This was forwarded to me by Connie Compton, KEA Vice President, who wanted members to be able to see what she did when she tried to fill out the KSD Budget Survey. This was sent to the school board and Dr. Vargas. I apologize that the chart didn’t transfer over as well as intended. It came as an excel doc and was difficult to format.
I just attempted to complete the Budget Survey. I am disappointed and frustrated. I am unable to make the choices that I think best serve the needs of our students because the limited choices offered force me to cut certificated staff. This survey does not allow us to keep cuts away from our students and the classroom. Because the survey gives such limited options and does not present the full list of options developed by the school district or allow me to make my own suggestions and yet requires a specific point total, I am unable to use the online tool to give my input. Therefore, I am sending my input directly to you.
The students attending school in the Kent District School District today or entering kindergarten next fall only get once chance for their education. We need to provide a well-rounded education that meets the needs of all students. Cutting the Elementary PE and Music programs does not reach this end. As a 30-year veteran special education teacher, I know that school can be challenging and even frustrating for many students. PE and Music can be the positive in their school day. Other students find their passions starting in the elementary PE and Music programs, which leads to their connection to high school, their social group, and even their college path or their careers. Research clearly ties physical health and music to academic achievement. Likewise, research supports smaller class size at the elementary level. Teachers across our district will tell you that they are already stretched to their limits. Increasing class size and cutting elementary planning time will seriously impact the learning of our students.
Ideally, I believe that a supplemental levy should be put to the voters. This would increase funding by approximately $3.7 million, which would cut the need to reduce the budget by more than half. However, it is possible to reduce the budget without directly impacting classrooms or running a supplemental levy. Please refer to the attached spreadsheet (printed below) with my recommendations to reduce expenditures.
Elementary Special Education Teacher,
Community Member & Voter, and Parent of 2 KSD Graduates
|2011/2012 Budget Reductions for Consideration|
|Central Office Budget Reductions as planned||2,762,032.00|
|Mid-Day Kindergarten Transportation||127,400.00|
|Reduce One Assistant Principal per High School Rationale: Three Assistant Principals (or 2 and a Dean of Students) aligns with most high schools of similar size in our area.||542,388.00|
|Middle School In-School Suspension||173,527.00|
|Principal’s Travel Fund Carryover||248,951.00|
|10 Furlough Days for Superintendent and Chiefs Rationale: As KSD Certificated Staff are paid less than those in 22 surrounding districts, it is reasonable to reduce pay for administrators to a similar level. Furlough days can be taken in the summer without impact to the student school year.||76,020.00|
|10 Furlough Days for District Management Rationale: See above||323,560.00|
|Return 11 TOSAs/Coaches/Facilitators to the classroom. Rationale: The professionals working in the trenches will agree that teachers in the classroom keeping class size low and programs intact will prove to be of the most value in student achievement. These staff can fill open positions in the schools. (Estimated savings based on the average cost per certificated staff of $80,963, although potential savings could be higher as most staff in these positions are typically higher paid staff).||890,593.00|
|Cut “Travel” from the Budget Rationale: Priorities. Elementary PE and Music should be valued over administrator travel.||330,000.00|