Good Budget News

Dr. Elizabeth Fagen, Superintendent, Douglas County School District
Posted

Over the last several months, we have been prepared for a number of different budget scenarios and now, thanks to improved state revenues, a reform-minded agenda, and innovative ideas we have dramatically improved our FY 2013 budget recommendation. 

We have put forth a budget package that will positively impact the overall educational experience by preserving specials and electives and lowering class sizes.  We are also incredibly pleased to offer our outstanding employees a raise after four long years of pay freezes and increased workloads.

The proposed budget reaffirms the strong district commitment to students, staff, and the overall strategic plan.  It also achieves the three District budget goals:  it prepares students for the future and ensures that every DCSD student is prepared to compete on world stage for any college or career of their choice;  it improves the quality of life for district employee; and, it continues to improve the fiscal health of the District.

Our FY 2013 budget recommendation  will increase the funding to our elementary schools by $50 per student next year, hold steady at our middle schools with no reductions next year, and meet all of our high school students’ requests next year while still realizing savings that will help us balance the district budget. 

The plan provides DCSD employees a 1% raise along with a 1% retention bonus.  Additional employee benefits include one additional, non-contact, contract day for professional development, liability coverage, pre-paid legal services,  short-term disability insurance, and 100% coverage of the PERA increase.

While the state legislature plans to maintain funding for K-12 education in FY 2012-13, DCSD will still face an $18.1 million shortfall.  The shortfall is the result of  increases in PERA and the fact that one-time money (reserves and the use of Pay for Performance funds) are being used in the current year (2011-2012 school year) to balance the budget. 

A significant portion of the budget cuts for the 2012-2013 school year will come from efficiency savings and reductions to central administration budgets totaling over $7 million. 

The proposed budget outline is as follows:

 

            Proposed Reductions                                  Impact on Budget                

            Elementary School Reduction ($0/SBB)        $0

                        *(SBB=Student Based Budgeting figure)                  

            Middle School Reduction ($50/SBB)              $0.5 M

                        *(SBB=Student Based Budgeting figure)

            High School Reduction ($225/SBB)               $3.6 M

                        *(SBB=Student Based Budgeting figure)

            Central Administration Reductions                 $1.0 M

Cost of Business Budget Opportunities         $6.0 M

            Capital Reduction                                           $3.4 M

            Negotiated Items                                             $2.0 M

            Contingency                                                    $1.6 M

            Total FY 2013 Budget Reduction               $18.1 M

 

In addition to the budget outline, DCSD has also proposed using $3 million of fund balance (one-time money) to further mitigate impacts to the classroom. This proposed line item would increase funding at schools by $50 per student next year.  The total impact to schools:

 

                                    Proposed Application of Fund Balance Dollars to Schools

                                    Elementary School                                         +$50 SBB Increase

                                    Middle School Reduction                                $0 SBB Reduction                 

                                    High School Reduction                                   $175 SBB Reduction

 

While no reduction to any of our schools would be our first choice, I believe we have prepared a budget and associated negotiations package that demonstrates our clear commitment to providing excellent learning environments to our students and improving the quality of life for our awesome employees. 

Over the last several months, we have heard from students, parents, employees and community members via telephone townhalls, community meetings, surveys, school visits, listening tours, and more.  We want to thank everyone for their time.  We have listened to their input and suggestions and worked hard to build a budget that meets the needs and addresses the concerns of our stakeholders.

We have prepared for the future, we have improved the quality of life for our extraordinary employees, and we are putting the district in a stronger financial position – fiscal health.  As both a parent and a leader in DCSD, I am excited about the improvements we have made and the future ahead for our district. 

Details about the budget process and our proposal are available at:

https://www.dcsdk12.org/budgetfacts/20122013budget

 

 

Over the last several months, we have been prepared for a number of different budget scenarios and now, thanks to improved state revenues, a reform-minded agenda, and innovative ideas we have dramatically improved our FY 2013 budget recommendation. 

 

We have put forth a budget package that will positively impact the overall educational experience by preserving specials and electives and lowering class sizes.  We are also incredibly pleased to offer our outstanding employees a raise after four long years of pay freezes and increased workloads.

 

The proposed budget reaffirms the strong district commitment to students, staff, and the overall strategic plan.  It also achieves the three District budget goals:  it prepares students for the future and ensures that every DCSD student is prepared to compete on world stage for any college or career of their choice;  it improves the quality of life for district employee; and, it continues to improve the fiscal health of the District.

 

Our FY 2013 budget recommendation  will increase the funding to our elementary schools by $50 per student next year, hold steady at our middle schools with no reductions next year, and meet all of our high school students’ requests next year while still realizing savings that will help us balance the district budget. 

 

The plan provides DCSD employees a 1% raise along with a 1% retention bonus.  Additional employee benefits include one additional, non-contact, contract day for professional development, liability coverage, pre-paid legal services,  short-term disability insurance, and 100% coverage of the PERA increase.

 

While the state legislature plans to maintain funding for K-12 education in FY 2012-13, DCSD will still face an $18.1 million shortfall.  The shortfall is the result of  increases in PERA and the fact that one-time money (reserves and the use of Pay for Performance funds) are being used in the current year (2011-2012 school year) to balance the budget. 

 

A significant portion of the budget cuts for the 2012-2013 school year will come from efficiency savings and reductions to central administration budgets totaling over $7 million. 

 

The proposed budget outline is as follows:

 

            Proposed Reductions                                  Impact on Budget                

            Elementary School Reduction ($0/SBB)        $0

                        *(SBB=Student Based Budgeting figure)                  

            Middle School Reduction ($50/SBB)              $0.5 M

                        *(SBB=Student Based Budgeting figure)

            High School Reduction ($225/SBB)               $3.6 M

                        *(SBB=Student Based Budgeting figure)

            Central Administration Reductions                 $1.0 M

Cost of Business Budget Opportunities         $6.0 M

            Capital Reduction                                           $3.4 M

            Negotiated Items                                             $2.0 M

            Contingency                                                    $1.6 M

            Total FY 2013 Budget Reduction               $18.1 M

 

In addition to the budget outline, DCSD has also proposed using $3 million of fund balance (one-time money) to further mitigate impacts to the classroom. This proposed line item would increase funding at schools by $50 per student next year.  The total impact to schools:

 

                                    Proposed Application of Fund Balance Dollars to Schools

                                    Elementary School                                         +$50 SBB Increase

                                    Middle School Reduction                                $0 SBB Reduction                 

                                    High School Reduction                                   $175 SBB Reduction

 

While no reduction to any of our schools would be our first choice, I believe we have prepared a budget and associated negotiations package that demonstrates our clear commitment to providing excellent learning environments to our students and improving the quality of life for our awesome employees. 

 

Over the last several months, we have heard from students, parents, employees and community members via telephone townhalls, community meetings, surveys, school visits, listening tours, and more.  We want to thank everyone for their time.  We have listened to their input and suggestions and worked hard to build a budget that meets the needs and addresses the concerns of our stakeholders.

 

We have prepared for the future, we have improved the quality of life for our extraordinary employees, and we are putting the district in a stronger financial position – fiscal health.  As both a parent and a leader in DCSD, I am excited about the improvements we have made and the future ahead for our district. 

 

Details about the budget process and our proposal are available at:

https://www.dcsdk12.org/budgetfacts/20122013budget