In the Chart below is the FY14 Budget proposal for Direct Instruction and Student Services. Remember that the numbers have not yet been adjusted for the recommended cuts and it is likely that a substantial amount of the proposed cuts will affect this Division. Below the Chart is a list of the questions on the numbers.
Questions on Direct Instruction Expenditures
- Kindergarten spending has increased by $703k or 3.3% and all of the increase is in Employee Benefits. The percent of Employee Benefits is substantially higher than in FY12 even given the mandated increases by the State. Why has there been such a substantial change over the expected change since FY12?
- What are the FY13 Amended Budget and FY12 Actual amounts spent on Substitutes? The information would be useful for comparative purposes.
- The cost of Textbooks has come down dramatically over the last two years – from $5.7 million in FY12 to $3.1 million in FY14. Why are there substantial savings in this account?
- Foreign Languages appear to be a growing priority for APS. Expenditures have increased by $3.6 million in FY14 and have increased by 76% in the last two years. What led to the significant increases and what are the expected outcomes from the increased spending?
- Core Instruction is up $3.5 million for FY14, however, since FY 12, it has come down $21.6 million or 11.5%. This decrease over the last two years is substantially higher than the reductions in enrollment. Why is there a disparity between reduction in spending in this category and reduced enrollment?
- Spending for Fine Arts has nearly doubled since FY13 to $17.3 million. What led to the significant increases and what are the expected outcomes from the increased spending?
- The Exceptional Children (1301) budget was raised in FY13, but in FY14 has now been lowered to a level slightly below FY12. At the same time, the Exceptional Children Administration function has been increased by an amount similar to account 1301. Why was there a reallocation of resources from Direct Instruction to School Administration for this function?
- The Gifted and Talented budget continues to increase in FY14 and has increased by nearly 31% since FY12. What led to the significant increases and what are the expected outcomes from the increased spending?
- Athletics received a substantial increase in the FY14 budget (primarily Elementary Phys. Ed) with a nearly $5.0 million increase over FY13. Since FY12, the budget has increased $$5.7 million or 77.7%. What led to the significant increases and what are the expected outcomes from the increased spending?
- The funding for the Early Intervention Program (1084) has come down dramatically ($8.6 million) while the Remedial Education ((1215) has increased by $1.3 million compared to FY13. Superintendent Davis has indicated that resources will be made available to provide for these functions in a manner consistent with the prior year. Is this understanding correct?
- The Vocational Education budget has continued to increase over the last two years and is up $3.0 million (55.2%) since FY12. What led to the significant increases and what are the expected outcomes from the increased spending?
- The spending for Non-Traditional Education is declining in FY14 and expenditures have declined by 37.9% since FY12. Is there a declining need for these services, or are the dollars being accounted for in other Departments?
- Based on the information provided to-date, the Direct Instruction has increased by $10.3 million in FY14. However, the proposed cuts discussed in the Budget Committee Meeting on May 16 will substantially impact Direct Instruction. By how much will each Department (and Direct Instruction in total) be reduced if the proposed cuts are adopted?
- Guidance/Psychological Testing (1502) was broken down into two new Departments (Psychologist, Counseling Services). The two new Departments have a combined increase in FY14 Budget of $1.5 million. What led to the significant increases and what are the expected outcomes from the increased spending?