Budget Vote: May 20, 2014 at BCHS, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Budget Planning Calendar
Please join us and offer your input on BCSD budget issues.
• 2014-15 budget planning calendar coming soon!
Community discusses bridging a $4.4 million gap
More than 200 residents meet in-person, online to discuss potential savings areas
The following are notes from the group at Table #2 at the Community Budget forum. Read more about the forum here.
The tax levy
Most in the group said they would be willing to support up to a 6
percent tax levy increase, but would understand why many in the
community would not. However, many said that there is an
understanding in the community that Bethlehem offers above and
beyond a normal education and that comes at a price.
As one person in the group stated, “You get what you pay for.”
reactions to the potential reductions listed on the budget worksheet
•One parent suggested getting rid of the transportation department
wholesale and having parents be responsible for transporting their
children to and from school and events. Several others did not think
that was feasible for working parents and wondered how it would
affect the district’s transportation of special needs children and
children to other school districts.
•Many in the group said they would support increased walking distances for high school students, but not for elementary students.
•A few attendees wondered why a single principal couldn’t cover two
•The group also wondered what type of administrative staff is needed over the summer break.
•All in the group agreed that reducing specials to every other week
is too drastic a cut. A few wondered how classroom teachers could
properly teach what PE instructors have specialized degrees in.
•A similar concern was brought up regarding Math AIS and Challenge
•If enrollment shows we can cut 2 FTEs without bigger classes, we should do that before touching anything else.
•Many in the group said electives should be considered for reduction
at the secondary level before specials are reduced at the elementary
•Keep "competitive" languages like Chinese and Spanish. Cut "dead" languages like Latin.
•Many in the group felt they needed a clearer picture of what cutting 30 aides would look like. Would this create an unreasonable workload for aides and negatively affect students?
•The group felt that sports are an integral part of the learning
experience. Cutting all sports is drastic and unrealistic.
•Can we rely on more booster support for some programs?
•We need to take a look at what the enrollment is in each sport - not just the overall cost - before determining what to cut.
• Can the school save money by synchronizing the High School and
Middle school bus runs?
• Would the school consider a 4-day school week? How much would this save?
• How many high school students who are eligible to take the bus actually take it?
• Can the district explore consolidating business operations like payroll and HR with the town or another schools district?
• How much is the technology budget and can we see what the money’s spent on?
• Can we make money by selling pouring rights? What about other types of advertising?
• Why are we only getting $30,000 per year for leasing Clarksville?
Read Superintendent Douglas' note on becoming involved in the budget process here.