At the January 2016 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Guthrie released his proposed FY2017 budget. The fiscal year begins July 1, 2016.
What happens next?
- Public review and feedback to the Board of Education regarding the budget. There will be two public hearings where the proposed budget will be presented followed by public comment. See the CCPS Proposed Budget Page for dates, times and locations.
- On January 27th, following the public hearing, the Board of Education will hold a work session on the budget.
- On February 24th, the Board of Education will vote to adopt their preliminary budget.
- Sometime in early March, the Board of Commissioners meet with CCPS to discuss the budget request. The amount of this request is currently $185,202,000, but may change when the budget is adopted. This represents a $9m, or 5.1%, increase of the FY16 funding level.
- Throughout March and April, the Board of Commissioners will hold many work sessions, ultimately deciding what funding to provide CCPS.
- There will be public hearings on the commissioners’ budget.
- The Board of Commissioners will vote to adopt their budget in May.
- The Board of Education will adjust their budget, based on the final county budget.
So, what should everyone be doing now?
First, we should review the proposed budget and provide feedback to the Board of Education. Except for the negotiations set-aside of $8.8m, this is a very bare bones budget. All of the savings from closing the three schools are being used to pay for inflationary costs and to make up for the loss of state funding due to declining enrollment.
Last year, CCPS put out a five year plan which had the FY17 request at $189.5. As late as last month’s budget work session, we were led to believe the request from the commissioners would be $13 million. Why did CCPS go with $185.2 million (an increase of $9 million) instead? We don’t know the answer to that question. But we believe we should! Right now, it sure seems like CCPS is handing back $4 million of the $5 million it saved by closing schools to the commissioners by decreasing their request.
Closing schools is an absolutely awful thing to do. That we are doing it just to stay where we are is infuriating. As we said a few months ago, had the commissioners stuck to their 2012 operating plan, CCPS would be in an entirely different situation today.
We had truly hoped that by this time we would be talking about making much needed improvements to our school system — adding Gifted and Talented teachers at every school, providing special education services beyond the minimum and adding Computer Science education at all levels. But once again, we will be fighting just to keep things the same.
Actions to take:
Contact the board of education. Let them know that the educational improvements are just as high priority as employee salary increases.
Contact the commissioners. Let them know that they need to do their part.