Why does Littleton Public Schools have to continue to cut millions from its budget?
Like many other districts in Colorado, LPS has had to reduce its budget every year for a number of years due to a smaller student population and increasing costs. Since 2008, the nation’s economy has suffered and Colorado has been affected, as well. As a result of state funding cuts to K-12 public education, LPS had to reduce its budget by about 10 percent, or $14 million, in three years.
Why are teachers and other school employee positions being cut versus cutting elsewhere?
In the 15 years, LPS has been able to largely keep cuts away from the classroom by cutting administrative and operational costs. In fact, LPS spends less on central administration than most districts in the metro area. Budget reductions necessary for 2010-2011 due to the state’s drastic cuts to schools are simply too deep; all schools and all families will feel these cuts.
How has the district tried to increase its revenue?
LPS has been successful in marketing to out-of-district families. Nearly 18 percent of LPS students are enrolled from outside the school district boundaries and clearly see LPS as the preferred choice. This is the highest percentage of any school district along the Front Range of similar size or larger. Out-of-district students bring the same amount of state funding to the district as do in-district students. LPS has also made creative changes to programming when financially possible, and competitive bids for employee benefits and other purchasing, energy conservation, and partnerships with local businesses have saved the district millions over the years. Individual school parent-teacher organizations help fund programs that can no longer be fully supported by the district. LPS continues to do all it can to influence decisions at the state level that impact school funding for all of Colorado’s school districts.
Does the state have a plan to address these funding concerns?
No. The national economic downturn has caused the state’s resources to drop to historically low levels. And, because LPS receives about 60 percent of its funding from the state, the level to which LPS has been affected is unprecedented.
Will there be more budget cuts for school year 2011-2012?
Yes. The tradition of academic excellence in LPS is in jeopardy. The state continues to indicate that its cuts to public schools for 2011-2012 will be deep again. The values that the LPS community has around quality and excellence are being compromised by these continued drastic funding cuts.