School Superintendent Says of Budgets: 'We are at a Tipping Point in our School System'

Guthrie said the school system may again be facing drastic cuts budget in FY 2014.

Carroll County School Superintendent Stephen Guthrie recently sent a message to parents with an update on next year's budget and "possible consequences to our school system."

The Board of Education held its annual budget work session on Dec. 5.  At that meeting Guthrie expressed concern about next year's possible revenue and presented some options to address likely budget shortfalls.  In his message to parents, Guthrie wrote "there is a strong possibility that we will again have to reduce spending by millions of dollars". 

Guthrie said that county Maintenance of Effort funding (the minimum funding required by the state) and reduced state funding coupled with increasing costs to run the school system could mean $9 million in funding cuts to next year's school budget.

"Make no mistake – we are at a tipping point in our school system," Guthrie wrote to parents. "Our funding for the next few years will determine the quality of education we will be able to provide to our students next year and in the future." 

Guthrie said that the school system has absorbed $20 million in reductions over the last five years.  He said his hope is that the county will fund the school system at the same amount as this current year or increase funding.

Click here to view budget scenarios Guthrie presented at the Dec. 5 work session.

According to Guthrie, the next step in the process is the release of his proposed operating budget for next year. This budget will be released on Jan. 9, 2013 when he presents his final budget recommendations to the Board of Education.  The Board votes on its preliminary budget in February and its final budget for fiscal year 2014 in May 2013. 

WestMonster December 11, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Wow, some of those proposed cuts would really suck for the kids! Outdoor school is a great experience, but is extra. I agree, cutting the K aides would be disastrous for that program. Since almost all of these solutions result in job losses, are we certain there are no efficiency improvements to be implemented? I know the transportation system was leaned-down, but what about school maintenance, vehicle fleet, facility operation costs (electricity, waste, HVAC...)? Also, couldn't help but notice it costs almost $3mil to run MVHS, and the projected shortfall under the MOE scenario is $3mil. Shut down NCHS and move everyone to the Manchester Valley debacle. Maybe NCHS can be re-purposed, maybe not... but high schools are huge, and running 2 of them right next to each other at around 50% is nuts.
LC December 11, 2012 at 04:05 PM
There are far, far TOO many mid level "supervisors" in the system. Getting rid of some of them would save an incredible amount of money for the school system. Their salaries are public information. Like many corporations, CCPS is still too top heavy. If jobs were easier to come by in this area, I do think you would see a walk out. Many teachers in CCPS are stressed to the breaking point - because they are the ones most impacted by the $20 million in cuts over the past 5 years.
BC December 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM
For David...If you look back at full day k, Carroll County asked to be exempted from it but the state mandated it. Additions were added to most elementary schools for this. Many things are mandated by the state and federal government....look at the mandates for Race to the Top (an Obama program) an how little money is coming into support it. Places to look for savings are in the mandates and the excessive school capacity. In addition, look at the high schools ...each as a Principal and 2 or more assistant principals. Could probably save a million a year by eliminating one of the assistants. The thing to remember is that our schools will start going down hill as teachers have had no raises for years. It will be hard to compete with other school districts when we have the lowest starting pay. As teachers start leaving for other districtsfor better pay and are replaced with second tier teachers it will not be good for the future of the system. Mr Guthrie and the BOE need to open their eyes.
Sue Keller December 11, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Like every other corporation, there are too many bureaucrats in CCPS. Good luck getting their jobs cut, though....if they haven't cut them by now, it seems extremely unlikely.
Sue Keller December 11, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Special education has already been cut to the bone, so stop looking there to suck blood out of that department. Nice short-term thinking, CCPS. Kids who really need help are not getting what they need now to be independent and able to work in the future. But that won't be your problem....that's a long-term issue. No, you all can rest easy when these kids turn 18 or 21, CCPS. You might care as a private taxpayer when all these kids are on SSI or SNAP benefits. Why the Developmental Disabilities Administration hasn't stepped in on behalf of their future clients, only they know....


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