School administration recommends budget ‘reallocation’The Hudson School District administration made its budget recommendations for the 2010-11 school year at last week’s Board of Education meeting.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson School District administration made its budget recommendations for the 2010-11 school year at last week’s Board of Education meeting.
Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten ran down a list of items that included changes in teaching and support staff along with program changes and operations reductions.
The biggest program change comes in the driver’s education program which the administrations recommends be discontinued after next year. For 2010-11, the administration is recommending an increase in the student fee for the class from $200 to $300. That would result in a savings of $37,500 in the upcoming budget. The current cost of the program is $96,000. See separate story in this week’s Star Observer.
With regard to teaching staff, enrollment and class sizes drove the recommendations. At present no teachers will be laid off next year but some will be re-assigned to other schools. For example, enrollment in Family and Consumer Science has declined in recent years at the high school so that position will be decreased there and will be increased at the middle school where class size exceeds guidelines. Additions will also be made at the middle school level in art, Spanish, health, reading and communications, and Mandarin Chinese.
The administration’s recommendation also includes 3.5 tentative teaching positions to cover growth in the district and to address class sizes k-8.
The net result of the changes and reductions translates into the equivalent of 4.92 teaching positions at a cost of $343,793. See chart for summary of budget recommendations.
The administration is also recommending reductions in the support staff based on student needs and caseloads that would result in a savings of $144,288. In addition to the $2.3 million of budget cuts made last year, the administration says it expects to cut an additional $45,000 in operational costs in the new budget.
When totaled, the recommendations will result in a net increase of $117,005. A breakdown of the recommended additions and reductions accompanies this story.
Bowen-Eggebraaten said that every effort was made to have a fiscally conservative budget while maintaining an emphasis on continuous improvement for higher academic achievement.
She said that staff is the biggest part of the district’s budget, about 80 percent, and therefore must be considered when looking for ways to reallocate resources or reduce the budget.
“We don’t make these recommendations lightly. We value all of our employees and we know this process is hard for them. It is also very hard for us,” said the superintendent. Due to attrition, she said there will be no classroom teacher layoffs at the elementary level. Teachers and staff who will be affected by the recommendations have already been notified.
The school board will vote on the recommendations at their March 9 meeting.
In other business, the board approved the establishment of a branch of the WESTconsin Credit Union on the HHS campus. The move is in support of the financial literacy goal of the district’s strategic plan, HSD 2025. WESTconsin has similar branches at schools throughout the state and was the only local financial institution to respond to the district’s request for proposals.
The branch will operate during the lunch hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in space in the school box office. A WESTconsin employee will staff the branch along with HHS students who will be given an opportunity to work at the branch. The branch is expected to open this spring.
Official January numbers indicate that enrollment across the district remained stable, with a less than 1 percent decrease from the official count in September. There were no changes at the elementary level. Enrollment decreased by two students at the middle school and by 17 students at HHS. The superintendent said the decrease at the high school is typical with much of it coming from early graduation.
As of this month, 413 students are registered for kindergarten.
The board also acknowledged a gift of $1,013.67 from the Knights of Columbus to benefit students with cognitive disabilities. The organization has been making the gift for more than 25 years.
The district also received a favorable audit report from the firm of LarsonAllen. Accountant Tom Kortes told the board that the audit showed that the district was complying with all regulations and that the district is in “good shape.” He also complimented Financial Services Director Tim Erickson and his staff, saying they do an “excellent job” of managing the district’s finances.
The full report will be made available to the public on the district’s Web site: www.hudson.k12.wi.us.