Kyrene looking at changes for special areas to trim budget - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Kyrene looking at changes for special areas to trim budget

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Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 9:00 am | Updated: 1:19 pm, Wed Oct 10, 2012.

Kyrene School District is looking at three options to cut spending on art, music, PE and library in order to meet its budget for 2011-12.

Currently, students receive PE twice a week for 30 minutes, art once a week for 40 minutes, music twice a week for 30 minutes, and the amount of time spent in the library varies depending on the school.

One option would change the schedule in these special areas so that students would have each of the subjects for 50 minutes, once per week, which would spell a reduction of 13.5 employees and save $756,000.

The second option would give the students 45 minutes in each of the subjects once per week. This would result in fewer than nearly 20 teachers and save the district $1.1 million.

The third option would leave PE and art the way they are but change music to once per week for 45 minutes, and set library time at once a week for 40 minutes. This would result in about 12 to 13 fewer teachers, and save between $666,000 and $722,000.

The options were discussed during the Kyrene School District governing board study session on Tuesday.

Superintendent David Schauer and the chief financial and operations officer laid out what could be the final reductions in the budget to the governing board, staff and concerned members of the community.

They expect the budget to be finalized at the May 24 governing board meeting.

Recent developments at the legislative level has given administrators a bit of breathing room, at least more than they had a week ago.

With the passing of Senate Bill 1263, Kyrene's estimated budget for next year increased to $95.1 million, up from $94.5 million that was predicted a few weeks ago. SB 1263 allowed the district to extend its maintenance and operations budget override by an amount equal to what it would have received if full-day kindergarten was being funded by the state.

"It provides and additional $600,000 in budget capacity," Smith said.

Even with the additional funding, Kyrene must cut about $4.6 million. The largest cuts come from reducing staff by 29 classroom employees. That would save the district $1.35 million.

The administration is also considering a contingency fund of about 1 percent of its budget, about $950,000, in preparation for further cuts next year.

"(In the past, the Legislature) has over-estimated revenues and under-estimated reductions," Smith said.

To find out more, visit the Kyrene website at www.Kyrene.org.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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