From the desk of Superintendent Scallion

The school days of 14-15 are winding down while our final budget for fiscal 15-16 awaits approval from the City Council. Using the latest numbers from the State and Mayor’s Office, our final anticipated shortfall is currently 1.7 million dollars. Our increased costs were based on contractual obligations negotiated 2 years ago, increased costs in Special Education, utilities and transportation.
In preparing our budget for next year, we included anticipated revenue from the state for next fiscal year to cover part of the 1.7 million dollar gap that saved 11 teaching positions. This puts us on a slippery slope for fiscal ’17 but we believe maintaining our class sizes at the current ratios is a critical priority. Staffing continues to be assigned at a ratio of 20:1 in early elementary (K-3) and at 24:1 in grades 4 – 12 except for the Voke Tech which is determined by state regulation. The state support for schools was less than anticipated and the City Council has the difficult task of meeting the needs of all city departments before approving the final budget.
The contractual deadline to make changes to staff assignments or issue non-renewal letters was June 15th and we had to make cuts based on the anticipated shortfall. In essence, we had to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Once the final budget is approved we will make adjustments as indicated by the bottom line. Cuts were made from all employee groups with the primary focus of maintaining class sizes and moving forward with our curricular priorities.
While we are sad to say good bye to our students for the summer, we will be busy making adjustments to the final budget and preparing for opening day on Tuesday, September 1st.
Next week, I promise to share good news! We have been looking at data from the past 4 years to examine the impact of our new curriculum. There are some wonderful trends that we look forward to sharing with you. In the meantime, enjoy our student’s excitement about summer vacation.
Best wishes,
Suzanne Scallion, Superintendent

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