March 22, 2011 Meeting Minutes and Materials

District Budget Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes

Date: March 22, 2011

Place: Bainbridge High School Library

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Superintendent Faith Chapel distributed legislative updates (dated March 17 & 18) from the Washington State School Directors' Association, and an article from The Seattle Times (dated March 21) entitled Drop in Revenue Forecast Forcing State Budget Re-Writes. Contained in these publications, is information related to the latest state revenue forecast. State projections indicate there is another $80 million shortfall in revenue for the current fiscal year. In addition, projected state revenues for the next biennium are down $700 million, which widens the state's budget shortfall to $5.1 billion. This latest information has impacted the timing of state budget decisions. It was noted that standard practice each year is for the Governor to present a budget in December, followed by proposed budgets from the House and Senate once they are in session. It had been hoped the House and Senate budget proposals would be released by March 25, but the new budget projections may delay this process. The legislative session is currently scheduled to end April 24. Ms. Chapel noted it is assumed that any funds that are not considered K-12 Basic Education would be cut. This would include funding for I-728 and I-732, as well as cuts to K-4 class size enhancements, local effort assistance (LEA), highly capable students programs, and a variety of other existing programs that are part of "discretionary" expenditures.

Ms. Chapel explained the goal for the meeting was to refine the 2011-2012 General Fund Budget Adjustment Review list from the March 8th DBAC meeting. She had the committee members divide into two groups and asked those groups to spend 45 minutes reviewing the budget adjustments. Those budget adjustments had been reorganized into a matrix that included pro's and con's for discussion purposes, and whether the item should be open to further consideration, would be included on a survey and was assigned a value. A number of items on the matrix were also identified as being already in process or would have little or negative budget impact.

At the conclusion of the group work, Ms. Chapel asked the each group facilitator to provide a brief overview of the discussion results. Associate Superintendent Julie Goldsmith noted her group felt it was important to have the committee's planning guidelines as a foundation and basis for budget decisions. Group members also felt that in addition to the use of a survey tool, a communication plan regarding budget decision rationales were an important part of the process. The group changed the matrix discussion categories from "pros" and "cons" to "rationale" and "considerations and potential impacts." Strategies for budget enhancement or reduction agreed upon by group members included: 1) Realignment of assigned FTE with projected enrollment decline (common practice done annually); 2) Possible reduction of 1 FTE custodian (possible reconfiguration of custodial services); 3) K-6 counselors - elimination vs. partial reduction (survey - include impact); 4) Possible reduction of library staffing - 1.25 to 3.75 FTE (survey - include impact); 5) Central administrators and principals consider 2% reduction for 3rd year (contract implications); 6) Re-examine extra days for counselors/librarians (contract implications); 7) Increase class size in grades 5-12 to match con\tract language (survey - use scenarios); 8) Reconsider para educator hours (move to "already in process"); 9) Elementary Recesses - reduction of staffing and increase instructional time ($ to be determined); 10) Monitor shorter year if legislators move in that direction (add to survey if becomes reality); 11) Para hours for full day kindergarten. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Peter Bang-Knudsen shared the comments from his group, which matched the previous group outcomes. Regarding a reduction of K-6 counselors, group members discussed the current responsibilities of counselors and how those responsibilities would fall on other staff. The group spent some time talking about a possible reduction of library staffing and how the library services would be maintained. There was also rich and diverse discussion related to the increase in class size, possible reduction of school days (if legislated by state), and athletics.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Ms. Chapel and committee members agreed that a draft of a budget survey would be sent out via email for review. A final survey will be launched after spring break. As the results of the survey will not be ready, the April 5th DBAC meeting was canceled. The results of the survey will be ready for the April 19th DBAC meeting. It was further agreed that the April 19th meeting would be held from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. to work through the survey results and make basic determinations.


Next Meeting:

April 5 - CANCELED
April 19 - 5:00 - 9:00 PM
May 3
May 24
June 7