that the BLTs want. I would assume most BLTs would keep clerical staff but maybe not. It's hard to know what staff the district believes any given school needs to run but it appears they think it is fewer and fewer people.