The spring is a time for planning for the 2014-15 school year, developing a budget that meets the needs of the students of the district with the available resources is a complicated process as we attempt to balance the school district budget. Stuart Simpson, Business Manager, develops a calendar and timeline for the budget process. Planning for the 2014-15 fiscal year began in January 2014, taking into consideration the school district fiscal year is September to August. Certified contract negotiations were completed in January, Certification of State Aid occurs in April. The combination of these two major factors allows the planning to move forward in earnest. Continuing the budget process, the school district receives preliminary tax valuations in June, a Budget Hearing is held in August, a Levy Hearing in September, and the official adoption of the budget by the School Board in September. Three members of the school board serve on the Finance/Communication Sub-Committee; this committee is involved in budget discussions every month.
One of the six district priorities is “Efficient and Effective Use of Resources” and one of the four district goals is “Maintain finances in order to sustain educational programs while maintaining and improving safety, accessibility, usability and value of our school facilities within budget limitations”. This priority and goal directly relate to the development of our district budget. We make every effort to utilize our resources efficiently and effectively; the primary resource in a school district is the staff. Every spring we have retirements and resignations, prior to hiring replacements for these staff members we evaluate the position to determine if a staff member needs to be hired for that particular position. We take several factors into consideration, including; student enrollment, program efficiency, class size, and impact on student learning.
For example; Hall Elementary School had four students registered for the 2014-15 Kindergarten class – a decision was made to not offer Kindergarten at Hall, those four students will be transferred (parent choice) to another Kindergarten classroom within the district. The teacher was reallocated to an open position in the district. Another example; two special education positions were open this spring due to resignations; the district and building administration evaluated teacher caseload and determined that these two positions can possibly be absorbed with reallocation of current district special education staff.
Building administrators, in cooperation with district administration, evaluate openings on their staff and determine if open positions could better meet the needs of the students by reallocating staff into areas of need.
Budget, fiscal responsibility, and allocation of resources are important topics for our school district and community. We must look closely at these issues as we strive to meet our mission - Student Learning, Student Achievement, Student Success.