Below is a summary of the cuts and increases in the 2012 – 2013 budget. The budget is the same as it was for the 2011 – 2012 school year, with the following exceptions:
- Pension and Group Term Life rates have increased resulting in $32 million additional expense.
- Approximately 2767 more students are expected to enroll in PWCS next year, costing an additional $24 million.
- Staff salaries will go up one step for an average increase of 2.89%. The actual % increase will vary by step and grade with some staff receiving less than 2.89% and some staff receiving more than 2.89%. The projected cost of this increase is approximately $17 million.
- Staff will be required to contribute 1% of salary towards their pension benefit, but they will receive an additional 1% salary increase to offset that. There will be no net decrease in staff paychecks as the 1%’s will offset one another, however, the division will incur additional costs because of payroll taxes on the salary increase.
To provide for these additional expenses, the following cuts will be made to the budget:
- Overall spending, except as noted below, will remain at 2011 – 2012 levels.
- The “in-school” contracted day will increase from 7 hours a day to 7.5 hours a day.
- Spending across the board will decrease .5%, including spending at local schools with an estimated savings of $3.9 million.
- Energy conservation efforts are projected to save about $200,000.
- Additional revenues from the state are projected at $1.9 million.
- Deferring the Devlin Road school 1 year is projected to save about $2.7 million.
- Increasing middle school class sizes to the state maximum is projected to save $1.8 million.
- Increasing high school class sizes to the state maximum is projected to save $1.3 million. Elementary classes are already at the state maximum.
- Reducing overtime is projected to save $300,000.
- Further reductions to central office budgets are projected at $900,000.
The Superintendent still needs to find an additional $5 million in cuts, which he can find at his discretion. The school board directed him to brief them on any cuts he proposes before he implements them and further directed that any additional funds received from the state or county should be used to reduce class sizes and / or adjust the CIP.
Cutting .5% may sound easy, but when you look at the individual school budgets you see how difficult cutting .5% will be. For instance, Ashland Elementary has a total budget of $5,739,432 – .5% of that is only $28,687. But the majority of the school’s budget is salaries and benefits for staff, which can’t be cut as elementary classes are already at the state maximum. Backing out salaries and benefits leaves $451,000 from which the $29,000 must be cut. That $451,000 includes such “discretionary” things as overtime, substitute teachers, phone, travel expenses, field trips, office supplies, medical supplies, custodial supplies, and instructional materials – with the two largest being substitutes (budgeted at $83,000) and instructional materials (budgeted at $319,555). And we’ll be buying new math textbooks this year.