Archive for the ‘Other Districts’ Category

SaveNASchools has offered the district several suggestions with respect to closing the budget gap.  One of them is outsourcing transportation.  This option would result in two types of savings (1) a one-time windfall from the sale of the bus fleet and, (2) annual savings from cost efficiencies.  Other districts have seen significant benefits from these arrangements.

“Penn Hills’ director of business affairs Richard Liberto said the move would save the district $3.3 million the first year and from $1.4 million to $1.7 million yearly thereafter for the remainder of the five-year contract. The first-year savings figure includes the sale of the district’s bus fleet to First Student.”

To read more, click here.

We’ve also attached a report that explains how outsourcing works and addresses the most common concerns.  Here is an excerpt from the report:

“Our research has found consistent evidence that outsourcing contracts between public school districts and for-profit service providers can be mutually beneficial, producing cost savings (and sometimes new revenues), profits for the contractor, improved services for the school district, and more resources directed into the learning environment.

Education spending in the US is now nearing $600 billion per year, of which at least 34.5%–that’s more than $200 billion—is for non-instructional services. Through outsourcing, school districts seek to reduce the costs in time, personnel, and dollars for services that are necessary but not core to the educational mission, thereby moving greater resources into the classroom.  At the same time, they seek improved quality in these services, which according to the best studies, they receive.”

To read more, click here.

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To see the video, click the link below.

A school district closes one elementary school– and experiences over-crowding in the remaining elementary schools.

BROOKFIELD –  A “class-size controversy” at one school district – just months after a school was closed.

Hillside Elementary was closed because of budgets and shrinking attendance.

But now parents are frustrated because of over-crowded classrooms  “We have voiced our concern on that and hoping that  they’d add another teacher,” said parent Jackie Smith.

Jackie Smith’s concerned about her daughter’s fifth grade class.

It’s one of four at Swanson Elementary pushed to it’s maximum size.

“I certainly don’t like that there are 30 kids in the class.”

The school added nearly 60 students in the past two and a half months forcing the district to add “sections”.

Tonawanda Elementary is in similar shape.

“So we’re going to look at whether those are permanent students or if it’s a one year kind of anomaly,” said Keith Brightman, assistant superintendent of finance, budget and human resources at Elmbrook’s School District.

The hike in enrollment comes on the heels of Hillside Elementary’s closure this spring.

District leaders consolidated for budget reasons.

Brightman said the closing of Hillside did not directly impact Swanson and Tonawanda’s class sizes.

Parent’s aren’t so sure.

Brookfield Elementary absorbed students from Hillside.  But redistricting sent some Brookfield students to Swanson.

Jackie Smith understood Hillside’s closing.  But she fears the district failed to address the impact it would have on other classrooms.  “We’re adding 50, 60, 100 kids to your school, but we’re not hiring any more teachers,” she said.

The district budgeted for six “place holder” teaching positions for possible changes in enrollment.  It ended up having to add more but did so at the younger class levels which are priority for smaller class sizes.

In fifth grade classes it will add an assistant after exploring the options, said Brightman.

“Usually those are qualified teachers in those positions in our district so that’s a very viable solution given that they’re just above our max thresholds.”

Not all parents find that an acceptable solution.

They’ll get to voice their concerns at a school board meeting next Tuesday night.