Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Board Vote Retains Block Scheduling

The Carroll School Board approved a framework for balancing the budget Monday that will keep block scheduling in place this next year. Instead of making scheduling or program cuts, Trustees approved the Administration’s plan to staff more efficiently during the 2012-2013 school year.Described as the 4-4-2-2-2-2 plan, the staffing proposal calls for a reduction of 16 teaching positions at six campuses over a two-year period. The Board only approved the first year of that two-phase plan, which will mean the reduction of eight teaching positions for 2012-2013 – two each at the high schools and one each at the middle schools and intermediate schools.

The Board’s vote to reduce eight teaching positions next year is only the first step in a multi-year plan to reduce expenses and increase revenues. Other line items in the Administration’s framework include possible student participation fees, a two-cent tax ratification election, the sale of property, a shift of the fiscal year and bus rider fees. Trustees will discuss these additional line items in the near future. CISD expects a $5 million state funding shortfall this next year. The district has sufficient fund balance to address the deficit short-term, but has committed to balancing the budget over the next 3-5 years.

No teachers are expected to lose their jobs, but rather the reductions will be made through retirements, resignations and reassignments. The district has already cut administrative and paraprofessional positions in previous budgets, with plans to reduce even more in those areas in future budgets. In year three of the framework, the Administration has proposed to reduce each elementary school by one position for a total of five. Again, no teachers are expected to lose their jobs, and to date, Trustees only took action on the 2012-2013 staffing reductions.

Trustees say they will continue to discuss and consider each line item of the Administration’s framework for balancing the budget over the next several years, but they wanted to go ahead and give campus administrators an answer about block scheduling as students begin registering for classes this month. By law, the Board has until the end of August to approve the 2012-2013 budget.

Although block scheduling has been discussed as a possible program cut for the past several years, parents and staff had strong opinions about maintaining block scheduling if at all possible. Trustees say they favored an idea by the Administration to reduce positions through attrition instead of cutting the popular 9-12 scheduling option. Officials say the campus administrators have already kept some positions vacant to help reduce overall costs but the salaries associated with those positions had not yet been removed from the annual operating budget.