LPS has endured years of budget reductions due to serving fewer students, increased costs, and increased mandates
During its December 10, 2009, meeting, the LPS Board of Education received a series of recommendations from administration that would reduce the district budget by $7.5 million for school year 2010–2011. Such cuts to the LPS budget are necessary due to the cuts in state funding to all K–12 districts in Colorado and the national economic crisis.
All 178 K–12 school districts in Colorado are facing similar challenges, but some of the solutions that might be proposed in other districts cannot be found here. That is because those options are no longer available to us; they were cut or minimized in one of the many budget reductions in the past and were never reinstated.
Previous budget-cutting strategies included and were not limited to:
- Closed two elementary schools
- Reduced district bus fleet and drivers by 35 percent and increased number of routes each remaining bus runs
- Eliminated district support of vision insurance for employees
- Cut central administration positions and budgets at a much higher rate than schools
- Cut 30 percent of ESC business office staff
- Cut 30 percent of ESC administrative staff
- Cut 40 percent of ESC warehouse staff
- Cut print shop, office technology, school/community relations staff by 65 percent
- Cut maintenance and operations staff
- Furloughed all 12-month employees by six days
- Furloughed all custodians by three weeks
- Closed ESC one additional week
- Cut overhead costs through multi-district co-op purchasing, self-funded workers’ compensation programs, and competitive bids for fuel and natural gas
- Cut overhead costs by outsourcing lawn care and trash removal
- Eliminated financial support for food services and print shop
- Allowed school supply budgets to grow only 10 percent in the last 20 years
- Endured the negative financial consequences of declining enrollment through yearly adjustments to individual school staffing levels as well as in support areas
As a result, LPS has had one of the lowest administrative costs among Denver metro area school district for years.