Monday, May 23, 2005

SPPS Budget

Tonight the St. Paul School board will receive Superintendent Harvey's contingency plan for the 2005-06 budget. Since there isn't an education funding bill passed yet, contingency's must be made to ensure a balanced budget. Highlights

- reductions of $4.5 million to school budgets
- reductions of $6.3 million to central service budgets
- If the legislature does pass a K-12 funding bill that provides additional resources, the district will work to restore cuts to school and districtwide service budgets.

Other facts offered by District administration

** Saint Paul Public Schools is facing a $15.3 million deficit for the 2005-06 school year.

** Over the last five years the district has cut more than $50 million from its budget.

** The deficit is caused by state funding that has not kept up with rising costs.

** The contingency plan was developed with help from a district budget team and input from school site councils and the public.

** It includes difficult decisions and painful reductions that none of us wants to make. Those decisions:
Textbooks - $1,960,198
Delay the purchase of new textbooks and some replacement of textbooks for one year. This leaves a budget of $725,000 for
emergency purchases.

English Language Learner Program - $1,005,517
Eliminate 12.0 ELL educational assistants and 7.0 ELL teachers. This means that fewer staff will be provided to schools. Less native language support will be provided to students and parents.

Special Education - $1,501,227
Eliminate 4.6 FTE educational assistants, 9.45 FTE teachers and 7.5 FTE social workers. This will increase case loads.
This represents less than a 5% reduction but is the most that can be cut without losing federal revenue.

Family and Community Involvement - $146,629
Eliminate separate office and reassign remaining duties to other personnel, with continued budget support for the Children's Initiative and the Parent Information Fair. There will be no central office support for family involvement activities.

Student Wellness - $175,147
Eliminate .4 FTE educational assistants and 1.85 FTE nurses.
Building staff will assume more responsibility for the health needs of students.

Operations & Maintenance - $1,254,900
Eliminate 10.0 FTE custodians, 1.0 clerical support positions and 1,450 hours of seasonal grounds time. This will mean that two additional buildings will close early, there will be reductions in frequency of cleaning tasks and less frequent grass cutting. Implementation of more energy conservation programs and the re-bid of the phone system will save on utility costs.

Boys/Girls Athletics - $179,205
Eliminate teams with low participation and delay new equipment purchases. More reliance on fund raising.

Safety & Security - $154,100
Eliminate 4.5 FTE safety & security assistants. These positions are moved from school to school to meet daily security needs. There would be less flexibility and longer response time.

Senior Staff Reduction - $150,000
Eliminate one senior staff position and reassign duties as appropriate.

Salary and benefits - $376,194
Reduce 6.5 staff in the Business Office, Human Resources, Communications, Legal and Assessment. This will decrease customer service to schools and programs.

Permit Fees - $200,000
Increase fees for the use of district facilities. Some groups could be excluded due to higher fees.

Materials and Supplies - $63,954
Require automatic deposit of paychecks reducing postage, paper and envelopes. Also reduce photocopying and food purchases.

Research Evaluation & Assessment - $27,500
Eliminate PLAN and BST test expenses. MDE is expected to provide new tests in 2005-06.

Interest on Loans - $70,394
Borrow for less money to meet cash flow needs of the district, saving on interest costs.

Equipment Purchase and Repair - $50,336
Reduce or delay equipment purchases. In cases where leases are paid in full, don't upgrade to newer equipment.

Human Resources - $18,500
Reduce advertising of vacancies. Find alternative sources for candidate pools.

Travel and Conferences - $32,430
Allow less travel for conferences and conventions. Fewer staff development opportunities will be open to staff members.

Gifted and Talented - $100,000
Reduce support for projects or consultation. Eliminate support for Confratute and reduce materials for classroom teachers.

Belwin Lab - $16,113
Limit the number of students who can attend and have fewer supplies on site for students.

Student Information Systems - $97,149
Purchase 100 fewer computers for schools. Currently about 500 are purchased each year.

TV Production - $5,000
Eliminate taping and broadcast of School Board meetings. Reduced information provided to the community.

Attendance Action Center - $32,632
Eliminate .34 FTE and do not replace retiring social worker. Schools would have to absorb more costs.

Instructional Technology - $23,656
Eliminate maintenance contract on school library systems and support for AV parts. Schools will need to pay for these services if they chose to keep them.

Consultants and Contracts - $236,104
Reduce workshops and collaborative initiatives with schools. Less central support of schools or programs in crisis situations.

Substitute Teachers - $225,408
Reduce costs through closer management of absenteeism.

Sabbatical Leave - $120,000
Place a one year moratorium on sabbatical leaves.

Dues and Memberships - $38,730
Reduce the number of organizations to which district belongs. Could result in higher, non-member fees for some events.

Superintendent's Contingency -$28,977
Fewer dollars that the superintendent can make available to schools when emergency situations arise.

Storehouse - $60,000
Combine the mail delivery with the food delivery to buildings.
One less truck and driver will be necessary.

Transportation - $450,000
Change all charter schools to a fourth tier on the bus schedule.

TOTAL: $8,800,000
There is enough here for the Right to pick on and say "It's about time" and for the Left to say "how much more do we have to cut". But the reality is, here is what is being effected, and how the District administration is handling it. So nitpick away, but it sure looks like scraping bone to me!


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