School board plans for revenue shortage

Posted 3/19/10

The Englewood School Board workshop March 16 focused beginning preliminary planning for the unpleasant task of eliminating an estimated $2.6 million …

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School board plans for revenue shortage


The Englewood School Board workshop March 16 focused beginning preliminary planning for the unpleasant task of eliminating an estimated $2.6 million revenue shortage to balance the 2010-11 budget .

“This plan is based on the big picture and the financial forecasts we have in hand,” said Sean McDaniel, school superintendent. “However, all the financial forecasts are just best guesses, and right now, we have four of them. So here we are talking about a general outline of what we can do to balance the budget. Once we have real numbers, we can begin detail planning to try our best to keep the cuts away from the classrooms.”

Because district revenues are a blend of local taxes and state funding, the school district’s financial woes stem from declining enrollment and the economic climate that reduced revenues at the state and local level.

Englewood already has reduced staff and made cuts to balance this year’s budget and now face the task of making additional cuts for the coming school year.

Peg LaPlante, district finance officer, said efforts were made to stay within the district priorities of keeping classes small, paying competitive salaries, keeping up with technology, providing staff development and maintaining electives.

The result is the proposed cuts for the 2010-11 budget that include:

Not renewing the contracts of 24 probationary teachers to keep staff size in line with declining enrollment.

Eliminating three central office positions, a grounds keeper, a secondary counselor, four secondary office professionals, reducing the technology integration team from three to two and reducing the assistant principal to a dean position.

Working with all sides, there is an agreement to reduce the nurse contract because it can be done without compromising the safety of the children.

Reducing the budget for middle and high school athletics and activities by 20 percent.

LaPlante said the eliminations of the central office positions and the grounds keeper were made as a result of retirements or personnel leaving the district. She also said those who have positions eliminated will be given the opportunity to apply for any open positions in the district. However, she said because the district is eliminating positions at all staffing levels, that option might not prevent some personnel losing their jobs.

McDaniel said the district will watch closely as the legislature introduces the school finance act about mid-April and will watch to see changes made before the legislation is passed.

“The final school finance act will provide us with firm numbers so we can go to work to establish a preliminary budget that we want to present to the board by mid-May,” he said. “We know that, even in the best scenario, we will probably have to reduce spending, but again, our goal is to try to keep the reductions from having a direct impact on the classroom.”

Board Member Gene Turnbull told the staff they were on the right path.

“We all know the economic climate, and this is about where I expected we would be,” he said.

School board president Scott Gorsky agreed.

“We knew the situation we face so this isn’t unexpected,” he said. “However, I think it is wise we started on the budget process early. I feel that puts us in a better position to make adjustments when the reports and real numbers are available.”


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