Over the course of the last month, we have looked in depth and analyzed the spending for every major function in APS and now the long slog through the “financial deconstruction” phase on the FY14 Preliminary Budget is complete. Digging deep into the details helps to gain “financial clarity” and the information leads us to the “right” financial decisions (but not always the easy ones). It is now time to come “up from the details” and summarize where we are:
- Revenues of $570.5 million, expenditures of $590.5 million and the use of $20 million of General Fund reserves.
- To get to the $590.5 million in expenditures, the Administration has proposed $20.4 million in cuts, the largest being no district wide bonus ($9.6 million), better Vacancy Management ($5.9 million), reduced cost of implementing a police force ($1 million), savings in Custodial staffing ($500k) and reduced energy cost ($500k).
In addition, based on the review of the FY14 Preliminary Budget, the following are my recommendation on where additional cuts should be made:
Implementing these cuts will not be easy, as it is never easy to do the same with less. However, it is the “right” thing to do. Why? The answer is simple – to reduce the “class size waiver” to a limit of three students over the State maximum, the cost is approximately $7.3 million. This reduction in class size would have a significant impact on Elementary and Middle Schools – where the problems are most acute.
And the “right” financial decision in this case is very straightforward – reallocate the $8.25 million to Direct Instruction and reduce the Elementary and Middle School “class size” to no more than a max of three district-wide.
As they say – no excuses – let’s get it DONE!