Guthrie schools will need to cut $1.5 million from next year’s budget

Guthrie schools will need to cut $1.5 million from next year’s budget

Assuming the State of Oklahoma does have any additional budget failures, the Guthrie school district is expected to see a reduction of $1.5 million in funding for the next school year. Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson addressed the state funding crisis and its impact on the school district at Monday evening’s Board of Education meeting.

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Simpson, who labeled his presentation as “The Perfect Storm”, says the school district has lost $1.2 million in funding this school year alone. In addition, an estimated $300,000 will be lost due the lowering of the assessment ratio from the Logan County Assessor.

Related story: Superintendent: “Perfect storm” for our district from a financial standpoint

Article continues following the presentation video.

In 2016, state aid was reduced by $849,804 from 2015 due to the collapse of the energy market. Further deductions, include $636,313 from state revenue failures and mid-term adjustment loss.

The superintendent reports 92 percent of the district’s expenditures in 2015 went to salaries, utilities, insurance and fuel.

Simpson, along with input from building principals and department directors, outlined solutions to achieve a budget, with the expected $1.5 million in cuts for next school year that will ensure financial sustainability.

For support staff, one para-professional and three custodial positions were absorbed with resignations, two part-time custodial positions were eliminated on April 1, two full-time probationary custodial positions were eliminated on April 1 and one para-professional position will be eliminated. The total savings is reported to save the district $164,000 (5.5 percent).

The teaching staff currently has 14 resignations or retirement positions that will not be replaced and 9.5 temporary contract teachers will not be renewed for a total savings of $938,000 (9.6 percent).

Over the last two years, staff reductions has added up to $575,481 in savings.

The administrative staff will see two eliminations through attrition and reassignment for a savings of $115,000 (8.5 percent). Simpson added total administrative salaries have been reduced over $20,000 since 2013.

To help save $300,000, Simpson says they will recode eligible teaching positions to federal funds, use Career Tech funds to pay Gateway instructors salary at the Junior High and recode gifted and talented funds.

Other items that will be under consideration, include program budgets including athletic budgets, extra-duty stipends for sponsors and coaches positions and school calendar modifications.

“There are some items we are not willing to look at to save more money,” board member Terry Pennington said. “I saw us cutting teachers and support staff, but I didn’t see anybody leaving from this (administrative) building.”

“When I say everything is on the table, I put it all out there. I want to know is it all out there?”

Class sizes increasing for all grades

With fewer teachers, Simpson shared the goals of the average class sizes at each building for next year.

The biggest increase shown was at Cotteral Elementary, which is pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, from 18 to 23 students per classroom. Central Elementary (first grade) goes from 23 to 25, Fogarty (second and third grade) from 26 to 28, Guthrie Upper Elementary School (fourth through sixth) from 26 to 29, Junior High (seventh and eighth grade) 27 to 30 in core classes and at the High School 22 to 30 in core classes.

“It will be more of a challenge, without a doubt. I do believe they are manageable. We will provide as much support as possible,” Simpson said.

Four day school week?

“I am not suggesting a four-day school week. Make no mistake about that. I am not a proponent of that,” Simpson said.

“We have examined that and we want to try avoid that, if possible,” Simpson responded to Pennington, who asked about the idea of possibly going to a four-day school week.

Among other items, Simpson said the transportation staff would go below full-time status with one less school day and would lose reimbursement from the state with health insurance.

“I just don’t want to lose teachers,” Pennington said.

3 Responses to "Guthrie schools will need to cut $1.5 million from next year’s budget"

  1. Shawn   April 12, 2016 at 9:06 am

    This is bad.

    Reply
  2. Sheryl Millr   April 12, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I emailed Mike Simpson with a Good Solution and he said no All it. it was is everyone the Superintendent and All of the Principals and Vice Principals take a 10% pay cut and reduce All Benefits, and Then Turn off the lights in the hallways during the class time, Reduce the Heat and Air in the Offices and the Adminiastation Office , and His salary “MIKE SIMPSON” also.. He is paid 140,000 a year and the Prinicpals are being paid 63,000 to 84,000 a year, come on this is way too high when they work only 9 months a year…and the Vice Princapal also, people salaries are way too ” HI” for this school district. And another thing they could do is cut these Buses that has only 5 or 6 kids on them make the routes bigger and leave 30 mins earlier to get these kids, come on these people ,that drive the buses are 99% of the are retired as it is and they already have a income coming in, My husband was one of the people layed off here, But You know we will make it God will provide for us, But the KICKER of this is the KIDS ARE the one really getting screwed on this. But you could careless, But WE OWE these kids their EDUCATION and MR Simpson do not give a flip as long as he get his 140,000 a year, Guess what MR SIMPSON your love of money will take you down and you will have to answer to God for this and for what you are doing to Gods childern Have fun because You will have to answer to God

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Superintendent reports GPS has weathered the financial storm; moving forward with caution | Guthrie News Page

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