Budget Work Session
I attended the Budget Work Session on Wednesday. It was pretty sobering. Key facts:
Transportation thread to come.
- There is a projected deficit of $18.4M. I would love to explain it all to you (and I will try to at least get the PowerPoint up by tomorrow) but frankly, I look down at the paper version and I don't know what half of it is. Imagine my happiness (and surprise) to hear Board Directors say, "Now, what is this?" because they don't know either. I don't know if it is the Budget office trying to use smoke and mirrors or just too much jargon but if the people who will make the final decisions don't know what you are talking about, you're doing something wrong.
- By April 10th, we will have the Governor's budget, the House budget and the Senate budget. We were told that is when "the rubber meets the road." The Governor released his budget today and it seems quite favorable to K-12 ed (if not quite the amount everyone would want). He seems to be finding the money through closing many tax loopholes.
- KEY FACT: transportation may be cut back and big, big changes in the future for times and service. Between the boundary changes and the transportation changes, parents expect a seismic shift.
- Sequestration issues have not hit the district yet and it may be a year before the district feels it..
- one-time use of Unassigned Fund Balance
- one-time use of Assigned Fund Balance - Pension
- increase in Full Day K rate from $272 to $311 per month (that would be about 15% which one reader commented was about what they said would happen)
- Capital Transfer for Software Costs under BEX IV
- Maximize Current Year Underspend (hiring/spending freeze)
- Charge Stipends to TIF
- Transportation Saving - EEU (this one surprised me. This is talking about transportation for the UW EEU school program for ALL students. I had thought they only transported Special Ed children but apparently not.)
- withdraw 20% non-staff hold back from schools - apparently the district holds back 20% of a school's projected budget until October counts but could just withhold it longer. Apparently other districts don't allow this.
- savings through bargaining (I'm guessing they mean the teachers contract, good luck with that).
- Central Adm reductions (very funny - "eliminate second SE Ex Director")
- Hamilton staffing capacity costs - apparently Hamilton may need more teachers for capacity management.
- Int'l School Certificated Staff and Middle School Recovery - totally not explained but it was stated that at Beacon Hill and McDonald they may have a building situation where they have Japanese and Spanish classes together. I find this odd because it was not mentioned at ALL at the Board meeting where they were talking about funding staff. Hmmm. (The middle school recovery part is to pay for long-term suspended/expelled students to continue middle school reentry and get behavior modification counseling.)
- TIF Grant backfill - Ah, yes, districts love to take grant money but oh, is the devil in the details. Every grant has its costs to a district. Well, for TIF, our district may have to now pay for some TIF positions. Kay asked if they knew about this from the beginning and the answer was yes. So we took this grant knowing that, down the road, we would have a sort of "balloon" payment to come.
- Professional Development - at a whopping $5.9M
- Elementary math adoption
- Assessment changes (this has a question mark and you have to wonder if anything can change with MAP because there may be no money to make changes)
- Retrofit Crew Project (no idea)
- Elementary Counselors (looks like they would like to bring them back but it's $6.3M)
- International Schools - at $700k and I wonder what this is. No idea as we have been repeatedly told that the international schools get no extra money and I haven't heard of any new ones opening up.
- Wallace Foundation Arts Grant Match - this is not happening because we didn't get the grant
- HS College&Career Specialists - again, it looks like they want to bring these back but where to find the dollars?
- City Year Proposal - I love City Year but I don't know exactly what this is for.
- United Way Parent Child Home Program
- IB programs - this one has a question mark for its dollar figure. Betty Patu worried over this one and her concern was acknowledged.
Transportation thread to come.