Board asks administration to move forward with budget recommendations
District must cut as much as $9 million for school year 2010–2011
Budget Recommendations for 2010–2011
At its January 28, 2010 meeting, the LPS Board of Education, after further discussion and expressions of frustration, directed administration to move forward with recommended budget cuts for next year. The recommendations call for $7.5 million in cuts for 2010–2011, and could be as high as $9 million, based on the latest information regarding the lack of state funding for K–12 education as a result of the state and national economic crisis.
Board members expressed the difficulty in moving forward with any of the recommendations. They said they are most concerned about the loss of jobs. Recommendations call for the loss of as many as 97 full time equivalent positions districtwide. "No one wants to have to tell someone that they no longer have a job," said Bob Colwell, LPS Board of Education President. Board members also expressed concern about reducing literacy support and instructional coaches in the schools.
Board members also noted that despite the desire to continue district funding of $355,000 for the International Baccalaureate programs at Field Elementary and Newton Middle School, it is no longer possible. It was noted that other schools in the area that have the IB program do not receive financial support for IB from their districts. Board members encouraged the Field and Newton communities to examine how other schools are able to self-fund their IB programs.
Budget recommendations include a combination of:
- No increase to district salary or benefit costs with the exception of PERA
- Central office staffing cuts
- Reductions of contracts for central office employees
- Staffing cuts in the schools
- Furlough days for all employees
- Cuts to staff development for all employees
- Elimination of district support for dental insurance
- No increase in district cost for health benefits
- Reductions or elimination of district financial support for some programs.
Administration will move forward with the staffing process in the schools for next year. Board members expressed their appreciation for the positive, collaborative relationship the district has with the Littleton Education Association and other employee groups, and realize that some of the recommendations still must be negotiated with the LEA.
"This is very frustrating, and the uncertainty is the worst part," said Superintendent Scott Murphy. "We need the Legislature to land on a final budget number. Until that happens, we need to maintain flexibility."