Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More budget talk

This budget season has stretched from last year's budget season. It seems neverending. I cant imagine being a school board where we are developing new initiatives that actually cost money and have to request money for those initiatives. Instead we are asking City Council for money to cover a deficit of $1.44 million dollars to keep operating our current programming (with two minor exceptions).*

Last night, I attended the Greenbrier PTO Budget Session (as I did with Clark a few weeks ago). A few brave parents made it out to discuss their priorities. I truly appreciate their comments and the comments of all those who have opinions about the budget and our priorities. One thing is very clear when talking to parents, they really value the programs and staff at our schools. These parents specifically mentioned the reading intervention program (Book Buddies), the Band program at Buford and the elementary guidance counselors as real sources of strength in our schools.

As I understand the process, these public comment opportunities allow the superintendent to create her recommendations. She has revised her recommendations several times with the public and her staff's input. On Friday (February 1st), we are meeting with Council to determine if they are able to provide additional funding so that the School's reductions do not have to be so dramatic. One Saturday the 2nd, the School Board will meet to discuss priorities and potential areas of reductions. Finally, the following Thursday (the 7th), the superintendent will present her budget recommendations to the Board at our meeting.

I look forward to hearing the superintendent's recommendations after having so much public input.  While I have my own ideas for reduction areas, I recognize I work on a Board with 6 other people (with their own ideas) and staff who have worked in education a long time who have their own ideas. I look forward to a productive and civilized process with a result that serves our schools and community.

* two minor exceptions: Spanish program (totalling $18,149 increase this year) and Associates Degree Program with PVCC (a state mandate costing approximately $45,000 this year).

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