Upcoming Year's Budget Priorities
INITIAL BUDGET PRIORITIES
On Monday, March 8, 2021, the Board of Education Finance Committee will introduce budget priorities for consideration by the full Board. Here are the basics that add to the foundation budget of contracts, infrastructure, and operations:
- All staff and programming must remain in place. New staff positions may be necessary.
- Physical and Mental Health: School Social Worker - Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and interventions necessary to suppress the virus's spread that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, has placed a significant strain on the district and our employees' families, and, most importantly, our students. Deep within and all across the response to COVID is the worry we all have about the well-being of employees, families, and children as we work through this extended period of "uncertainty" that causes tremendous stress for everyone. We recommend an increase in our School Social Worker time by increasing the position to full-time.
- Technology - During this time of uncertainty, a portion of what has permanently changed is our reliance on technology. The district is currently spending about $235,000 a year to sustain our instructional technology plan. This summer, we accomplished eleven technology projects, large and small, that helped us position ourselves to respond to the demands of our instructional technology obligations. We have moved as a district to a one-to-one student device program. We cannot sustain our students' and families' instructional commitments, whether virtual or face-to-face, without maintaining a high-quality technology backbone and a sufficient technology hardware and software program. We are also examining options for establishing consortiums and partnerships to increase efficiency. We will make a request for a substantial budget increase in our technology program.
- Summer School - We will recommend establishing a regular education summer school. Summer school is crucial for our students who have worked bravely through virtual instruction and the school year's disruptions but have also lost that day-to-day face-to-face teacher-student interaction that is so valuable for learning to complete unfinished learning.
- Additional Classroom Teacher at PVMS - To maintain smaller class sizes and address a request for smaller classes at specific upper elementary grades.
- Access, Equity, Opportunity, Race - The district has held virtual meetings concerning access, equity, opportunity, and race. These talks will take the next steps to expand the circle of engaged staff, parents, and students and look to invite guest speakers. There may be budgetary requests for materials and training that will be part of the strategic solutions recommended.
Thank you for staying informed. Your support is important and appreciated.
Roy M. Seitsinger, Jr., Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools