Reductions total +$20 million over five years

Beginning in January, 2011, the Milford school board and administration have implemented cuts to programs and services that total more than $20 million over five years.  These are permanent reductions, not one-time postponements, and they have allowed us to look at a reasonable levy unlike many other districts, who are facing 8, 10 and higher mill levy needs.

If we look back to where we were in the 2007-08 school year, we were faced with a carryover of only $61,000 on a budget of around $50 million.  We had inadequate materials, our staff lacked training, and we had a tremendous amount of catching up to do.  Despite the dire situation we were in, Dr. Farrell and his staff led us to reorganize, reallocate, reexamine, and in general revise how we were doing things.

I’m proud to say the work and ideas our administrators, teachers and support staff have put forward and implemented are truly paying off:  this year, despite spending less and having “lived within our means” for the past four years, our results will be better than ever, with our overall achievement index increasing and our buildings achieving tremendous growth in scores.  In fact, one of our buildings is among the highest-performing in the entire state!

Unlike in the past, when most cuts came from instruction and were designed to make the community and our level of education “hurt,” the cuts implemented in the past two years were made with the goal of increasing efficiencies while still providing a strong educational program.  Cuts were made proportionate to the area of the budget.  Instruction, which is 58% of the budget, absorbed 49% of the cuts; administration/operations is 19% of the budget and absorbed 37%; curriculum and support, 10% and 10%; and extracurriculars, which are only 1.8% of the budget ($1.1 million total), absorbed 4%.

Here is a summary of the specific cuts that were made. These total over $20 million over five years, and they are permanent cuts – none of these items will be returned.  If you have any questions, feel free to post or email me.

Instruction:  Reduced 18 teachers

Administration/Operations:  Cut 2 administrators, the business supervisor, .5 of a community service position, 3 custodial positions, custodial subs, waived raises, reduced transportation routes

Curriculum & Support:  Cut aides, number of counselor days, kindergarten aides, supplies (some of these were picked up by PTA/O groups)

Extracurriculars:  Eliminated assistant supplementals, reduced coaches, eliminated b-teams and some junior high sports, eliminated site supervisors, reduced transportation in conjunction with sports that were eliminated

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