Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Budget Work Session #10

I know that title sounds like a great rock and roll song like Karn Evil 9, but it's not. The School Board met list night for its 10th budget work session, searching for reductions from the budget request to make up the $912,000 that the City Council didn't provide.
Many of you attended again, I'd estimate 50 or so, and we again had a lot of public comment. In addition, the four principals were there to provide their vies and answer questions. Thank you to all the members of public and educators who attended and shared your views, or sent in a letter or email. I greatly appreciate your donation of time and passion for great schools.
The best way to look at the reductions under consideration is look at Work Session Packet #10, found here: http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fccpsva/Board.nsf/files/A9TU7T7AB87F/$file/FY17BudgetWorkSession%2310.pdf. It lists all the possible cuts that had been suggested, and who on the School Board is inclined to include the reduction in the final budget. Note that the SB members made these selections before the discussion last night, and before they had seen the ideas that others were proposing. So especially for the Orange items at the end - new suggestions - the marks indicating who supports what may not be accurate.
It is quite hard to convey the 4 hours of discussion is a post - please view the video when posted. We spent a lot of time discussing having fewer photocopiers ($28,000), reductions associated with MYP/PYP (based on the discussion, I don't think any of these reductions will be included, except for an $8,100 certification fee reduction FCCPS is trying to negotiate), reducing the budget for utilities, and central office rent. For example, I proposed the largest reduction in that final category - 25% - to be created by using less space or moving the office to a less expensive place. FCCPS is looking at what could be reduced on this item. The school administration is going to work to capture the discussion a new spreadsheet that will be given out to the school employee association advisory committees for feedback.
I continue to seek your feedback, and I will continue to work to respond personally to all the emails I receive at preitinger@fccps.org. Our next budget discussion is in two weeks on May 24.
(These are my personal views and not the official statement or records of the Board. They are not minutes but my personal summary of some of the highlights from the meeting.)

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