School Comments

School Comments by Dr. Robert Mayer Last week's School Comments article mentioned that the Vermillion School District has been experiencing revenue shortfalls due to the loss of students and inadequate state funding. The school board dealt with this problem by making budget cuts and spending its reserve account (fund balance).

In addition to budget cuts the school board has enhanced the general fund revenues. This was done in a variety of ways, for example, purchasing textbooks from capital outlay instead of the general fund and employing four teachers from grant funds.

The purpose of this article is to provide readers with a list of the budget cuts made since 2001-02. All of the cuts were made in the general fund.

The specific budget cuts are listed below.

Budget Cuts in General Fund 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04

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 FTE physical education teacher $8,400

Eliminate French teacher position $11,400

Reduce district contribution to yearbook $12,000

Reduce extra-curricular activities $15,000

Eliminate by attrition math/computer teacher $45,000

Add athletic director duties to dean of students $5,000

Increase activity ticket prices $4,000

Total $132,900

Vermillion Middle School

Eliminate careers class $12,900

Eliminate foreign language position $28,000

Eliminate library aide $13,700

Eliminate eighth-grade reading 35,000

Reduce vocal music lessons $12,000

Total $101,600

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 and Drama were added using existing staff without additional cost.

Elementary Schools

Eliminate through attrition one teacher $49,900

Eliminate .4 FTE computer teacher

(covered by other staff) $11,125

Eliminate some aide time $6,000

Total $67,025


Eliminate .5 FTE VMS assistant principal $19,900

Eliminate national convention expense $5,300

Eliminate VHS assistant principal and create

dean of students $23,000

Reduce supply accounts $2,000

Eliminate central office administrative assistant $13,000

Total $63,200

District Wide

Eliminate gifted education $34,360

Eliminate K-9 Alternative School $48,051

Eliminate district contribution to Native

American Coordinator $6,000

Reduce physical education .8 FTE $22,265

Reduce software budget $5,000

Reduce supply accounts 20 percent $48,691

Reduce custodial staff $14,000

Reduce board's advertising budget $2,000

Eliminate new teacher mentor program $11,000

Total $191,367

Total Budget Cuts $556,092

The specific revenue enhancements are listed below.

Retirement Savings $90,000

Purchase textbooks from capital outlay $116,700

15 percent of transportation contract to

capital outlay $37,600

Hire teachers from grant funds $120,000

General fund expenditures to Special Education Fund $58,659

E-Rate Savings $3,000

Booster Club Donation 5,000

Storage lease to capital outlay $3,000

One time savings $85,000

* Interest earned or not spent $55,000

* Reduction of unemployment fund $30,000

Total revenue shifts or enhancements $518,959

Salaries for all staff were frozen for the 2002-2003 school year

Total budget cuts and revenue enhancements $1,075,051

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