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Friday, March 12, 2010

Budget Area 3: Operations & Maintenance

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 third Community Roundtable in December, participants discussed topics related to operations and maintenance. Some of the participants’ most common comments and recommendations were:
  • Our facilities are well maintained, but our buildings and grounds staff is stretched too thin. Far from considering cuts in this area, the board should consider adding staff.
  • Paying for maintenance now is cheaper than paying for repairs later.
  • The district should continue to keep school doors open after hours; it’s worth any extra cost.
  • Buildings and grounds staff should use “green” products as long as they are safe, effective, and cost-efficient.
  • The school district has a responsibility to proactively address public health concerns (e.g., MRSA, H1N1 “swine” flu).
As is the case in all areas of the budget, there are certain budget items within operations and maintenance 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 the 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?

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