Please find the 2018-2019 budget presentation from the March 20, 2018 scheduled school committee meeting here.
The full text of the budget memo to SPS staff from the receiver is below:
March 20, 2018
This evening I will update the Southbridge School Committee on our efforts to develop a balanced 2019 operating budget. While developing a budget is always complicated and filled with a series of compromises, this year we face several significant challenges which will impact the entire system.
The spending in our current fiscal year (2018) is out of balance because of higher than anticipated costs for out-of-district tuitions and transportation. These overages of approximately $759, 000 will require significant increases in these line items for the 2019 budget.
We anticipate flat or declining revenue in our grants and we are planning for a 0% increase in funding from the Town.
We have other accounts that have historically been underfunded such as substitutes, facilities cost and benefits which will need to be increased for next year.
We have a pressing need for new initiatives to help the district make the necessary improvements and will have to make these investments.
Staff salary increases have been included in our collective bargaining agreements.
These pressures result in the district having a projected deficit in 2019 of approximately $3,150,000. Working with Administration, I have identified approximately $2,500,000 in reductions, but still need to identify $650,000 in additional reductions or additional revenue to balance the budget. These are large numbers which require significant action.
We recently met with SEA leadership and informed them that we were planning on delaying the implementation of the salary schedule B as one step to reduce costs. You may recall this schedule planned for the extension of the work day for K-8 teachers by 30 minutes for the 2018-19 school year, and also increased teacher compensation for the additional time worked. The delay means that we will keep the work day at the same length as it is this year. It also means that the additional salary increase that was directly linked to the extended work day will also be delayed until the plan is implemented. Please note that despite this change teachers are still scheduled to receive a salary increase associated with the teacher career ladder. The delay of Schedule B implementation is projected to save the district approximately $235,000.
During the school committee meeting tonight, I will share that district is likely to reduce approximately 30 full-time positions in response to the budget concerns. This number may grow to 45 if we do not develop a plan to close the remaining $650,000 gap. I know this discussion causes a great deal of anxiety for employees. Unfortunately, it is a part of the public process for creating a budget. I will refrain from discussing specific positions until we have finalized a plan to balance the budget and have had an opportunity to speak with the impacted employees. These reduction do not come at a good time for the district. We need all of the resources possible to do the complex work that we are engaged in. Thank you for your work and your commitment to.
Jeffrey A. Villar, Ph.D.
Receiver / Superintendent
Southbridge Public Schools