School comments

School comments by Bob Mayer The revenue shortfall for the Vermillion School District for 2001-02 was projected to $893,000. The actual shortfall was $708,000 (rounding figures). The projected shortfall for 2002-03 is $514,000. In order to balance the budget, the school board has employed the following plan: 1) use reserves, 2) budget cuts, 3) revenue shifts or enhancements where possible.

The school years of 2001-02 and 2002-03 were and will be affected by the above-mentioned practices. The following is a list of budget cuts and/or revenue enhancements for the general fund.

Budget Cuts

Vermillion High School

Eliminate library/computer aide, $10,500

Eliminate transportation/ study hall aide, $13,600

Eliminate paid early bird classes, $8,000

Eliminate .4 physical education teacher, $8,400

Eliminate French teacher .4 FTE, $11,450

Eliminate .5 FTE clerical, $7,320

Reduce district contribution to yearbook, $12,000

Reduce extracurricular activities, $15,000

Vermillion Middle School

Eliminate career class, $12,900

Eliminate foreign language, $28,000

Eliminate library aide, $13,700

Eliminate eighth-grade reading, $35,000

Reduce vocal music lessons, $12,000

Note: The middle school was restructured for 2002-03. Class periods increased by 10 minutes each and some staff are shared with the high school. Some additional course offerings, Spanish, consumer/life science, drama were added using existing staff without additional cost.

Elementary Schools

Eliminate through attrition one fifth-grade position $49,000

Eliminate .4 FTE computer teacher (covered by other staff), $11,125

Eliminate some aide time, $6,000

District Wide

Eliminate gifted education, $34,360

Reduce physical education .8 FTE, $22,265

Eliminate K-9 Alternative School, $48,051

Reduce software budget, $5,000

Reduce supply budgets 20 percent, $48,691

Reduce custodial staff, $14,000

Eliminate district contribution to Native American coordinator, $6,000

Reduce board's advertising budget, $2,000

Administrative

Eliminate .5 FTE VMS assistant principal, $19,000

Eliminate national convention expense, $5,300

Reduce supply accounts, $2,000

Eliminate VHS assistant principal and create dean of students positions, $23,000

Reduce central office clerical, $5,000

Total Budget Cuts: $489,212

The following are revenue shifts or enhancements allowed by law.

Textbooks can now be purchased from capital outlay instead of the general fund. This practice enhanced the general fund revenues by $116,700.

Fifteen percent of transportation contract can be shifted to capital outlay, thus enhancing the general fund by $37,600.

Other revenue enhancements in the general fund:

E-rate savings, $3,000

Storage lease to capital outlay, $3,000

Athletic club donation, $5,000

Early Retirement Savings, $45,000

Grant funds to hire staff, $58,000

Reduce unemployment fund (one time savings), $30,000

Total revenue shifts or enhancements: $298,300

Please note that some figures are rounded.

Combining the budget cuts of $489,212 with revenue shifts/enhancements of $298,300 the school district has affected the general fund by $787,512. These actions have occurred over a two-year period of time, 2001-03. This amounts to 11 percent of the general fund budget.

Next week's article will discuss the recent board action on the opt out situation.

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