|District unveils budget savings plan for 2009-2010 school year|
Tuesday night School Board members conducted a public work session to discuss the district’s 2009-2010 budget savings plan. This plan is based on a projected target reduction of $3.5 million state revenue shortfall for the 2009-10 school year. Below is an outline of the 2009-2010 Budget Savings Plan.
- Walla Walla Public Schools administrators and school board members have listened to input from staff, parents, students and community leaders to help make budget decisions in light of the economic recession which is resulting in state budget cuts.
- Walla Walla Public Schools Budget Savings plan calls for trimming expenditures by $3.5 million for the 2009-2010 general fund budget.
- At this time, no permanent staff will lose their jobs as a result of Reduction-in-Force action. Staffing reductions will be made through internal transfers and attrition.
- This plan limits the impact on district academic or extra-curricular programs. Student learning and extra-curricular programs remain a high priority.
- At this time, reductions have been made to teacher support staff and learning support programs to protect current class size.
- $1.1 million in revenue generated from 2008-09 school year enrollment increases will be spent down to save permanent staff positions for the 2009-10 school year, while maintaining the school board directed three to five percent unreserved general fund balance.
- Federally funded programs including Special Education, Bilingual Education, Title One/Learning Assistance Programs for schools serving families living in poverty are not paid for with state funds and do not impact the district’s “General Fund” budget. Reductions in these areas do not improve the district’s general fund deficit.
- Funding generated from school construction bonds reside in the district’s capital budget and cannot be used to off-set general fund shortfalls.
Budget Savings Plan at a glance...
How is the district proposing saving $3.5 million for the 2009-10 school year?
- Trimming staff through attrition: Positions made vacant through retirements or other reasons may not be filled. Temporary contracts are non-continuing. If the position is needed, it will be filled with the current permanent staff.
- Internal transfers: Open positions are being filled through internal transfers. This allows the district to reduce personnel expenditures, while allowing current staff to remain employed without noticeable impact to classrooms and programs. Reductions have been made to teacher support staff and learning support programs.
- Administrative cuts: Connie Taylor-Randall is transferring to the central office. This move combines two central office positions into one. The district is eliminating four administrative Dean of Students positions. The district’s former Dean of Students are returning to the classroom or filling other district positions as part of this cost savings measure.
- Out of State Travel suspended: Out of state travel has been suspended for the 2009-2010 school year. Out of State travel funded by grants may be allowed.
- Athletic Department reductions: The district’s athletic budget will be reduced by approximately $100,000. Reduction details remain pending.
- Non-employee related expenditure reductions: Costs for supplies and contractual services are being cut.
- Professional Development reductions: There will be less professional development funds allocated.
- Curriculum Adoption delays: There will be delays for curriculum adoptions.
- Internal administrative hirings: Open administrative positions are being hired internally.
- Energy Management Program: Program has cut energy consumption 25 percent to save on utilities.
- Categorical Program Maintenance fee increase: The district is increasing its “in-direct” support fees from 2% to 4% on categorical programs (Programs include: Special Education, Bilingual, Title One/Learning Assistance Program). This helps offset the district’s general fund costs to support these non-basic education programs.
- Wednesday teacher collaboration schedule combined: The district will eliminate delayed start Wednesdays for secondary schools (Pioneer, Garrison, Walla Walla High School, Lincoln Alternative High School program). All schools will follow a Wednesday early release collaboration schedule. This move cuts transportation and supervision costs.
- Lincoln Alternative High School GED prep class eliminated: The district will eliminate the Lincoln Alternative Education General Education Diploma preparatory class. This program is still available at Walla Walla Community College. District staff will work closely with WWCC to provide this service to Walla Walla Public Schools students.
- Library-Media Specialist reduced to half-time: The district will eliminate three Library-Media Specialist positions. The remaining three Library-Media Specialists will be assigned to two schools to provide half-time service at each of their schools. Elementary libraries will also receive some classified support.
- Academic coaches to return to classrooms: The district’s academic coaches are returning to the classroom or filling other district positions as part of a cost savings measure.
- Creekside Alternative Middle School eliminated: This reduction saves the district one full-time teaching position and one full-time classified support staff position.
What is the district’s philosophy and criteria for making budget decisions?
- Do not violate the law or negotiated agreements;
- Protect the safety of students, staff and community;
- Weigh the impact on our primary mission of teaching and learning;
- Take stakeholder input into account;
- Align with actions of the state legislature;
- Identify strategic savings rather than across-the-board reductions;
- Promote additional operational efficiencies;
- Consider non-employee related expenses before personnel reductions;
- Consider reducing local subsidies of state and federal categorical programs; and
- Pursue additional revenue sources.