At last night's School Board meeting there was a palpable relief among School Board members and staff alike, streaked with physical weariness from long hours in recent days. I am very eager to begin writing about topics other than the FY09 budget, but we're not quite done with it yet.
We actually get about five different budgets from the Board of Supervisors, the Operating Budget is only one of them. The next big one is the Capital Improvement Plan. We have separate budget for the school lunch program. Last night we wrapped the last of the voting on another, the Capital Asset Preservation Program (CAPP), basically our physical plant maintenance budget. It includes things like replacing HVAC units, windows, resurfacing parking lots and sidewalks and roofs and repairs to athletic facilities. This was created as a separate budget back in the mid 90s in order to keep these things from competing with the Operating Budget for funding, which had led to LCPS falling behind and a special bond issue on the ballot just to play maintenance catch-up.
(Good Washington Post article here)
This year, the Board of Supervisors cut our CAPP budget by approximately 70%, down to $1.4M. I don't have an electronic copy of it to share, let me know if you really really want one. So, needless to say a lot of projects planned for the upcoming year got pushed out to future years. Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Jeff Platenberg last night described the significant impact on our energy efficiency resulting from delays in roof, window and HVAC replacements. I tried to make one change to it by delaying the resurfacing of the Broad Run High School tennis courts in favor of new HVAC units at Sterling Middle School and Catoctin Elementary. This was not staff's recommendation because those HVAC units aren't on their last legs and the tennis courts are... enough to be a safety issue for kids who play on them and apparently enough that they could not be used for competition. I didn't get any takers.
Finally, I kept a record of motions and votes throughout our reconciliation meeting on Monday night. I thought you might be interested to see what was proposed, who proposed it, and how the voting went. BTW, an 'A' vote means either Abstained or Absent. I used 'x' when a motion received no second and was not subject to a vote.
FY09 LCPS Reconciliation Budget Motions