The Edmond Sun

Education

April 8, 2014

School board looks for ways to find budget cuts

EDMOND — Lori Smith, chief financial officer for Edmond Public Schools, said the school district’s fund balance could possibly be higher than the previously expected number of 6.2 percent, however, expenditures still need to be reduced by $4 million.

At Monday’s Edmond Board of Education meeting, Smith said the fund balance could be as high as 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent depending on several factors, including state aid funding and payroll costs. But, in order to have a budget with an adequate fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2015, expenditures need to be reduced by $4 million from this year’s projected level.

In order to cut expenditures for next year, Smith said the district must generate more revenue from local sources, shift expenditures to other funds and cut expenditures.

In order to generate more revenue from local sources, Smith suggested increasing rental rates for organizations who rent school district facilities, increasing transportation charges for field trips and transportation contracts, possibly increasing student parking fees and increasing inter-departmental charges to other funds for fuel, utilities and overhead assessments. This alone could result in $150,000 in revenue, Smith said.

Smith said more than $600,000 could be saved by shifting expenditures to other funds. For example, moving custodial contracts to the building fund, moving the athletics budget to the activity fund and moving the radio tower rental to the building fund.

Lastly, Smith said more than $200,000 could be saved through expenditure cuts, such as cutting school and department budgets and reducing personnel costs.

From all three factors combined, Smith said the district could save close to $1 million in total, leaving $3 million in personnel reductions.

“At this time, we anticipate the necessary reductions can be accomplished through attrition with no layoffs expected,” Smith said.

If reductions in personnel did occur, class sizes would increase. For example, Smith said more than $1.25 million would be saved if the district increased elementary class sizes by three students. At this time, Smith said they are only looking at this possibility.

“We are trying to take the minimum steps we can,” Smith said. “We are still looking to the Legislature to respond to the public outcry asking them to properly fund public education.”

In another effort to find more money for the school district, the district is also taking suggestions from administration and staff on ways to save money.

Superintendent David Goin and school board members voiced their opinions and concerns on the school district’s possible outlook.

Goin said lack of funding is “forcing us to abandon strategies that have been successful” in the past.

“Thirty children in elementary and intermediate school (classrooms) is a step backwards for Oklahoma and it’s a step backwards for Edmond,” Goin said.

“It’s disappointing … disgusting … what state action has forced us into,” said Jamie Underwood, school board president and District 3 representative. “It’s detrimental to what we’re trying to do.”

Because of the state aid funding cuts and other issues, educators, staff and parents from Edmond and across the state attended the Oklahoma education rally March 31 at the state Capitol.

At Monday’s meeting, Goin thanked all 175 teachers and administrators who came to the rally and spoke to legislators.

“Was the rally successful?” Goin asked. “That remains to be seen.”

Goin also recognized Edmond parent Neeti Cohli, who was one of 650 to 700 people who attended the rally and who spoke at Monday’s meeting.

“It’s important to maintain funds,” Cohli said. “Please make us stronger. Don’t make us weaker.”

In addition to those who attended the rally, Goin thanked the Edmond parent-teacher organizations, in which some paid $101.25 per bus to help transport supporters to the rally.

As previously reported by The Edmond Sun, classes were not canceled for the rally. No district funds were spent on transportation to the rally, according to Smith.

Goin, as well as the school board members, concluded their remarks on funding and the rally by urging the crowd to stay involved to help get the change Edmond needs.

“We are facing a crisis,” Goin said. “We will continue our best efforts to share this very real situation.

“We want to do right by the kids and that’s the bottom line,” he said.

1
Text Only
Education
  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO announces Spring 2014 Honor Roll students

    The University of Central Oklahoma recently announced the students named to the university honor rolls, a distinction given to those who achieve the highest academic standards.
    For the spring 2014 semester, 1,073 students made the President’s Honor Roll, an honor achieved by those who recorded a “straight-A” or 4.0 GPA.

    July 28, 2014

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Edmond Youth Chorus auditions begin Monday

    The Fine Arts Institute of Edmond is seeking talented youth to try out for the upcoming season of the Edmond Youth Chorus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Rainbow Fleet introduces statewide child care line

    Oklahoma parents can now access a statewide program designed to provide resources and referrals for services across Oklahoma.

    July 25, 2014

  • Team Oklahoma Team Oklahoma brings home third place from NTAE

    Members of Team Oklahoma competing in the National Tournament of Academic Excellence placed third at the national competition held recently in Orlando.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated

    When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
    “When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.

    July 25, 2014

  • OC welcomes missionary, military families

    For the ninth consecutive year Oklahoma Christian University will host missionary and military families returning to the United States at Global Reunion 2014.
    The July 23-27 camp has doubled in size in the last two years with 150 participants from 43 countries on campus.
    The camp is for children who are known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs) though parents are allowed to attend sessions as well. Directors Kent and Nancy Hartman, missionaries-in-residence at OC, give tools and resources to families that have lived outside the United States and are now seeking to reenter U.S. culture. The Hartmans spent more than 10 years as missionaries in Australia and were surprised by the challenges of reintegrating their family into America.

    July 25, 2014

  • UCO DEBATE_submitted.jpg UCO debate team succeeds at nationals

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s debate team traveled to Bloomington, Ind., at the end of March to compete in the Cross Examination Debate Association’s National Championship Tournament (CEDANCT), bringing home several awards and finishing the year ranked no. 24 in the nation.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo