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Friday, March 12, 2010

Budget Area 4: Employee Compensation

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 fourth Community Roundtable in January, participants discussed topics related to employee compensation. Some of the participants’ most common recommendations were:
  • Our schools are already operating at a bare minimum and any further cuts will directly affect our students’ education and competitive edge upon graduation.
  • B-P teachers work hard and do valuable work with the students, but the community can’t take another large tax increase.
  • Parents are worried about cuts in art, music, the Intermediate School science program, and high school electives, especially elective classes that carry the potential to earn college credit.
  • The district should offer better retirement/early retirement incentives.
  • The district can’t cut so many teachers that test scores and graduation rates drop.
As is the case in all areas of the budget, there are certain budget items within employee compensation 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 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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