This list for 2014-15 does not include any school closures.Binggeli presented the list at Tuesday night’s BPS board meeting. The board will vote on the budget in the summer.
He said this is a fluid list and will be reviewed by parent groups, community leaders, and others before it is finalized.“We won’t know what the funding really looks like until May,” Binggeli said. “We have had more input this year (on this list) than we have ever had before. We must begin to prepare strategically if the November half-cent sales tax does not pass.”
However, Binggeli said that if the proposed half-penny sales tax does not pass in November, BPS may have to close up to four schools, outsource custodial services and force athletes to “pay-to-play” in 2015-16.Also, he said that school and department budgets would be immediately cut by 5% in 2014-15 and sent to the capital budget for “failure needs” if the tax vote fails.
Included in potential job losses for 2014-15 are all elementary music, art, media specialist positions in the 55 BPS elementary schools. Secondary schools would potentially lose media specialists and assistants, campus monitors, guidance service professionals, dual enrollment guidance counselors.Binggeli noted that two line items will be cut regardless of funding levels. He said that eliminating the practice of refunding unused after-school child care payments will save $1 million. As well, a reduction of the fine arts budget by 15% saves the district $60,000.
As well, Binggeli said that a budgetary practice “new to BPS” would also be implemented. Schools and departments will only receive 75% of their yearly funding at the start of the school year. They would get the balance in January.“Principals will need to throttle back their spending at the beginning of the year,” he said. “We will borrow from ourselves to (make payroll and) avoid $600,000 in interest payments.” He said that BPS paid that amount in 2007 when met with a budget shortfall because they borrowed money on a short-term loan.
He also said that if state funding is increased some previously cut items might be recovered, including an additional planning period for secondary teachers, summer school, and corridor busing.