School Funding: $1.2 Million Shortfall
April 2, 2010
Saranac Community Schools (SCS) Board of Education members approved the budget reduction plan at Thursday’s meeting, with SCS Treasurer Mark Howe being the only one to oppose it.
The plan involves reducing staff by 11 personnel, transferring teachers, eliminating certain bus runs and converting several sports to clubs. The sports will not affect JV or Varsity sports.
“It’s a tough call; these are not what we want to make, but what we have to make to stay in the budget,” said SCS Superintendent Jeanette Adams. “We made minimal cuts in November so we would not disrupt the students.”
SCS is looking at a loss of $1.2 million i n the budget for next school year, and has roughly $900,000 in reductions identified. The current fund balance is at 7.5 percent.
Several staff members came to the meeting to voice their concern of the possible reduction in staff, which would make the currently small classroom sizes larger.
“Think of other possibilities before cutting deeper,” said teacher Danielle Fitzgerald. “We are all here to education the children of Saranac, and without small class sizes what do we have to offer? There has always been small class sizes.”
The reduction plan is not the finalized version of the budget reductions for the next school year. Changes are likely as more information comes from the state in regard to funding, and if the Vocational Education Millage Proposal passes.
“The most important thing to stress is that this is just a plan, the board is not finalizing it tonight,” said Adams, adding that there is the possibility of additional reductions, and the plan will possibly see adaptations to the items.
Also at the meeting, the board heard a brief presentation from Elementary Principal Connie Hamilton about the 2009 MEAP testing, and what the info means.
“We take a look at the individual questions, and what we are going to do about it,” said Hamilton.
Saranac MEAP scores were pretty on par with the state average, and students excelled in seventh grade math and reading, and eighth and fifth grade science.
&a mp;nbsp; One of the areas that needs improving is the eighth grade math, which was down 8 percent from last year.
“This is the area the school improvement team is really going to tackle,” said Hamilton.
Also at the board meeting, Adams showed a pamphlet that will be going to Realtors in Lowell and Saranac, that will promote the SCS district and Lowell’s school district.
“(The pamphlets have) information and promotes the fact that we are here and a great place to go to school,” said Adams.