On January 22 we presented publicly the proposed budget for next school year – FY 16.
As my staff and I worked through the process we had two simple goals in mind:1. To provide a modest raise for our employees (it’s been awhile)
2 . To live within our means (no dependence on fund balance)
We estimate that if we keep everything as it is this year and give everyone a 1% cost of living raise and fund a step in the salary schedule, that we will need approximately $204 million. We estimate that our revenues will be around $199 million. Uh oh.
At the budget hearing, Board President Tracy McGuire made a good point. She said that in 2009, we were in a difficult financial situation and we hoped that if we could just weather the storm for a few years, we would be back to normal. Now it is 2015 and the storm is not over. Maybe this is the new normal.
We have been losing enrollment steadily over the last few years. In 2007 we had 17,000 students. This past September we had 15,600. During this time we have down sized in some areas but grown in others in spite of losing students. New dean positions were added last year even when we were using $2.6 million from our savings. Since 2004 we have 800 fewer students in special education yet during that same time we added more than 40 special education teachers and more than 40 instructional assistants.
I believe we can stand to slim down some. We have more than 2000 employees. It won’t be easy but if we design some fair and consistent practices for staffing, we should never have such challenges again. Our planned reductions include:· 3 district office administrators
· 1.5 district office specialists
· 3 district office support staff
· 3 vice principals
· 7 deans
· 3 guidance counselors
· 31 teachers (based upon student enrollment)
We have 42 who will retire at the end of this year and 24 who were employed since the school year started as temporary. Where there is a match between those folks and our proposed staffing plan, we will have no need to lay off anyone. We also know that natural attrition always provides us 40 – 50 additional vacancies each summer, so we are confident most will remain employed.
By implementing these reductions we believe we will be able to meet our goals of a balanced budget and a raise for our employees. To tell you the truth, even if we give nobody a raise, we’ll need to reduce some positions.
This is a process. We don’t know for sure whether we will be able to count on our state funding to be as we predicted. We don’t know for sure if the County Commission can afford to continue to support us as they have. The Board of Education will consider your comments sent in through February 23. Final budget approval will be in May or June. Direct your comments to:
Calvert County Public Schools
Board of Education
c/o Karen Maxey
1305 Dares Beach Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678