Attached below are a few pages from the SEON (Superintendent's Estimate of Needs). The full document can be found here. First a summary of how the budget process works.
1. Feb 2: The Superintendent along with his staff presents the SEON to the School Board
2. The School Board begins to review the budget documents and to ask questions.
3. Feb 9: The public is provided an opportunity to share their input at a public hearing-- (signups are not yet open but when they are (probably Thurs evening) you can find them at this link). Citizens can also share their input to the whole board via e-mail at email@example.com.
4. Weekly Tuesday workshops are held on the budget topic for Board members to discuss and have questions answered
5. March 2: The Board votes on the Operating Budget and the CIP (Capitol Improvement Program).
I have not had an opportunity to dive into the information yet but here is a brief overview of the proposed SEON:
--All employees: proposed 4.5% Cost of Living increase and a .5% step increase for those reaching or below top of scale.
--Increased allowance for advanced degrees
--Upgrade School Counseling Department Chairs
--Move all custodians up one pay grade
--Additional guidance counselor positions (13 ES and 3 MS)
--Total SEON is just over $1 billion, an increase of almost 10% from last year's budget of $915 million
--2020-21 per pupil expenditure was $13,204. 2021-22 proposed per pupil expenditure is $15,020.
--2019-20 student enrollment was 66,816. 2020-21 enrollment is 63,836
--There is a list of items in the document attached that are not funded in the current proposed SEON. For the last several years I have been advocating for increasing additional duty supplements and this was at the top of my list. It still remains on the Unmet needs list.
When I am reviewing these budget documents, I am trying to balance what is most important for our students and also how it will impact taxpayers. The Superintendent highlighted in his presentation that we have served millions of free meals to the children of our district over the course of the last year. We also have approx 40% of our population on free and reduced lunch. I want to be sure that increased spending does not negatively impact our citizens who are already struggling and the spending must be sustainable.
I also value the community's input on this topic. I just ask that if you are making a request for additional spending, please provide a suggestion on where to find that additional money. I will say up front that I will not support a tax increase with an already 10% budget increase.
Please email the Board with your feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*I will address the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) separately.