SVSD Reveals Cuts Needed To Balance 2012-13 Budget

At a SVSD School Board Work Session April 12th, administrators introduced their plan to balance next year’s budget.  The current unbalanced budget is eating into the district’s reserve fund, taking it from $3.4 million to $2.6-$2.8 million.  Next year’s budget cuts are needed to maintain the reserve fund at the level which it closes at year-end.  To sustain that fund level, $1.3 million in tough cuts are needed from the 2012-13 budget.  The budget reductions stem from under enrollment, not implementing a state mandated 1.9% salary cut on teachers in their new contract and from increases in budget items like gasoline.

The first $300,000 of proposed cuts would be administrative.  $120,000 would be trimmed from administration salary; $150,00 from technology money – buy copiers vs. lease, improve phone costs, shift more expenses to tech levy paid funds; $20,000 would be saved by increasing school lunches by $.25; $10,000 would be saved by consolidating bus routes.

The rest of the proposed cuts would come from reducing teacher and instructional assistant salaries.  $1 million of savings would come from eliminating 14.2 time equivalent (FTE) teaching positions.  On a positive note, most of those salary reductions would be from retiring or resigning teachers.  Only 1-2 would be from layoffs.  The 14.2 teachers lost would not be replaced next year.

Elementary schools could see the loss of 8 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers across all five schools.  SVSD is committed to maintaining smaller K-2 grade classes so the class size increase would be felt more in grades 3-5, where 1-2 more students is projected for each class.  Middle schools would lose 2.6 FTE teachers – 1.6 specialist teachers and 1 core teacher.  Eleven hours of daily middle school instructional assistant time would also be cut.  High schools would lose 3.6 FTE teachers – 1 special ed, 1.4 specialists, 1 CTE and 0.2 world languages.  Additionally, twelve hours of daily high school instructional assistant time would be cut.   It was not said how many instructional assistant job cuts equaled the reduced daily IA hours.

There is also one proposed extracurricular activity budget reduction.  The pay to play fee for sports would raise by $15 at the middle schools and by $25 at the high school.  This fee increase would save the district $30,000.

At the work session, school board members were also told that the future Freshman Learning Center would add roughly $300,000 to the 2013-14 budget. Administrators said there is time to determine where to find the additional budget.

SVSD should have the Budget Reduction Plan on its website early this week, along with a link for residents to comment on the proposed cuts.  The school board is scheduled to vote on the reduction plan at its next regular meeting on April 26th at 7:30PM at the District Office, 8001 Silva Ave SE.

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