Saturday, March 5, 2011

Proposed budget cuts at our middle school

All schools have been asked district wide to reduce costs and make cuts in order to reduce the tax increase for 2011-2012 school year.  These are very difficult decisions that will affect the educational program in our district. Dr. Moran has proposed the following cuts. These cuts were made in the hopes of having the least amount of impact on the academic curriculum. 
  • Eliminate 10 section chairs. Team leaders would be kept in place. Significant reduction in spending. Dr. Moran and Scott Wynn will take up these responsibilities. 
  • Reduce foreign language by .4 raising class size to about 28-30
  • Reduce physical education by .4 raising class size
  • Reduce health from full year program to half year program
  • Reduce operational spending by 15%.
  • Eliminate modified sports and all after school clubs with the exception of Yearbook, Boston and Washington Club. Intramural sports would be expanded and offered to 6th, 7th and 8th graders. 
These are only proposed and BOE will be looking at proposed cuts at all schools at upcoming BOE meetings.

ADDED:  This information was distributed by the hard working local middle school PTA leadership.


  1. Upon first impression, the only cut that doesn't distress me at least a bit is cutting the health class to a half year program.

  2. I am trying to understand the sports part. What is the difference between intermurals and modified sports? At first when I read this, I thought you meant they were expanding varsity, which doesn't sound like it would save money. But expanding intermurals, if they are what I think they are, is a good idea.
    As for clubs, this must be one of those things designed to rile up parents. How much could clubs possibly cost? Even my poverty stricken KY junior school had clubs. We sold crap like candy bars and washed cars to raise money for the clubs.

  3. If I understand it correctly, modified sports are the precursor to junior varsity, so they compete with other schools. Intramural teams compete only within our school.

    The problem is that modified sports provide an activity for the more competitive athletes, allowing them to hone their skills by competing against the best players of other schools. So, it could happen that these players will dominate the intramurals, making that league less enjoyable for the more casual athletes or even crowding them out. Or, the competitive players will simply remain inactive until high school. In any case, it could present a problem.

  4. Yup, eliminating clubs will surely rile parents. They limit our choices on what they will cut, since the biggest expenditures (pension, benefits and salaries) are "off the table".

    Just a very rough calculation (20 clubs x $7k stipend) tells me the cost of clubs is around $140,000. (I may be a bit off on those numbers.)

  5. And they prohibit parents from volunteering as club advisors.

    "According to NYS law, volunteers may not replace union workers who currently perform specified duties."

  6. My son had a terrific club advisor last year who used a chunk of his stipend on the kids, buying them breakfast before their meets.

    BTW, I commend the principal and asst. principal for taking over additional responsibilities without additional pay, if that's the case.

  7. parents weren't allowed to advise clubs in my day either.

    I understand the argument about modified, but quite frankly, it may be something unaffordable. Orchestra and band do not split off a more competitive and more expensive contingent, so why should sports? Good musicians deserve competitive opportunities just as good athletes do, but it is up to the parents to find them, not the school orchestra. The taxpayers don't pay for my kids to compete in NYSSMA - so why should they pay for kids to travel to compete in athletics?

  8. Your comparison of music to sports got me to thinking. I guess some would argue that the school bands are the "varsity" equivalent of sports teams. But I don't think there are any "modified" or "intramural" equivalents, probably due to lack of interest.

    Now, does the school participate and invest in any competitive music events similar to what goes on in sports? I don't know, for example, if the school pays to support those students who compete for all-county or all-state. (I'm not familiar with the NYSSMA competition.)

    In speaking with my husband, I learned that years ago the high school band participated in state competitions. I don't think they do now. It's probably a matter of interest - more families are more interested in sports competition than in music competition.

    I agree that we may simply be unable to afford some of these activities now.

  9. There is a sports club for parents, but none for band parents.

  10. My son used to point out how academic club team members had to pay their own way to meets, but the school paid for sports team transportation.