School Budget adopted by the St. Johnsbury School Board for 2011/2012 School Year
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Budget for FY2012 adopted by the Board 1-17-2011
Frequently Asked Questions will be posted and responded to in this section of the website.
2011-2012 Proposed Budget
· This budget of $15,039,798 represents a decrease in educational spending of $233,120, or a reduction of 1.82%.
· The bottom line of the budget has increased by $277,966 or 1.88% due to the decision by the School Board to pay off the deficit reduction note, avoid future interest costs, and put the deficit behind us.
· The budget, should we not pay off the deficit, would represent a decrease of $125,500 over last year’s budget.
· The education spending per pupil will be $11,557. This is below the state average which is $12,204.
· Staffing levels have remained the same as the 2010-11 school year, as we do not anticipate a change in enrollment
· High school tuition represents a zero increase in the rate for St. Johnsbury Academy and modest increases for our other high schools. We have budgeted for 362 students. This is a significant reduction of students over last year, due to a large senior class graduating and a smaller eighth grade class entering ninth grade.
· All discretionary expenses and programs have been frozen at last year’s levels.
· The Superintendent position has been reduced to 60%. Forty percent of the Superintendent’s salary comes from the general fund. The remainder is budgeted through the School Improvement Grant and includes duties of oversight for the School Improvement Project fulfilling our obligations as a Tier I school.
· Figures include teacher salaries negotiated for the 2010-11 school year which were not put into effect due to a freeze in teacher salaries for the current academic year.
· Fuel has been budgeted at $3. Other energy costs were level funded. Our new Facilities Director is investigating ways in which to optimize our use of energy in all seasons.
· This budget represents a per pupil expenditure increase of $68. The tax rate will rise by $.02 due to a decrease in our equalized pupils, a slight decrease in the CLA, and an increase of $.01 on the homestead tax rate.
· The budget figures are based on up-to-date audit figures completed for the 2009-10 school year by Pace and Hawley. Their audit report included no findings – a totally clean audit!
1. Why are there two Principals in the budget?
As long as this building has been in existence, there have been two building level administrators in addition to a Superintendent. There have been different titles to these jobs (Principal and Principal, Principal and Assistant, Principal and Dean of Students, and Principal and Associate. But the intent has always been the same. With the number of students and the age and grade range, this building is too large for a single administrator. There are very few schools in the state that include our age range and are of our size. All of them have at least two building administrators, some three. They also all have supplemental positions, as we do, which are paid for by federal allotments.
Here are some examples of school sizes and numbers of building administrators:
· St. Johnsbury PreK-8 674 students 2 Principals
· Shelburne PreK-8 748 students 2 Principals
· Charlotte K-8 458 students 2 Principals
· Randolph K-6 319 students 2 Principals
· Georgia PreK-8 658 students 2 Principals
· Essex Elem. PreK-2 419 students 2 Principals
· Milton Elem. PreK-6 1001 students 2 Principals, 1 Assistant
· Barre Town PreK-8 873 students 2 Principals
· Barre City PreK-8 875 students 2 Principals
· Founders Mem 3-5 375 students Principal and Associate
· St. Albans City K-8 700 students Principal and 2 Assistants
· Whitingham PreK-8 208 students Principal and Assistant
· Hartland K-8 305 students Principal and Assistant
· Brattleboro K-6 365 students Principal and Assistant
· Thatcher Brook PreK-4 439 students Principal and Assistant
· East Montpelier PreK-6 255 students Principal and Assistant
· Barstow Memorial K-8 239 students Principal and Assistant
· Rutland Town K-8 351 students Principal and Assistant
· Derby K-6 358 students Principal and Assistant
· Highgate K-6 305 students Principal and Assistant
· Swanton 2-6 371 students Principal and Assistant
· St. Albans Town K-8 715 students Principal and Assistant
· Richford Elem K-6 212 students Principal and Assistant
· Mallets Bay PreK & 3-5 490 students Principal and Assistant
· Lyndon Town PreK-8 498 students Principal and Assistant
· Manchester ElemPreK-8 417 students Principal and Assistant
It is particularly important at this point in time to not take a backwards step. We are a Tier I school and we have less than three years to improve our student achievement without serious sanctions from the state.
We have been praised for the improvements made in the behavior systems in the school. While many felt that we had too many people attending to behavior issues (Associate Principal, Behavior Specialist, Guidance Counselors), the systems we have put in place are beginning to demonstrate visible progress.
It is now time for this level of improvement to be seen in our academic results. We have been improving over the last three years, but the growth has been too slow. We need to intensify the steps we are taking to address the instructional program. There are approaches that we must take that need leadership, supervision, and accountability that a Principal with those specific skills must address.
We cannot afford to move backward in the gains we have made in the behavior and climate. This is not the time to reduce our leadership, but the time to redouble our efforts.
2. Why can’t the Superintendent help?
It is important to remember that the Superintendent doesn’t run the school. In most cases, the Superintendent’s office is in another facility. But due to the fact that there is room in the school, it saves money to house the offices of the Superintendent, Business Manager with payroll and accounts payable, and Director of Special Education where we don’t have to pay rent and utilities.
The Superintendent cannot and should not supervise instruction, evaluate teachers, or deal with daily discipline. There are legal and financial responsibilities that the Superintendent has that are incompatible with the daily operation of the school. Our district covers over 1000 students and is the same size or larger than many districts in our region and across the state.
The budget for the last two years has only paid for a 40% Superintendent. Any other duties of the Superintendent to fulfill the other 60% of the workload were strictly governed by the grant funds that pay for that 60%. It would have been illegal for the Superintendent to perform Principal duties under those funds.
3. What will the administrative structure look like next year?
The Superintendent’s overall time will be reduced to 60%. The 2011-12 budget accounts for 40% of the Superintendent’s salary. The additional 20% will come from the School Improvement grant and other grant funds to pay for the duties that come with the needs of a Tier I school.
There will continue to be a Director of Student Support Services, as in any district. Both she and the Superintendent will receive the support of the Office Manager who also serves as the assistant to the district officers.
The budget will pay for a Business Office that contains a Business Manager, a payroll and human resource secretary, and an accounts payable secretary.
There will be two Co-Principals – one to focus solely on the supervision, evaluation, and improvement of all instructional programs, and the other to maintain daily operations and deal with behavior management and positive school culture.
Any other support positions will be paid for through federal allotments that come to the school by virtue of our level of economic need. We are required to use these funds within the guidelines and rules provided and cannot be used to pay for ordinary district or school needs.