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Budget Exercise, EDCI 506-02

Posted by on October 28, 2013

During this week’s lesson, we explored a school budget. Our assignment was to cut the school budget by 20%. I have attached a letter written to the Board of Education for their next scheduled meeting with information and rationale as to where I placed cuts.I chose Stafford County Public Schools because that is currently where I live and work as a substitute. On my final page, I included my budget exercise worksheet. Cuts I made are written in red along with specific details as to why I chose to make cuts in that category. Our assignment was to assess categories that schools budget and as a superintendent make the final budget cut decisions. Please feel free to take a look at my decisions and rationale. I would greatly appreciate your input to my decisions.

 

Superintendent of Schools

Board of Education

Stafford County Public Schools

31 Stafford Ave.

Stafford, VA 22554

 

Brittany Miller

Superintendent

Mountain View High School

2135 Mountain View Road

Stafford, VA 22556

 

Dear Superintendent and Board of Education Representatives,

This letter addresses the announcement of educational budget cuts for Stafford County Public Schools. As the Superintendent at Mountain View High School, I have attached a complete chart categorizing areas that I would like to keep funding to and categories I would like to make financial cuts to.  This attachment provides specific details and is highlighted in red to easily understand where cuts were made.

Protect Instructional Staff and Personnel

You have asked for the budget to be dropped by 20%, leaving our school at a total of 88 points. To do this, I had to cut 22 points from various categories. I decided to keep full points in the “protect instructional staff” category. This was a strong decision I had to make, without our educators, we would not be able to effectively teach students. Under the “protect staff” category, I also left points at their full potential. We need full-time office assistance and part-time employees. Paraprofessionals are in high demand as well and substitute teachers. Without this financial budget, we would have open holes in our education system, making it difficult to deliver a positive education for all students. Along with this idea, I kept full points under the “protect building services” category. It is extremely important that we maintain funding to custodial staff and building repair and maintenance personnel because we want to continue to provide a safe and clean school for all individuals.

Limit Reductions to the Library

The library is a wonderful source for students and teachers alike to access information and research. I decided to keep full points for library staff. It is important for a school to maintain its library staff to keep current with books and research information. I decided to cut two points towards physical books because of the amount of information and access schools can have online. Books can be purchased for a lower price online and ultimately save space in the school by accessing them online. When I assign a research assignment to my students, they rarely use physical books from the school library, no matter how much I encourage them to use these books. These decisions also led to my reduction by three points to periodicals/journals. This is something that many high school students and younger grades do not use often. I think that these are major sources for higher education students. For our purpose, we can afford to cut this category significantly to keep other categories in our budget.

Protect Learning Resources

Academic technology is booming and becoming more and more present in our school system. We must maintain full points to support this change and continue to implement technology in the classroom. Textbook adoption is extremely helpful when it comes to subject content and keeping information up-to-date. I took one point off of this category because I do not see it implemented as much as it could be and I am afraid that funds are not being properly used. I kept full points for the teacher instructional category because this includes supplies used in the classroom by both teachers and students alike. It is important to maintain these supplies in the classroom because of their importance to instruction and learning for all ages. I decided to cut the field trip fund down by three points. As I do believe that field trips are a great way to deliver information and get the students involved, I have experienced that not a lot of learning actually takes place on these trips. I do believe that with the technology boom, field trips can be done virtually and produce a better learning experience done in the classroom.

Protect Faculty Services

Employee tuition reimbursement for college courses taken for license renewal or advanced degree is something that is very beneficial for educators. I ultimately decided to cut this funding down by two. I made this decision because as I am currently employed at Stafford County Public Schools, this option does not exist. Therefore, I do not see the sense in continuing to budget for this category. I also cut down workshops for teachers by two. This decision was based on the demand of workshops. It is low in Stafford County and I see few educators take advantage of these resources.

Protect Student Services

Student resources and programs outside of the four-walled classroom are great and should be kept to a certain extent. Athletic/recreation programs are a wonderful way to get student involvement and teach responsibility and communication between students. I decided to leave this category at full points. The student activity bus program is also very beneficial to students and allows students without a ride to partake in extracurricular programs with a way home safely. I also left this category at full points. The Parent Resource Program sounds like a wonderful program to have for parents, however, I think that a lot of that information can be accessed at a local library or at a parent/teacher conference. I decided to cut the funding by one, allowing it to still be available in moderation. Positive behavior support is important to maintain in the public school system and I left it at full points. Preschool special education was the next category on my list. I ultimately decided to cut this down by two. This category can be pushed to higher years and help place funds for educators who teach special education in K-12 grades. Summer school is a major help for students who are struggling in school. I lowered the points in this category by two because of the technology that is now available. NovaNet is a class that is currently available in Stafford County Public Schools. NovaNet allows students to take missed classes online during the school day and ultimately take away the need for “summer” school. After-school programs are currently available at Mountain View High School but are held by students themselves. This allows students to get involved and learn through running the programs. This also allows me to to cut this category by three.

 

Please take a closer look at my detailed chart of budget cut categories. These cuts were analyzed carefully with our student’s best interest in mind. I carefully placed budget cuts in areas that were not being used to maximize other categories to their full potential. My ending result consisted of a 20% reduction in the budget and a total of 88 total points for Mountain View High School.

 

Kindest Regards,

 

Brittany Miller

Superintendent

Mountain View High School

540-555-5555

 


                                BUDGET LIST

Points

20% cut

Protect instructional staff
Avoid layoffs of core content teachers*

10

10
Avoid layoffs of special subject teachers**

10

10
Avoid cuts to health benefits

6

6
Protect Staff
Teacher instructional aides

5

5
Full-time office staff **need them

5

5
Part-time employees subs?

3

3
Limit reductions to the library
Staff –research to find online materials/apply for  online books

3

3
Books Google/books online

5

2
Periodicals/Journals Not currently used

4

1
Protect Building Services
Custodial staff –do not want to run down school

3

3
Building repair and maintenance

4

4
Protect Learning Resources
Academic technology

5

5
Textbook adoption KEEP

5

4
Teacher Instructional Budget***

5

5
Field trips Great, but can be done virtually

5

2
Protect Faculty Services
Employee tuition reimbursement for college courses taken for license renewal or advanced degree Stafford-N/A

4

2
Staff development for teachers – workshops, support to attend conferences, etc.

5

3
Protect Student Services
Athletic/recreation programs

5

5
Student activity bus

2

2
Parent Resource Center (city Library)

2

1
Positive behavior support

2

2
Preschool special education

3

1
Summer school during school-NovaNet/online

4

2
After-school programs student ran

5

2

TOTAL

110

88-88

*      Core Teachers = math, science, social studies, math

**    Special Subject Teachers = PE, art, music, vocational, special education, etc.

***   Teacher Instructional Budget = maps, copy paper, markers, manipulative, etc

 

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