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:
- District administrators, departmental support staff, cut $1 – $1.25 million
- Operating budgets, cut $700,000 – $830,000
- Greater efficiencies, saves of $1.4 – $1.75 million
- Personnel supporting teachers and students, cut $1.8 – $2.5 million
- Teaching assistants, school secretarial, staffing, cut $1 – $1.2 million
- School instructional staffing, cut $1.4 – $1.9 million
- 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.