We call on the board to vote no on proceeding with any school closures on Monday, Feb. 14. We call on the board to direct the district and BPEC to make a one year cut, using the proposed options, to balance the budget including raises to classified staff. The district should then spend the next year evaluating long-term cuts with the involvement of community stakeholders to restore the reserve fund and stabilize the budget. This allows time for a thorough audit of expenses and job positions as well as gives another year for enrollment numbers to continue the increase realized this year from the pandemic.
We call on the board to direct the district and BPEC to provide more robust and diverse options for budget savings proposals.
We call on the board to direct the district to submit a proposal to align 2022-23 budgeted FTE Administrators (Certified/Non-Certified)* with the ratio of 2019-20 FTE Enrollment** - to - FTE Administrators (Certified/Non-Certified)*. This proposal would be included as an additional alternative to current BPEC proposals 04-A-1 through 04-C-3 with estimated cost savings inclusive of salary and other employer costs***.
*Administrators, Certified (Licensed) - Superintendent; Assistant Superintendent; Administrative Assistants; Principals/ Assistant Principals; Directors/Supervisors Special Education; Directors/Supervisors of Health; Directors/Supervisors of VocEd; Instructional Coordinators/Supervisors; All Other Directors/Supervisors. Administrators, Non-Certified - Assistant Superintendents; Business Managers; Business Services (Directors/Coordinators/Supervisors); Food Service (Directors/Coordinators/Supervisors); Transportation (Directors/Coordinators/Supervisors); Custodial Maintenance (Directors/Coordinators/Supervisors); Other (Directors/Coordinators/Supervisors).
**FTE Enrollment - SO66 for current school year (unaudited), otherwise, as indicated on KSDE Form 510 (audited).
***Employer costs include Fica/Medicare/Unemployment/Work Comp (8.25% salary), Medical/Dental/Vision/403b
We call on the board to direct the district to submit a proposal outlining the cost savings that could be realized by moving all occupants of the Educational Support Center to other district buildings that are not at capacity or being fully utilized. Looking at the example set by our neighbors in Tonganoxie, we believe the central administration would benefit greatly by removing the barriers that exist between teachers, students, and those who currently work at the ESC. We estimate these cost savings to be upwards of $110,000 in utilities and $20,000 in property insurance from the general fund. Additional savings are available through custodian positions. Using estimates provided by BPEC, these savings would be nearly $78,000.
We call on the board to publicly commit to provide busing and transparency about busing costs for all students living further than 0.5 miles from schools or facing significant hazards and obstacles to walking to school. All proposals showing cost savings due to school closures must be accompanied by the amount these proposed savings would be decreased by additional busing costs. For example, if taking the average cost of current bus routes at $6,172 and using the estimated 13 additional routes as proposed at the most recent boundary meeting, savings for the proposed school closures for the consolidation into an elementary school at central decrease by estimated $80,236.
We call on the board to decouple the cost savings from 10 Full-time equivalent (FTE) positions that are expected to occur regardless of any school closure scenarios and present authentic numbers for proposed savings. Including the cost savings of $610,620 is not transparent as these savings happen regardless of school closure and have no connection to such. Similarly the custodial staff savings estimated at $78,496 to $156,992 must be presented as a separate line item as these savings are only realized if the school sits empty.
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