Webinar shares financial information

A few months ago, Central Committee, which consists of representatives of the parent groups at all district schools, suggested the district run webinars to help communicate on topics of interest to residents.

Great idea, and last week, we ran our first webinar on the topic of finances.  It was a success with 17 people tuning in to hear Superintendent Dr. Farrell and Treasurer Debbie Caudle for an hour at lunchtime on Friday, and many more waiting to watch when the program is uploaded to the website.

The program discussed recent financial history of the district, from the 2007 state of Fiscal Watch to the last four years of “living within our means” (the district has spent less than it has received since 2008).  It talked about how we were able to return services by being more efficient – for instance, busing was brought back but at three tiers versus two.  This bumped start times at the junior high and high school by about a half hour, but saved $1 million.  Our administrative costs and costs per pupil are both lower than state average and lower than those districts it is appropriate to compare us to.

They also explained how we will be losing $4 million in revenue over the next two years.  This is from the phase-out of Personal Property Tax, and also the loss of budget stabilization funds provided by the government for several years.  Unless we make drastic cuts to programs, we will no longer be able to “live within our means” with these reductions.

The webinar will be uploaded to the website, and possibly shown on local cable, as soon as the Q&As are added (and the intro re-taped – technical difficulties!).  Look for it, and more programs like it, coming in the near future.  The 11 Q&As will also be provided in text format for those who do not want to listen to the entire webinar.  Also, please attend our next listening session next Thursday, April 26, at Boyd E. Smith Elementary, 7-8:30 pm.

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