Monday, April 14, 2008

District seeks to reduce carbon footprint.

Edmonds School District No. 15
April 11, 2008


To: P-12 Administrators

From: Ken Limón


As we have been discussing over the last several weeks since the legislative session ended, we are projecting a $4.5 million budget reduction challenge. This is due to the combined effect of the state COLA and pension rates, mid-point compensation, enrollment decline, and other impacts. Unfortunately, the state budget picture is one that suggests we will be undergoing the need to reduce budgets for the future as well. In January Superintendent’s Staff recommended, and the School Board agreed, that we would NOT change the staffing ratios for basic education classroom teaching positions for next year. Superintendent’s Staff has been reviewing the General Fund budget for the past several weeks researching potential areas for reductions and creating a reduction list. This list has been reviewed with the P-12 administrative team and the Budget Advisory Council (BAC) for input and feedback. Ultimately, the superintendent must recommend a balanced budget to the school board in late June or early July, with final adoption of the budget required by state law by August 31.

One of the major areas of rising costs over the last several years has been in student transportation. About 55 percent of our transportation costs are reimbursed by the state; the remainder is funded by our levy--about $3.4 million. In anticipation of the need to reduce transportation costs, in September the school board asked the Citizens Planning Committee to examine ways to create efficiencies in this department to reduce costs.

After several months of study CPC recommended a standardization of school start and end times. Combined with a plan to pair special education schools that are closer in proximity, the accumulated savings should be in excess of $204,000 for 2008-09. The simple fact is that this new system will allow us to use fewer busses and therefore achieve savings. Below are the recommended times from the CPC proposal. For Special Education students in the paired elementary schools, the times are slightly different. The school board has approved this change.

Standardized Bell Schedule for 2008-09

High School
7:00am - 1:50pm
(Exception of Edmonds/Woodway H.S.)

Middle School
8:00am - 2:30pm

Elementary Schools
8:00am - 2:30pm
8:40am - 3:10pm
9:20am - 3:50pm

Over the years schools have been able to modify their start and end times slightly to better meet their needs and those of their families, but next year we will have five common times for our schools. This is not the only change to save transportation costs; we are in the process of reducing costs further in this department to a total of at least $500,000.

I know that it is sometimes difficult to support a change in which there was little input, but until we are able to get State funding our students, teachers, and families deserve, we will be in the process of reducing and adjusting services.

Please feel free to share this information with your staff.

Editorial: Your staff reads the blog.


Anonymous said...

Why not just buy every kid a new pair of tennis shoes and have them walk!! That would save lots of money! When I went to school we walked 3 miles in the snow, uphill both ways, every day! :)

Anonymous said...

$204K? All that inconvenience to families for $204K? Didn't Jan Beglau's salary cover a good portion of that amount? Or are they splitting up her salary along with her duties?

So high schools are now going to start at 7am? Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Research over the past several years (largely coming out of Minnesota) on start times indicates that high schools should be starting LATER rather than earlier if you are interested in improving student performance in school. By the same token, elementary schools should start EARLIER for their optimal academic achievement.

Usually this research is ignored because it screws up the athletic schedules in the afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Even I would find it difficult to start work at 7am sharp and I'm an adult (most of the time).

So what time will EW start and why are they an exception?

Anonymous said...

The district has exceptions to every rule and policy!

Anonymous said...

I'd imagine EW is an exception because they don't use the yellow school buses. They are overcrowded (IB kids from around the district go there, since IB is offered at only one school) so they must have early and late start times. Their students take community buses.