Budget & Finance

Looking To Cut District Spending? Pa. Has 500 Suggestions

By Christina A. Samuels — May 19, 2011 1 min read
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Superintendents looking for more ways to trim costs might do well to take a look at this PowerPoint presentation from the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.

I’ve seen some of these suggestions before, like eliminating some extracurricular activities or outsourcing certain administrative functions. But this list presents a wide array of potential cuts: more than one principal can serve a school; youth organizations could perform maintenance on athletic fields; administrators could serve as classroom substitutes a certain number of times each year; or winter recess could be extended to save on heating fuel costs.

And in Pennsylvania, school leaders may need to look at all of those tips. According to a report released today from the state business officials’ group and the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, the state is facing a lean budget year due to the end of federal stimulus spending. A proposed budget from Gov. Tom Corbett will only make the situation worse by cutting back spending more, the groups say.

From the report:

About three-fourths of Pennsylvania school districts anticipate that they will need to reduce or eliminate educational programs next year in order to balance their budgets. Less than 1 percent of districts eliminated full-day kindergarten this year, but 31 percent are considering it for next year... This year, 17 percent of districts increased class size, but next year 86 percent anticipate the need to do so....Only 6 percent of districts eliminated elective courses this year, but three-fourths plan to do so next year....this year, 5 percent of districts reduced tutoring for struggling students, and 4 percent eliminated summer school. Next year, 64 percent plan to cut tutoring, and 51 percent anticipate eliminating summer school.

What cuts have you seen or do you anticipate coming to your district as school systems struggle with balancing their budgets?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.