Archive for Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More than $1M cut from budget

December 13, 2005


In Kansas, school districts aren't allowed to spend money they won't get.

So on Monday, Lawrence school officials trimmed more than a million dollars from the district's $70 million budget.

Most of the cuts - 13 in all - are not expected to affect students.

"Most of it's putting things off until later in the year or into the next budget year," said Kathy Johnson, the district's budget director.

The cuts became necessary after the district's official enrollment fell more than 220 students short of projections.

Because the district receives about $4,000 in state aid for each student, the shortfall caused the district to be overbudgeted by about $900,000.

The district also had to trim about $375,000 to offset additions to the teachers' salary package.

A sampling of the proposed cuts or shifts in spending:

¢ $200,000 - Delaying the virtual school's paying back the district's general fund for some of its computers.

¢ $300,000 - Buying fewer instructional materials.

¢ $200,000 - Lessening transfers to the special education program's reserve fund.

¢ $234,680 - Putting off transfers aimed at replenishing the district's Contingency Reserve Fund.

¢ $90,484 - Using grant money to pay two full instructors in the district's junior high math and reading labs rather than building the positions into the general fund. The switch means less grant money will be available for training special education teachers.

The district also has saved $85,000 by leaving some administrative positions vacant; $11,310 by delaying the hiring of a guidance counselor at Schwegler School; and $35,500 by cutting back on technical support staff.

Though formally approved Monday, most of the adjustments have been in place or in the making for several weeks.

"I wish we didn't have to do this," said board member Cindy Yulich. "Some of these are not easy things to stomach."


yourworstnightmare 12 years, 2 months ago

"Most of the cuts - 13 in all - are not expected to affect students."

Huh? How do these cuts not affect students?

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

I think they're talking about direct effects. All money spent or not spent on schools affects students, but some decisions don't affect the day-to-day operation of the school.

Over 400,000 of it is simply putting off transfers to reserve funds. That won't affect students (unless something dire happens and those reserve funds are needed). About 120,000 cut by skimping on admin and IT personnel; that's more likely to directly affect school administrators than students. 200,000 in delayed paybacks from the virtual school.

That's 720,000 dollars of it that won't impact students directly - as opposed to cutting courses or teacher positions. The purchase of new materials may or may not affect them. If it means that a four-year-old math book becomes a five-year-old math book, that's fairly minor. If it means the history books still have the Soviet Union on the map, that's fairly major. I imagine they'll try to pick and choose where they can.

Much of this appears to be administrative paper-shuffling and money-dancing to move budget numbers around and make them fit a different pattern, not actual money that would have been spent not being spent.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 12 years, 2 months ago

If they don't affect students, it means they have way too many things they don't need. The taxpayers are paying for all of it. Thank you, Lynn

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