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Parkway Schools Move To Cut Staff, Teaching Assistants, Budgets

Ad hoc group proposes to cut up to $9.6 million from a $186 million budget.

Belt-tightening is in the future for schools, based on the recommendations of a 22-member committee that met seven times with district Superintendent Keith Marty in November.

The school board met publicly Wednesday over proposed budget cuts up to $9.6 million annually for the next two years.

District CFO Mark Stockwell reported Parkway would need to reduce operating expenditures by approximately 3 - 5 percent a year, to avoid draining down district reserve funding to zero.

By Patch calculations, the total district budget is about $186 million annually.

The committee, made up of school principals and administrative officials, identified one area to increase revenue and six areas for cuts:

  1. District administrators, departmental support staff, cut $1 – $1.25 million
  2. Operating budgets, cut $700,000 – $830,000
  3. Greater efficiencies, saves of $1.4 – $1.75 million
  4. Personnel supporting teachers and students, cut $1.8 – $2.5 million
  5. Teaching assistants, school secretarial, staffing, cut $1 – $1.2 million
  6. School instructional staffing, cut $1.4 – $1.9 million
  7. Increase revenue, add $150,000 - $200,000 (increasing fees)

Specifics reductions included:

  • remove the caps on staffing ratios in elementary schools
  • eliminate one program per elementary school
  • eliminate one teaching assistant per school on average
  • eliminate 20 staff jobs in administrative and departmental
  • cut department operating budgets by 10 percent
  • merge the duties of computer integration specialists, math intervention coaches, literacy coaches, early intervention coaches, and others into "instructional" coaches—improving delivery of services, according to the district.
  • eliminate middle school reading teaching assistants (TAs)
  • create flexibility in TA placement, assign more based on need
  • shuffle secretarial posts based on new centralized registration and enrollment numbers.

The committee described overall guidelines in deciding where to cut spending:

  • Classroom staffing is the priority.
  • We cannot compromise professional development/support of staff.
  • We should have a goal to achieve 80/20 ratio of personnel to operations (currently 85/15).
  • Staffing models must be established and followed.
  • The best approach is multi-year budget planning.
  • Deficit spending is not sustainable.
  • Parkway’s fund balance parameters must be maintained over time.
  • Budget process must be transparent.
  • The strategic plan is the roadmap in budgeting.
  • In challenging times, we cannot compromise the strategic plan.

Members of the ad hoc budget committee:

Keith Marty, Parkway District superintendent
Bonnie Maxey, assistant superintendent elementary 
Mark Stockwell, chief financial officer 
Paul Tandy, director communications 
Joy Torgerson, director human resources
Mike Mertens, director facilities

Principals: Mike Baugus, Kathy Cain, Lisa Luna, Carrie Luttrell, Jenny Marquart,  Jeremy Mitchell, Patrick Shelton, Chelsea Watson.

Assistant principals: Kevin Beckner, Shannon Henderson, Barbara Moore, Jeff Swartz.

Superintendent’s Action Team: Kathy Blackmore, assistant superintendent TLA; Steve Colombo, director special services; Charlotte Ijei, director pupil personnel and diversity; Desi Kirchhofer, assistant superintendent secondary.

More information is available on the Parkway District website.


 

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