GUEST COMMENTARY
Ouray School District R1 Board Report
by Jerry Hellman, Ouray School District R1 Board Secretary
Feb 25, 2010 | 1263 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the Feb. 1 Community Meeting, the Ouray School District Board listened as approximately 55 people voiced their suggestions, questions and concerns about how to close a $250,000-300,000 gap in next year’s budget. The exact gap will be dependent on how much the state reduces our funding, now suggested to be in the 8-10 percent range. Following the discussion and in the days thereafter, the Board distributed and posted a survey asking community opinion on specific actions that could be taken to reduce spending. The results of this survey are now being compiled and will be presented at the Regular Board Meeting Thursday, Feb. 25 in the School Library at 7 p.m.; following the meeting, they will be posted on the school’s website.

On February 9, Board members Don Mort and Jerry Hellman made a presentation on the schedule for budget actions to an All-Staff meeting at the school. At an earlier Special Meeting, the Board established retirement/separation incentive packages for several of the faculty who had expressed interest, and on February 12 these packages were presented to them. Responses are due back on February 24.

In order to have as great an impact as possible on reducing the budget gap next year, the Board has chosen to pay the incentives out of the Emergency Contingency Fund. This will reduce the contingency fund to the level required for good fiscal management in the future. No additional retirement/separation incentive packages are anticipated in the coming years.

Reductions In Force (RIF) may be necessary to reduce compensation spending to meet the legal requirement for a balanced budget. The schedule calls for a preliminary determination of FY11 class offerings and teaching assignments which will include the potential for a reduced faculty. If a RIF is necessary, letters will be delivered to impacted individuals on or before March 22. The preliminary class offerings will be announced at the March 22 Regular Board Meeting.

The Budget and Accountability Committees will be chartered to recommend integrated budget targets for non-instructional spending. The integrated targets will include all spending on our various activities. Rather than looking at, for example, coaching stipends, transportation, registration fees, and other support costs independently, the committees will be asked to come up with a single budget for all expenses related to the activity.

Additional Community Meetings will be scheduled to provide information on our progress in specific areas. The public is always invited to attend our Board Meetings to observe and contribute. Agendas are posted at the post office and at the school. Please contact any Board member with suggestions or comments.
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