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Friday, March 12, 2010

Budget Area 1: Curriculum & Instruction

During the final Community Roundtable, which took place on Monday, March 8, participants discussed each area of the school budget and made recommendations to the Board of Education regarding which programs and services could be cut and which should be maintained. In order to keep the conversation going, we invite readers to post their thoughts on the following question that was presented to participants at the Community Roundtable. (Click here to read a PDF document that outlines the steps taken so far in the budget development process.)

During the first Community Roundtable in October, participants discussed topics related to curriculum and instruction, including non-mandated programs, professional development, class size and staffing, support service programs, and technology in the classroom.

Some of the participants’ most common recommendations were:
  • Maintain non-mandated programs, such as college-level courses and expanded art and music programs.
  • Evaluate professional development programs to ensure they are effective and relevant.
  • Larger class sizes have a negative effect on student achievement: Maintain smaller class sizes wherever possible.
  • Support service programs can have positive effects on student achievement: The district should provide services that at least meet the state minimum requirements and refer students to outside agencies in the community whenever possible.
  • Technology is crucial to students’ success in school and in their future careers and should be a district priority.
As is the case in all areas of the budget, there are certain budget items within curriculum and instruction that cannot be reduced or cut because of state and/or federal education law. However, other budget items could be reduced or eliminated. In the chart on page 2 of this PDF document, only budget items that could be completely eliminated have a corresponding “estimated tax levy impact” figure. Budget items that cannot be cut are listed in italics; because they cannot be cut, the “estimated tax levy impact” column is not applicable.

Do you believe the Board of Education should look for cost savings in this area? If so, what budget items should it consider reducing or eliminating?

1 comment:

  1. After reviewing the attached expenditures my suggestions would be: right now the district should not pay for teachers to maintain their 175 hours of certification. We are not financially wealthy. Most professions have to pay for certifications out of their own pockets in these tough times. Classroom supplies can be limited or cut back, I would think most teachers over time have an abundance of supplies to use in their classrooms. Although, school assemblies and professional conferences can be a great tool for everyone I do believe if we took a year off because of our current crisis it wouldn't hurt us. A little here and a little there ~ it all adds up!