BUDGET TALK: What's in the revised budget?

Back in March, the Board of Education approved an operating budget proposal that called for $852 million for the 2016-17 school year. In April, Mayor Megan Barry recommended a reduced funding amount of $843 million, which still represents a $33 million increase over the current operating budget. On Friday, May 13, the Board's Budget and Finance Committee met to look at a revised budget proposal that meets the Mayor's recommended amount. The revised budget reduces spending by $9.1 million.

Here is a breakdown of what was reduced and what still remains in the proposed operating budget. To see everything that was originally included, take a look at our original budget breakdown.

  • Current year operating budget (2015-16): $810 million
  • Original operating budget proposal for 2016-17 (approved by the Board): $852.4 million
    • Increase of $42.4 million from current year
  • Revised 0perating budget proposal for 2016-17 (to match the Mayor’s recommended budget): $843.3 million
    • Increase of $33.3 million from current year
    • Reduced by $9.1 million from original operating budget proposal approved by the Board:
      • $1.62 million reduction in the EL expansion plan
        • Original expansion plan cost: $12.7 million
        • Revised expansion plan cost: $11.1 million
      • $2.25 million reduction in the Reading Recovery expansion plan
        • Original expansion plan cost: $8.97 million
        • Revised expansion plan cost: $6.72 million
    • $2.34 million in student-based budgeting reserves
    • $2.94 million in textbooks / science kits


EL Expansion Plan

  • After-school Tutoring – Tutoring will expand its reach from eight schools to 15 – instead of 21 as originally proposed.
  • EL Professional Learning – The district will spend $450,000 to expand EL professional development opportunities for teachers instead of $1.3 million as originally proposed.
  • Family & Community Literacy Nights – Community partners and educators will help families learn English and give more literacy opportunities to students. The district will fund one location instead of three as originally proposed.

Reading Recovery Expansion Plan

  • Reading Recovery Teachers – The district will hire 30 additional Reading Recovery teachers instead of the 48 originally proposed. The revised expansion plan will bring the 24 schools currently using the program to full Reading Recovery implementation and add an additional six elementary schools.
  • Part-time Reading Interventionists – The district is eliminating the addition of 15 part-time reading interventionists and will continue serving the same number of schools with the reading interventionists already on staff.
  • Summer School – The district is eliminating the $90,500 request for a new literacy summer school program at 10 elementary sites. Many of the students who would have been served by this program will benefit from the new EL summer program that remains in the EL services expansion plan.
  • Other Expenses – Funding for supplies/materials, contracted services and travel have been reduced from the original budget proposal by $430,848.

Student-Based Budgeting Reserves

  • Under the student-based budgeting model, school budgets are developed using projected student enrollment. The district sets aside extra funds to assist schools that enroll more students at the start of the year than expected.
  • The set-aside to cover increased student enrollment at individual schools will be $3 million instead of $5.3 as originally proposed.

Textbooks / Science Kits

  • The annual allocation for textbook purchases will be reduced. All required textbooks will still be purchased. However, this will limit the district’s ability to purchase textbooks for the 2017-18 school year during the 2016-17 fiscal year. Purchasing textbooks in advance with the prior year’s budget has been common practice since fiscal year funding becomes available only one month before the start of school.
  • The district will end its science kit program, where hands on science materials are shipped to schools. The science kits no longer align with state standards for science curriculum and have not been widely used.