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    Lowell Budget Options- Input Please!
    Posted on 03/01/2017
    Saturday March 11
    What do you think?  We need your input no later than Sunday, March 12th, 5:00 PM.  The whole budget process has been on a very short timeline.  We DO want your input.

    Yesterday, staff reviewed potential budget options prepared by the BLT.  The BLT worked late on Friday, answering staff questions and adjusting options.  

    On a big picture level, we were reduced to 14 homerooms, but then awarded 2.0 FTE “above model” (meaning above WSS)  in general education teachers.  Fantastic.
    Our bilingual cert was reduced by 0.6, but then 0.5 was restored.  This leaves us with 1.9 FTE in bilingual cert.  We currently have 2.0… so we’re good there.
    Our SPED certs grew.  All programs are maintained.  Resource Room grew from 1.2 to 1.8.  As a result, we’re also expecting an additional IA for the Resource Room.  This is good.
    Our Preschool SPED program continues to have 3.0 certs, but was reduced by 1.0 IA.  This happened across the district and being looked at by Central SPED.
    We did lose our AP.
    Staff are interested in the following:
    Using one of the “above model” FTE as a head teacher.  Majority of the staff agreed to this and the wavier has been approved.  This should address the majority of concerns with not having an AP.
    Using one of the “above model” FTE as a classroom teacher, resulting in 15 classrooms.  Our original allocation may have resulted in 4 or more splits; going to 15 classes leaves us with 2 splits.  Many schools across the district are having splits at every grade level… so we’re doing well here.
    Using LAP and Title, we’re thinking about continuing to support a stipend for Team Read and hiring a 1.0 Reading Specialist.  We’re also considering tutors.
    Using discretionary dollars for increasing the counselor FTE, providing kindergarten with additional support, and having a staff member manage the technology in the building.
    Continuing our current PCP program of music, art, and PE.
    Continuing with 0.5 librarian.

    Community feedback would be greatly appreciated.  We are on a very short timeline and need feedback by Sunday evening March 12, 5:00 PM.

    Previous posting
    Staff were provided specific information about the "worst-case scenario" budget for  2017-2018.  

    We are now beginning the problem solving/creative thinking process to formulate two budgets:  one that matches the "worst-case scenario" allocation and one that plans for the potential return of positions and dollars.

    Highlights of our allocation:

    *Enrollment projections are roughly the same as last year

    * The Assistant Principal position has been eliminated (similar situation across a large number of elementary schools)

    *Through mitigation, we have a new 1.0 elementary teacher (projections resulted in a reduction of a teacher position; mitigation restored that position, plus added one more)

    *Increase of Special Education Resource Room staff

    *Award of a 0.5 Counselor

    *Reduction in Bilingual Certificated Staff

    Some other funds were increased/others decreased.

    More information will be posted as we move through the week.

    The BLT is meeting on Friday, March 10th to discuss the process we will use to arrive at budget proposals that will then be voted on by staff.  2/3rds staff majority is required for budget "passage."