3/04/2010

More School News

Posted by MJ

Both the Buffalo News and the LUSJ have reported an update on the school budget cutting process.

Lockport City Schools will close an elementary school and “re-purpose” another, Superintendent Terry Ann Carbone said Wednesday. The schools are just two of the many cuts the district will have to make in order to create a budget in these economic times, Carbone said. Other cuts include the reduction of 40 positions — including 23 layoffs — districtwide, the elimination of summer school, reductions in materials and supplies, the loss of the Early Start and summer reading programs, as well as after-school programs....
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...Even with $4 million in cuts laid out, the district may need to raise its tax levy by as much as 10 percent to plug a $7.9 million hole. The district faces a $3.9 million cut in state aid as rollover operating costs jump by $4 million....
The big question that remains to be asked and reported on is what exactly makes up the $4 million increase in operating costs? Why can they not be paused like has been done in the private sector to maintain viability? And if the budget is so dire why are they adding a pre-K next year? What are the biggest cost centers? What will have the biggest effect on closing the gap?  Closing the schools is saving a wopping 1.3% of the the 77 million (soon to be 81 million?) budget or 15% of the needed reduction.
This is painful,” Carbone said. “It doesn’t help anybody. But if someone else out in the community has an idea of how to come up with $4 million, I would be glad to entertain any ideas.”...


...The rest of the cuts Carbone recommended Wednesday:
• Of 40 positions minimum that must be eliminated, 14 will be retirements. The rest will come from layoffs, and the figure of 40 will swell as the budget is finalized.
• The district will end its summer school program for all grade levels, requiring students to cover their own costs for BOCES summer programs in Niagara Falls or Medina.
• After-school and academic intervention programs for K through grade 8 and summer reading offerings for all grade levels will be eliminated.
• Materials and supplies will be reduced by 30 percent.
• E-mails sent by the administration to elementary library media specialists indicate those five positions will be cut. Other nonmandated programs, including art and music, may also face cuts.
The School Board may take action on the budget at Wednesday’s meeting. With a large turnout expected, the meeting has been moved to North Park Middle School’s auditorium, where the public portion is scheduled for 7 p. m

Also, word is no meetings yet with the city on plausible reuses though they are expected in the future. The feasibility of reusing the structure should be a factor in the closure though it seems it may not be.

7 comments:

Rocketboy said...

Getting rid of summer school is a joke. Through no academic fault of my own (scheduling issue/change of major) if it was not for summer school, there's no way I could have taken the path in high school that I did.

There's no reason that the Lockport School District should cost as much as it does.

Many schools in the area do more with less money. Spending more does not equal better education.

wrightontime said...

Universal Pre-K? I sent and paid for daycare for my kids. I shouldnt be paying for someone elses kids to attend daycare. And it would be a benefit to the many local daycare programs in the area if this was cut. Concerning reuse, wouldn't it be more cost effective to turn off the power, lockout the gas meter and drain the plumbing? Only thing left would be to cut the grass and plow the sidewalk.

Rocketboy said...

Personally, I'd rather pay for Pre-k at a school, then at a private daycare center... and well, as a tax payer, we pay for both.

MJ said...

Average per pupil spending is still around 9k per student. NYS is at (or near) the top at 14k per student.

Adjusted spending has almost doubled per student in the last 40 years without a corresponding increase in acedemic performance.

Problems are not fixed by throwing money at them. Nor will the school bugdet be fixed by closing a school and sending some people packing. It will just be a bandaid until real reform is done and the current funds are put to the best use. Without any detail of how the school budget is spent, how can we know what to do?

http://www.heritage.org/research/Education/bg2179.cfm

"Despite the lack of consistent findings, leading researchers in the area acknowledge that any effect of per-pupil expenditures on academic outcomes depends on how the money is spent, not on how much money is spent. According to Hanushek:

Few people…would recommend just dump­ing extra resources into existing schools. America has…followed that program for sev­eral decades, with no sign that student per­formance has improved.…

…The issue is getting productive uses from current and added spending. The existing evidence simply indicates that the typical school system today does not use resources well (at least if promoting student achieve­ment is their purpose).[19]

Hedges and Greenwald note that:

[T]he results do not provide detailed infor­mation on the educationally or economically efficient means to allocate existing and new dollars.… [D]iscussions of school reform… should instead incorporate an assessment of the current relation between inputs and out­comes and determine how to best allocate resources in specific contexts."

Anonymous said...

That's why school vouchers make more sense to me. We can be more selective in where our money goes to send our children to the school of our choice thus making the whole school system more competitive.

Anonymous said...

You should be aware that the Pre-K program is 100% State funded (another problem) so it doesn't come out of the Lockport taxpayers pocket (at least not directly)

Anonymous said...

You should also be aware that Mrs. Carbone recently created another administration post: director of early childhood education to oversee the pre-k program. This unnecessary six figure salary does come out of our local pockets. I think there's a good chance the kids will learn to tie their shoes without help from another administrator. We have 15 administrative positions listed at the BOE--why are we expanding when our enrollment has declined by 25% in the last 30 years???

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