A Different Budget – By John Burns

The attached letter is from John Burns, music education advocate and BSD Budget Committee Chair.  Please make this go VIRAL.

From: John Burns
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2012 1:31 PM
To: leeann_larsen@beaverton.k12.or.us; ‘Sarah Smith’; Tom Quillin; karen_cunningham@beaverton.k12.or.us; jeff_hicks@beaverton.k12.or.us; mary_vanderweele@beaverton.k12.or.us; Linda Degman (Linda_Degman@beaverton.k12.or.us)
Subject: A different Budget

Dear Board Members,

I know that tonight will be quite intense and decided to email you rather than take up time for public testimony.

The revised budget process and short calendar left us all asking good questions in the very last Committee meeting and I hope the Board has questions today.  I know that many staff members feel that if the scope of the budget proposal had been revealed earlier, there would have been a significant outcry for more furlough days.  We all believe that we do not have sufficient funding. Why would you schedule one more day than instructional hours requires?  The tightest District schedule I have seen is 168 days for elementary students and 170 for MS & HS.   That equates to 7 additional days that could be removed from BSD’s calendar and costs.

Another question remains regarding adding functions while such drastic cuts are being made.  The new budget adds $5M in new staff positions.  Does the Board agree with adding these at the expense of driving $5M additional cuts from classroom teachers?

I asked a question in the last Committee meeting that I hope you will take under consideration; and that is “what choices would you make if the numbers were different?”   I think they would be different choices.

The Financial report shows that we will have expenses of $309.2M for 2011/12  (last year’s budget of $326 is a meaningless reference point)

The budget for 2012/13 is proposed at $302.5M .  That is a deficit of only  $6.7M.  There are additional expenses of $5M for 2012/13 so the effective deficit for staff positions is a total of $ 11.7M – approximately  135 positions.

5 days is $6M. Forego the $5M in new positions and you have maintained our comprehensive curriculum in a way that is sustainable.  Adding back 10 days is a simple and understandable appeal for a Local Option Levy.

Tonight is billed as the ‘Board’s opportunity to change the budget’.  I hope you do respond tonight, but the budget is really a year around exercise and the Board can consider changes at any time. I hope you keep these options in your thinking as we finish this year and move forward to implement 2012/13.

Regards,

John G. Burns

Budget committee Chair

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