Proposed 2016-2017 Budget Cuts Announced

Post date: Apr 19, 2016 2:43:50 AM

At the April 18, 2016 meeting of the Bartlesville Board of Education, future superintendent Chuck McCauley conveyed proposed changes to the district budget for 2016-2017. Developed as part of the annual budget process and vetted by the Superintendent's Budget Development Committee, the proposal calls for $1.9 million in cuts, anticipating a loss in state funding and attempting to begin rebuilding the district's fund balance, eroded by state revenue failures and other funding cuts.

Proposed Cuts

  • Over $1.46 million in personnel cuts, including:
    • $1,000,000 reduction of 22 teaching positions, about 5% of the teaching staff
    • $292,000 reduction of 3 central office administrators, which is over 20% of that staff
    • $169,000 reduction of 5 administrative support positions at the Education Service Center & Will Rogers Complex as part of an administrative re-organization
    • $66,000 reduction of elementary school PRESS reading assistants
    • $66,000 reduction of 2 custodians and a bus driver
  • $374,000 saved by not adopting new textbooks for English/Language Arts or Foreign Language
    • Some worn-out novels would be replaced using earmarked bond issue funding
    • There will be a Chromebook pilot project in English classes in grades 10-12, funded by bond issue funding already earmarked for technology; the plan is for a future multi-year rollout of a 1:1 student technology initiative using bond funds to help migrate from physical textbooks to digital resources, including free open source materials
  • $29,000 reduction in athletics funding
    • Elimination of slow-pitch softball, which was added in 2013-2014
    • Reduction of some assistant coaches
    • Reduction of transportation costs via scheduling
  • $19,000 reduction in music funding
    • Reduction of transportation costs by not sending the band to out-of-town football games
    • Reduction of other miscellaneous costs

Step Increases Funded

To help retain staff, the budget proposal funds the district's usual step increases at a net projected cost of $141,000. This includes adding a Step 28 to the district's salary schedule, noting that its peer districts' schedules average 33 steps. The average teacher advancing on the salary schedule would receive a 1.2% increase in pay; administrative increases are pegged to that percentage but then prorated for additional days worked. The proposal includes the district's usual 18 cents/hour increase for classified staff. Step increases are vital in retaining qualified staff in an era in which the district is sometimes unable to find certified teachers to fill vacant positions.

Details on District Website

Here are links to detailed documents released at the board meeting:

BEA Teacher Survey Coming Soon

Soon the annual BEA Teacher Survey will be sent out, asking teachers for their opinions on various topics for the June 2016 bargaining session with the Board of Education's team. Your feedback is vital in helping the union leadership gauge your priorities in regards to the budget, along with various other workplace issues.