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Smaller Class Sizes at Middle and High Schools; Other Recommendations Considered for 2008-09 Budget

At its December 12 meeting, the Parkway Board of Education conducted a work session to discuss recommendations for the 2008-09 budget.
This year, Proposition R has allowed the district to pursue educational initiatives to enhance learning experiences including lower class sizes at the elementary level, support for student interventions and an increased focus on technology integration in the classroom.
For the 2008-09 school year, new district priorities include addressing class size at the middle and high school level, continued technology support with Smart Board installations and four high tech demo classrooms - one in each core subject area - at each middle school.
Revenues for 2008-09 are expected to increase by 0.26 percent to $206.4 million while expenses are expected to be $204.9 million.

For the 2008-09 school year, the Parkway Board of Education is considering a proposal to reduce class sizes at the middle school and high school level.
“Our community showed its support for its school district with the passage of Proposition R. We are committed to fulfilling our promises from Prop R including lower class sizes at all levels and improved instruction. These budget assumptions will ensure that, while maintaining financial stability,” said Superintendent, Robert Malito.

Other preliminary budget recommendations for the 2008-09 school year include:

- Smart Boards: $500,000 allocated from the 2004 bond issue to kick start the Smart Board initiative.
- More technology: $400,000 to support the addition of four high tech demo classrooms - one in Science, Communication Arts, Social Studies and Math - at each middle school.
- Staffing: additional staffing to support phase II special education students and math interventions
- Facilities: the 2004 bond issue provided funding to support building maintenance and repair for five years. All of those funds have been allocated for projects from now through the Summer of 2008.
- VST: student enrollment in the Voluntary Student Transfer program is expected to decrease by 245 students or 14 percent next year.

Additional recommendations will be developed in the coming weeks based upon the final budget assumptions, which will be approved by the board on January 16, 2008. These items will be presented along with the preliminary budget at the April 9, 2008 meeting.

Timeline for Parkway budget development:

December 12, 2007 Meeting
Budget Workshop#1: Budget Assumptions Presented

January 16, 2008
Location: Central Middle
Approval of Budget Assumptions

April 9, 2008
Location: Central Middle
Budget Workshop#2: Preliminary Budget Presented

June 18, 2008
Location: Central Middle
Topic: Formal Adoption of the 2008-09 Budget