The Saratoga Sun -

CCSD No. 2 budget adopted

Though cut by county, budget remains relatively unchanged

 


Carbon County School District No. 2 (CCSD 2) board of directors met on Wednesday where it passed a new budget for the 2016-2017 school year, discussed a new scheme to improve educational performance district wide and adopted a plan to standardize emergency response at local schools.

The 2016-2017 budget was similar to that of the 2015-2016 school year budget, only with $100,000 less allocated for the year than last year, with increases in spending on instruction and significant increases in major maintenance to school buildings. Though CCSD 2 saw a significant cut in funding from Carbon County from $1.8 million last year to $1.2 million this year, the board was able to make up for the revenue shortfall with other sources and managed to maintain essentially the same funding as last year.

The total proposed operating budget for the CCSD for the 2016-2017 school year will be $18.3 million, compared to $18.4 million last year, according to documents provided by the school district. The board says it plans to spend $1 million on instruction and instructional support in the next year, up 13.7 percent from $879,000 the year before.

The largest single increase came in the area of major maintenance, which went from $906,000 last year to a projected $1.9 million for the 2016-2017 school year. The major maintenance budget includes significant repairs to school-owned buildings and infrastructure. The board also voted to lower the food service budget in anticipation of hiring a new food vendor to supply the school cafeterias.

There will also be a nearly 50 percent increase in the pupil activity fund which will increase from $349,000 last year to $526,000 projected for the new school year. Of that amount, $270,000 is expected to be collected as revenue from receipts from student activities, and the balance is cash on hand.

The school district does not have debt to service, according to the board of directors, and is not planning on issuing bonds under its levy.

Besides the budget, the board also voted to adopt a security plan from Iloveuguys.org, a non-profit dedicated to helping schools develop crisis plans. The organization was founded by John-Michael Keyes after his daughter, Emily, was killed in a school shooting in Colorado. The organization was named after Emily’s last text message to her parents before she was murdered, which read “I love u guys, k?”

There will be seminars at the beginning of the school year to train teachers in the schools’ response plan for a catastrophe. Every classroom will receive a printed book of the standard plan, said Superintendent Jim Copeland, and the training sessions will help to ensure all teachers are aware of the crisis plan and will know how to carry it out in case of an incident.

Copeland said he had already been in touch with local law enforcement agencies and other first responders, and that going forward it will be important for the schools to work with those agencies to make sure all responders are aware of the plan that will be carried out inside the schools in the event of an emergency.

The board also discussed a Professional Learning Communities (PLC) plan that is intended to better provide better education to students by making sure that resources are allocated where they need to be in order to have the greatest impact.

Teachers, Copeland said, are used to having their own isolated classroom space to manage, and sometimes the rest of the school may not be in the minds of educators. The Professional Learning Communities plan is intended to help teachers and staff work more closely together to address issues in the school—or even school district—as a whole rather than remaining focused only on the teacher’s individual classroom.

The plan is data intensive and will collect data and use it to pinpoint strategies for collaboration and improvement, Copeland said.

The PLC will begin to operate this fall and will continue throughout the 2016-2017 school year, Copeland said.

The next regular meeting of CCSD 2 is scheduled for 6 p.m., August 15 at the CCSD 2 Central Office in Saratoga.

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