Budget 2010-2011

As we are well aware by now, this is a challenging budget year for everyone, including school districts. The RCS Board of Education, Administration and Staff have worked for months on the 2010-2011 budget with two goals in mind. The first goal has been to maintain a 0% increase to our taxpayers, who we recognize may be struggling in this economic time. The second goal has been to maintain our quality of education and programs for our students to the extent possible.

We are pleased to announce that our 2010-2011 budget accomplishes both goals. How did we do it? Our teachers, staff and administration prepared the individual parts of our budget with a 0% increase in mind, determining to make the amount we had budgeted last year work for us again. At the same time, the Administrative Staff worked to identify those positions that we could consider for reductions. With the Governor’s Proposal of a decrease in our state aid of $595,958 (Gap Elimination Adjustment), we prioritized our possible reductions and made the tough decisions necessary. Readers may remember that last year we had reductions that included a middle school principal and two reading teachers.

What do the actual numbers look like? After considering all of our increases to items like payroll, utilities, transportation costs, and other contractual costs, we have an overall budget decrease of $37,441 (-0.2%) and  no increase to the local tax levy.  For more details, look for our budget newsletter which will be mailed to every home in April.

Our 2010-11 budget includes the elimination of our School Resource Officer, our Technology Coordinator and one special education teacher. We also employ a part time curriculum coordinator through BOCES who we are planning to share with another school district next year. Instead of working at Randolph 3 days per week, she will work at Randolph two days and another district two days.  These four reductions account for $219,000 of the $595,958 cut from state aid. The remaining $377,000 will come from our unappropriated fund balance. Because of the excellent fiscal management of this Board of Education over the past several years, we can use the $377,000 from fund balance and still maintain enough additional funds to help again next year. The news we continue to hear about next year’s State budget is even worse than this year.

If need be in the future, we can look again at our prioritized list of reductions for the 2011-2012 school year. They are not positions we plan to cut at this time but are positions and programs that in the worst of times, we are able to eliminate from our school district.  Unfortunately, many of our neighboring districts are forced to look at reductions to these programs for the 2010-2011 school year.

What might those reductions include? Programs that districts are not mandated to include like an elementary library media specialist, an elementary classroom teacher (which would  impact class size), an In School/Out of School Suspension program, a business teacher, a school nurse, modified athletics, music and/or art programs.  Let’s hope we don’t reach that point next year either. We will continue to make fiscally responsible decisions on behalf of our students and our taxpayers. No one wants to see us cut programs, but the reality of the state budget does affect us in Randolph too.  I can’t wrap everyone in a protective bubble and shield them  from the reality of this economic crisis. I wish that I could, but that would be less than honest.  We are managing the cuts as well as or better than any other district, but I have no crystal ball to tell me how long the state budget crisis will continue or how severe the cuts to state aid will be. Bottom line, it’s tough all over and we’re doing okay.

To our incredible faculty and staff: Decisions like the reductions listed above will not be taken lightly. They will be made only if absolutely necessary and in full discussion with the administrative team, the Board of Education, and any individuals who may be affected. I can assure you that we don’t make reductions like this without talking to the individuals well in advance. In other words, if your position is going to be cut, you will know long before anyone else does. It’s not a guessing game or something we will surprise you with at the last minute.  If you’re worried, come and see me. I will speak with you honestly and frankly. I promise. And if things improve, we won’t have to make any additional cuts next year.

I am very grateful to our taxpayers who have supported education by passing budgets and to those who have led this district for years, including our business manager of 18 years and our dedicated BOE members, who have taken care to put this District in good stead for the bad times we are likely to face in the coming years.  Thank you.

  1. What a great question! Thank you for asking it.
    One of our current elementary special education teachers has requested the preschool classroom position that will start in the fall of our next school year. She is dually certified in nursery through grade six and special education so it is a perfect fit. We didn’t include this position in the initial budget estimations because it is funded through an alternative source.
    If you look at the configuration of special education teachers for this academic year, we have ten. Some have class periods within the school day where they cover ISS, GED classes or Read 180 for children without IEPS. Next year we will also have ten because of the new preschool program but each teacher will have a full caseload of students with IEPS as they will no longer have GED classes, ISS or Read 180 classes for children without IEPS. You could say we are using the folks we have more efficiently. It is also important to note that the teachers assisted me in this new configuration of services. We did it as the Special Education Team.
    Mary R.

  2. How are you eliminating a special education teacher, yet adding another special ed preschool classroom? Doesn’t that take away TWO teachers from the population of special education students currently serviced in our district? How can we service more students “in house” with fewer teachers?

  3. We’re doing the same thing in our distrcit in SD. The state is providing us a 0% increase and our local tax efforts will also be maintained with no increase. That menas the distrcit tightens, tightens, and tightens our belt . . . all the while striving to maintain educational excellence!

  4. Beautifully written – the facts, with compassion. All districts in Michigan are talking about million dollar deficits (the district where my children go to school is cutting around $18 mill.)

    Thanks for your commitment to social media – looks like you’ve established a pretty good following.

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