Parkland to Cut 4 Teaching Positions in Budget Move
Parkland School District officials propose cutting four teaching positions, through attrition, to help balance next year's budget. School board questioned the potential impact.
Four teaching positions—three elementary and one middle school—will be eliminated in the 2013-14 school year as a result of $1.5 million in proposed budget cuts, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rod Troutman told board members at their meeting Tuesday night.
With nine people expecting to retire before the next school year, the positions would be eliminated through attrition, he said. The staff salary budget adjustment would be $361,028.
One support staff position also will be eliminated.
Parkland School Board members, presented with the proposed cuts during a Tuesday evening workshop session, questioned administrators about the overall effects on education. They surmised that it will take another $1.4 million in cuts to get the 2013-14 budget to a tax increase under 3 percent.
"Our job is educating kids," said board member Robert Cohen. "When we're looking at these numbers, we have to know how this is affecting kids and programs. When we hear what's behind some of these numbers, we need to hear and know what's behind them."
"We have to repeat this [cuts] list again and what becomes of the second page of this list?" said board member Roberta Marcus. "When you unturn a stone and throw it into the water it has a concentric ripple, and we have to know what that will be."
Superintendent Richard Sniscak told board members that the budget process remains a "balancing act" and "a continual challenge."
"Is there an impact? You bet there is," he told the board. "But in this room, we can accomplish this process and maintain the standards. Is it optimal? No."
The Parkland School Board approved a $145.7 million preliminary budget last month, which was the first step in the budget process.
"We're not taking it out of programs. We're not taking it out of classrooms," said Director of Business Administration John Vignone.
Troutman told board members that class sizes will not increase in the elementary schools next year, despite the cuts.
"We'll turn over every stone and not compromise the integrity of arts, athletics and education," Sniscak said.
The $1.5 million in proposed cuts brings the proposed 2013-14 budget down to Act 1 levels, plus allowable exceptions, bringing the preliminary tax hike down from 5.82 percent (a 14.36-mill increase) to 4.35 percent (14.16 mills).
Sniscak pledges a budget that limits any tax increase to less than 3 percent.