Weston superintendent announces 2013-14 budget cuts

budget_calculatorWeston Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer has announced $190,000 in proposed cuts for the 2013-14 education budget plan to keep in line with the finance board’s decision to cut that amount from the school board’s budget request.

The cuts range from $1,254 for the elimination of four adjustable mobile tables for the library at Hurlbutt Elementary School to $28,000 for the reduction of permanent substitute positions.

The cuts will be reviewed and voted on by the school board at a special meeting on Monday, May 6, at 7 p.m. in the Weston Middle School Library Resource Center.

The 2013-14 school operating budget submitted to taxpayers for approval is $45,575,418 ($11,774, or 0.03%, less than the current year’s budget).

Savings and cuts 

In an email to The Forum, the superintendent spelled out the proposed $190,000 in cuts and her rationale for some of them:

$11,220: Reduce 2.5 interscholastic assistant coach positions. Defers a new coaching position for boys basketball, eliminates a position in softball where participation has declined, and eliminates a 0.5 position for gymnastics that was not filled this past year.

$10,000: Increase Weston High School parking fee from $100 to $150. Increases the yearly fee for student parking by $50 a year.

$26,900: Eliminate 0.43 FTE (full-time equivalent) world language position at Hurlbutt Elementary School. The district currently provides kindergarten and first and second grade students with a 30-minute-a-week program of exploration and cultural exposure in Spanish. This replaces that offering with a technology class of 30 minutes per week with the reallocation of existing staff. Spanish language acquisition will remain in place in all grades at the intermediate school.

$17,773: Offer Mock Trial at Weston Middle School as an after-school activity by decreasing 0.30 FTE. Mock Trial will become an optional after-school program for students rather than an optional class during the school day. Currently, there are 32 students involved with Mock Trial during the school day, which, the superintendent said, creates conflicts for these students to access Project Lead the Way pre-engineering class and music classes. The new after-school format aligns with the program of Mock Trial at the high school that is offered after school and reduces course conflicts during the school day.

$3,858: Eliminate request for additional after-school enrichment at the intermediate school. Will eliminate Odyssey of the Mind and Lego League, which were scheduled to begin this fall.

$10,000: Eliminate request to demolish wall in Weston High School Guidance Career and College Center. Eliminates re-configuration of space to accommodate college representative sessions and career guidance workshops.

$8,000: Reduce professional development.

$10,000: Reduce overtime account for facilities staff.

$12,555: 30% reduction for guidance summer days at the middle school and high school.

$10,000: Reduce technology. The district is currently reviewing its proposed technology lease and plans to eliminate $40,000 in technology requests for 2013-14. (Note: This lease is paid over four years.)

$1,254: Reduce Hurlbutt equipment request for four adjustable mobile tables for the library.

$2,640: Reduce Hurlbutt equipment request for seven mobile bookcases for the library.

$2,000: Reduce high school equipment request to replace one treadmill.

$5,000: Reduce high school equipment request for flexible furniture for library/media center.

$8,650: Reduce facilities equipment request to remove leaves and other debris.

$10,000: Defer hire of pupil personnel assistant director to Aug.1, 2013, start date.

$6,107: Reduce library book purchases.

$5,000: Reduce printing and copying.

$3,043: Reduce after-school activities at middle school. This reconfigures three distinct after-school writing clubs and reduces redundancies.

$28,000: Reduce permanent substitute positions. Access daily substitutes more frequently for extended coverage of teachers out on leave.

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