Edmond Public Schools Officials To Discuss Budget Cuts At Special Board Meeting

Thursday, May 19th 2016, 11:25 am
By: News 9

Officials with Edmond Public Schools will hold a special board meeting Thursday evening to discuss potential budget cuts.

According to officials, a special board meeting has been set for 6 p.m. May 19 at the Edmond Administrative Center, located at 1001 W. Danforth. Among the agenda items is a possible vote on additional budget reduction measures that the district and its employee groups have been working on.

In the wake of the state budget crisis, Edmond Public Schools is bracing for a $3.5 to $4.0 million budget reduction for 2016-2017. Over the last several weeks, central office administrators have worked to identify $2.1 to $3.3 million in savings for 2016-2017 that come both from revenue enhancements as well as cuts.

A partial list of budget cuts includes:

  •         Reducing operational costs (travel expenses, mileage reimbursements and departmental and site budgets)
  •         Reducing support costs (outsourcing custodial care at two middle schools and consolidating or eliminating contracts that do not negatively affect instruction) 
  •         Pursuing flexibility in federal programs (when not required by state and federal laws, use federal dollars to partially pay some salaries)
  •         Evaluating open positions (determine if positions can be filled or if responsibilities can be reassigned or consolidated)

Some potential budget cuts have had to be addressed through formal negotiations with employee groups EACT (Edmond Association of Classroom Teachers) and SEE (Support Employees of Edmond,) officials said.

“We are committed to working with EACT, SEE, and our employees to find the best solutions," said Chief Human Resources Officer Randy Decker. “In an effort to make budget cuts be as equitable as possible, the district sent out two employee surveys and shared the results and conducted six open meetings for employees.” 

The week of May 16, Edmond Association of Classroom Teachers (EACT) sent its members a ballot measure and asked members to choose one of the following options to help realize an additional savings:

  •         Reduction of 40 teaching positions
  •         Loss of one contract days’ pay for all certified employees plus loss of district-paid disability, and slight increases in classroom sizes
  •         Loss of two contract days’ pay for all certified employees plus loss of district-paid disability, and slight increases in classroom sizes

 “These are tough decisions that employees are being asked to make and we understand the impact of these cuts on their personal finances,” said Edmond Superintendent Bret Towne.

District officials say they are hopeful that any reductions in staff will come in the form of retirements, resignations and reassignments.

“We have worked very hard to protect instruction for students, maintain class sizes and preserve employee morale,” Towne said.