Saturday, February 14, 2015

UPDATE: SOME @ISD833 Budget Cuts Tabled

We the people were heard

South Washington County School District 833 has determined to delay almost half of the proposed budget cuts.  Engagement of the public was part of the deciding factor for the decision to delay the cuts.  However, the district still intends to increase class sizes by cutting 25.5 FTEs and eliminate World Language from the elementary schools. 

Total Proposed Adjumstments
The District is also in the planning stages of coming to the community and asking for a levy increase - as they said repeatedly at the Budget Conversations, we are "$900/student below the state levy cap" and that, to them, just is UNACCEPTABLE since that is WAY below neighboring district spend on their schools. 

Proposal of Future Operating Levy Referendum
Anecdotal evidence, however, shows that those neighboring school districts, while at the levy cap still are struggling - somehow, even though they are at the approx $1500/student spending, they still have overcrowded classrooms - as many as 37 elementary students in a class has been reported by parents in some neighboring districts and program cuts. So who is to say that if District 833 reaches the cap that they will not have the same problems?  It seems that with a budget of approximately $225million/year the issue is not the amount of money received, but a SPENDING issue within the district and it is doubtful that the programs/teachers/etc. being proposed to be cut are the true reason for the overspending.

It would seem, since this has happened in the past, that District 833's tactics are once again to lead the people to believe that they are absolutely broke, then threaten to cut programs and services that are near and dear to the people's hearts, then "delay" those cuts in order to coerce the community into giving them what they really want: an approved referendum.

So, people, please do not go back to sleep.  We need to be asking for a line item budget that will give a clear picture of exactly why District 833 has found itself in the predicament it is in and then fix that problem. 

Call your Board Members and ask them to please continue to be diligent in their search for answers. Ask them to insist on receiving a line item budget before they make any more decisions regarding the budget or a levy referendum.  Remind them that they are the elected officials - put in place to be the voices of the people.

 School Board Contact Info:
School Board Chair
School Board Clerk
School Board Director
School Board Director
School Board Director
School Board Treasurer
School Board Vice-Chair

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