Clip, Clip, can you take off a little more?

I know a great deal of thought and negotiation went into making the school budget cuts and I have to commend everyone involved for the effort. Are more cuts necessary to balance the budget or should those costs over budget and deficit be covered by the taxpayer? Is it okay for the school to just run a deficit every year? What if the State further reduces their contribution?

It stands to reason that support staff would feel more of the effect than the teachers or public workers; teachers cost more because they have a union to support. Teachers also get professional representation, negotiation and protection because of their costlier union. Public workers are the fastest growing market and the largest employers.

Are so many opposed to a collective decision? If that had been the route taken, there probably would have been discussion and agreement that everyone takes the same percentage cut as everyone else. If the positions are essential to the operation, most people would (we should hope) opt for pay cuts across the board to avoid layoffs or even a select few from taking the brunt. Can anyone say “shared sacrifice”?

From a discussion I had with Dan Garno, District CFO, I understood they came to the decision of support staff cuts based on numerous factors including the savings that could have been realized if they opted to use outside companies to perform some of those services versus the higher in-house cost. He thought those on the higher end of the scale may be most affected. Bus drivers were previously paid using numbers based on a formula that took into consideration time actually spent driving, time sitting and waiting, number of stops and length of their route (could have included more or less). When they converted that formula to a per hour pay grade, it provided another savings for the budget.

Mr. Garno stated that instead of hiring more part-time positions the offer was made to support staff to take on other duties or work longer hours to alleviate some of the financial losses.

The total forcasted revenues for 2010-2011 is $9,678,058.00  and the expenditures total $9,955.728.00. Review the budget overview, here is the link.

Photograph by: HealingDream

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