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Parkway Board Votes to Cut $2.53 Million from Budget - 43 Full-time Staff Positions to be Eliminated

Faced with a fourth consecutive year of deficit spending, the Parkway Board of Education voted yesterday to reduce the district's 2005-06 operating budget by $2.53 million. "These are difficult times for all school districts in Missouri, including Parkway. We have been working to contain costs for the past four years and will have to continue to do so until we can find a way to increase our operating revenues," explains Kelley Garbero, president of the Parkway Board of Education. "These proposed reductions and efficiencies are the next step." Below is a summary of the cuts and efficiency strategies approved at Wednesday's meeting: o Eliminate 43 full-time staff positions as follows: - 19 non-instructional positions (Administrators, Support Staff, Non-classroom teaching positions) - 24 full-time teaching positions ((Increase class sizes at all levels (student/teacher ratios), Less than one teaching position per school, on average) o Reduce certain other administrator positions to non-administrator classifications through attrition (staffing model study). o Freeze school building budgets (fourth consecutive year). o Freeze support program budgets (fourth consecutive year). o Other non-personnel reductions - Reduce annual school bus purchase from 12 to 10 - Increase district conservations measures (energy consumption, paper use, consumable supplies and materials, etc.) Dr. Robert Malito, superintendent of schools, says the current proposals are consistent with several basic priorities for the district. "We have spent the last few months gaining feedback and suggestions from a variety of sources, including faculty and staff," says Malito. "The proposals brought to the board reflect the input from these groups." Historical Perspective of Cost-Containment Measures Already Taken by the Parkway Board: 2001-02: o After failure of 2000-01 tax proposals, Parkway trimmed nearly $4 million from operating budget. Cuts took effect July 1, 2002 and were projected to balance budget through 2005-06 (April 2002 issue of Parkway Today Online newsletter). 2003-04: o Passage of bond issue for building maintenance allowed $5 million to be reallocated to operating budget. Gains were largely offset by unanticipated reductions in property tax revenue and cuts in state funding for VST program. 2004-05 (current status): o Operating revenues projected to remain relatively unchanged from 2003-04. o Expenses continue to outpace revenues, causing the district to continue to dip into reserves. This year the deficit is projected to be $5.58 million, causing year-end reserves to fall below minimum requirements for the first time. o 2004 bond issue revenues being used for intended purpose ($75 million over five years for building improvements and technology), but by law cannot be used to offset operating budget deficit. 2005-06 (budget assumptions): o Operating revenues will increase by approximately 2.1 percent due to property tax reassessments. o Increase will be partially offset by reductions in state revenue and VST program. o Operating expenditures will continue to decline by approximately $720,000. o District is expected to experience operating deficit for fourth year in a row. o Will cause year-end reserves to dip to approximately $3.2 million below minimum requirements ($11.9 million less than 2001-02). Rationale for Further cuts in 2005-06: o Annual operating deficits expected to increase each subsequent year. o Parkway Board of Education directed superintendent to recommend strategies to cut costs beginning in 2005-06. o Administration researched options for reducing costs next year. Ideas and suggestions for cost-cutting measures solicited from Parkway community, staff, parents and students.