Final verdict: LCPS will receive a $26.9M (5%) cut from last year's budget. Keep in mind that we anticipate an additional 2,500 students next year, so the per-student spending drops by more than 5%. Federal stimulus funds will not be used to increase education spending (although some Supervisors contend that without those federal dollars, the LCPS budget would be even lower).
Superintendent Hatrick has forwarded to the School Board his recommendations for how to implement those cuts, and they have not changed from those he published several weeks ago. They are in addition to cuts originally passed by the School Board in our proposed FY10 budget (presentation).
One of the most significant outcomes of the revised budget process is that the Supervisors and the public knew in advance what the potential impact of budget cuts would be. This was not the case in previous years.
While the School Board is free to depart from those recommendations, oddsmakers looking at past history would say that the Superintendent's recommendations are a good bet, possibly with minor modifications.
Below is a listing of all of the approved and proposed budget cuts in one place for your convenience. I have highlighted in blue those that are central office or non-instructional, but that is a subjective definition so you may mentally highlight more or fewer depending on your tastes.
Approved in the School Board's proposed budget:
- No step increase for employees (automatic raise for another year's seniority/service).
- No cost of living increase for employees
- Increase cost of health insurance, deductibles and copayments
- Cut of paid holidays for classified staff (non-instructional and non-administrative)
- No 403b matching for employees (similar to 401k matching program)
- Central Office hiring freeze
- Cut instructional materials & supplies
- Eliminate new payroll & attendance software
- Reduced special education staffing
- No elementary interactive whiteboards
- Eliminate full-day kindergarten
- Reduce ESL teachers & assistants
- Delay in technology replacement
- Reduce property & casualty insurance
- No new security cameras
- Reduce staff development programs
- Elimnate payment of Advanced Placement test fees
- Increase parking fees
- Institute per-sport participation fee
- 25% reduction in funding for activity buses and field trips
- Delay band uniforms for Park View HS and Stone Bridge HS
- Eliminate Fuel Contingency Fund
- Increase cost of health care to employees (this includes copay increases and an increase in out-of-network deductibles from $600 to $1,500 for a family. I will oppose this deductible increase).
- Further reduce in instructional materials
- Eliminate standardized national testing for 3rd & 8th graders
- Reduce or Eliminate professional services for construction and land acquisition
- Reduce part-time salaries & overtime
- Reduce substitute budget by 20%
- Reduce purchase of new textbooks
- Further reduce staff development programs
- Increase student parking fees: $200 annually
- Per-sport participation fee of $150
- Increase class sizes
- Eliminate existing positions
- Close four small western Loudoun elementary schools (Middleburg, Lincoln, Hillsboro, Aldie)
- Eliminate summer school
- Eliminate assistant athletic directors
- Reduce guidance counselors
- Eliminate elementary-level Spanish language instruction (FLES)
- Eliminate freshman sports and JV lacrosse
- Reduce Middle School Deans
- Eliminate Parent Liaisons
- Reduce elementary Art, Music & PE programs
- Reduce central office positions
- Implement unpaid furlough days