District 192 Board OKs budget cut planThe Farmington School Board approved a set of budget parameters Monday that clears the way to make more than $1.2 million in cuts for the coming year.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
The Farmington School Board approved a set of budget parameters Monday that clears the way to make more than $1.2 million in cuts for the coming year.
The parameters, approved at a workshop meeting, are largely the same as what was presented to board members at their first meeting in February. The amount the district expects to save by increasing classroom sizes at most grade levels has shrunk somewhat, but the projected sizes of the increases remain the same.
The plan calls for the average class size to grow by one student in third- through fifth grades, by 1.5 students at the middle school level and by two students in core classes at Farmington High School.
That would put the average third- through fifth grade class at 26.1 students, the average middle school class at 27 students and the average high school class at 29 students.
There was no increase proposed for class sizes from kindergarten through second grade.
The increases are expected to save the district $580,061. That’s less than the $629,270 finance director Carl Colmark originally projected. He said the difference is due to the way calculations were made.
“We did some staffing models, and when I do some rounding up and down of FTEs (full-time equivalents), it doesn’t take much to change that,” Colmark said.
The class sizes remain within the district’s target range.
The biggest piece of the cuts will come from staff members who do not directly affect the size of classes. Those cuts will add up to $650,000.
School board members expressed some concerns about those cuts. They said everybody working in a school has an impact on a student’s ability to learn.
“These are people who are not teaching our students but have a pretty significant impact on their day,”?board member Julie Singewald said.
Now that the school board has approved its parameters, Colmark and others in the district will figure out how best to implement the cuts. He said school administrators will have a lot of input on where cuts can most effectively be made.
“In about a month we need to have a good idea of how staffing is going to look so our human resources department can go through the proper stages of notifying employees of possible layoffs,” Colmark said.
Just how many layoffs there will be will depend on enrollment next year and on employee retirement or resignation in the months ahead.