Budget Reductions at the District Level Not the School Level
Last fall the Blaine County School District embarked on a Financial Plan listening tour in order to ask for community and staff input for a 2016-17 budget that balanced revenues and expenditures. The district had been using its reserves for multiple years to augment revenues and meet its expenditures.
The community and staff told us that they wanted the district to continue its commitment to its small class size policy while making these reductions. Through collaboration and compromise the district was able to craft and approve a budget that reduces expenditures to match revenues (reserve funds will not have to be spent) while maintaining dollars for staff positions that work every day in the schools with our children.
The comparison of the 2015-16 budget to the 2016-17 budget shows that the budget lines that support the staff positions working in the schools remained the same. The budget lines that support staff working at the district level was reduced by over $900,000.
In addition, this reduction in expenditures reduces the per pupil costs for the district as well. Enrollment for the 2016-17 school year appears to be on track with estimated enrollments which means we will have reduced our per pupil cost by over $750/student.
We promised to balance revenues and expenditures and we did. We promised not to reduce positions that work directly with students and we kept that promise. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to all district staff who have worked above and beyond to make this budget a reality while not reducing the quality of education provided to our students.