2015-16 Budget: Update #5
We are finalizing the presentation of the Administration’s proposed preliminary budget for the 2015-2016 school year, which we will present the Board at the June 9th Board Meeting. In order to present a balanced budget, we are proposing a number of reductions that eliminate all flexibility in the budget but preserve all current positions and programs. We will also propose one addition to the budget -- support for the math and science curriculum selection process.
The difficult reality is that our costs go up from year-to-year but the funding we receive for each pupil largely remains the same. In addition, we are moving from budgeting practices that averaged salaries from year to year to budgeting actual, individual employee salaries. This provides a much clearer picture of our actual budget position but this coupled with no per-pupil revenue growth means our proposed budget for the 15-16 school year has very little room to add any new programming or offerings.
We are fortunate that we continue to project enrollment growth. This growth helps us maintain current positions and programs. The growth also means that we may need to add additional staff in accordance with our class size guidelines and this increases costs.
We are carefully monitoring K5 registrations at Atwater for next school year and 5th grade registrations at Lake Bluff to determine if sections will need to added. In our budget planning we projected the need to reduce a K5 section at Atwater based on current K4 enrollment and projected enrollment from other K4 programs in our area. Currently there are 42 K4 students at Atwater with a max K5 class size guideline of 25. We have some room to add students without a new section at this point but again we are monitoring this closely and will add a section if needed to maintain our class sizes within our guidelines.
There are currently 80 students in 4th grade at Lake Bluff with a max 5th grade class size guideline of 27. This provides for section enrollments of 26, 27, 27 in 5th grade. We are right at the maximum at this point, and again are monitoring the growth. Keep in mind that adding sections will also likely add open enrollment seats under current policy.
In the presentation of the proposed preliminary budget we are including impact statements on a number of budget proposals. These proposals came from teachers, administrators, and other staff. We evaluated the proposals based on how well each will support our main priorities of Build Community, Focus on Growth, and Transform Learning. The impact statements will provide additional detail about the budget proposals that best support our priority areas. We are presenting impact statements on a number of budget proposals that we know we do not have the resources to implement at this time, but think it is important to have the discussion about what we would like to implement if we had the resources. This process also provides a template for what the Board might consider adding later should the revenue picture change.
The final budget for the 15-16 school year is approved in the fall when we have a better picture of actual enrollment and an approved State budget.
Monday June, 8, 2015
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