Troy schools look to budget reductions
By Marianne Eisenbrandt Correspondent March 3, 2013 5:08PM
Updated: April 5, 2013 6:17AM
The Troy School District is in the process of making a number of budget adjustments as a result of increasing bond payments that are coming due beginning with the 2013-14 school year.
Superintendent Don White said based on the most current estimates, the district’s bond payments (debt payments) will increase from $1.22 million during this fiscal year to $6.99 million during the next fiscal year, an increase of $5.77 million.
White said district administrators have been working with the school board regarding the approach they will take to address the budget changes for next year.
“A final decision was made to accept my proposal of a ‘balanced approach’ to the fiscal year 2014 budget,” White said. This acceptance will allow White to move forward in finding ways to reduce expenses.
Formal action on White’s recommendations will be made at future board meetings.
The first of the budget reductions to be considered will take place at the March meeting and will deal with staffing. If approved by the board, the total cost of salaries could be reduced by $488,500.
White is proposing: Elimination of a part-time administrative assistant (includes salary, does not receive benefits), $12,500; reduction in administrative salaries based on attrition, $100,000; elimination of a full-time secretarial position at the campus (includes salary and benefits), $38,000; and the elimination of a secretary at the Troy Crossroads Elementary School (includes salary and benefits), $39,000.
Also proposed is reorganization of duties and responsibilities at the district office in an attempt to capture a reduction in additional expenditures, $17,000; saving by not filling the position of a retired learning resource center associate, $45,000; reduction of two full-time medical aides, $87,000; and elimination of the Skill Builders Program, expenditure reduction is mostly in salaries but also may flow into supplies, $45,000.
In addition, also recommended are savings by not filling a teaching associate position, $35,000; elimination of a part-time social worker, $30,000; elimination of salaries for 10th Hour (Skill Builders) due to elimination of the program, $5,000; reduction in summer school drivers due to not having summer school on campus, $15,000; and the elimination of Web page facilitator positions, $20,000.
“I heard on the radio that at least one person believes that the district is purchasing technology instead of hiring people,” White said. “The reality is that the district has reduced its technology budget and is actually falling short of maintaining up-to-date technology.”
Future reductions being considered and that will be brought before the board for approval include benefits, $26,500; purchased services, $68,000; supplies, $437,000; and capital outlay, $51,000.
“It will be my recommendation that we maintain the current textbook fees for grades kindergarten through eighth,” White said. “I will also recommend that a new Campus Activity Fee be implemented for grades fifth through eighth students.”
This one-time $50 fee will allow all students to participate in as many activities as they want while only paying one fee. White said the activity fee for all students will allow the district to avoid activities reductions.
Current estimates also include the use of $1.89 million in reserve funds.
“We want to make sure that we have a healthy financial picture for many years to come. If that means tightening our belt right now and making some reductions I would rather do it now because it is better for the district in the long run,” White said.