Strong Leadership to Guide Inglewood Schools During Budget
With severe cuts expected during the current budget crunch, the State has placed public education as a priority putting more pressure on local school districts to reach critical decisions.
Inglewood School District is no exception and this week the district’s board members reached out to the strong veteran leadership of board member Arnold Butler.
“Our Inglewood School District financial condition for 2009-2010 is a major concern, for the current Board of Education. Due to very poor decisions and questionable actions during the budget development last year, the task of securing the District’s positive financial condition may be in question,” Butler stated.
He added, ” The bad decisions of not reducing district expenditure, reorganizing departments and the maximizing of restricted funds, has now become major contributors to the budget problems we now face for the 2009-2010 and 2011 school years.
During the last Board of Education meeting, I took the opportunity to read my comments from May and June of 2008 regarding the budget condition and the actions suggested to keep us solvent. In those comments I warned the staff of the risk we were taking by not following the actions of almost every district in the state, by making needed budget adjustments, in addressing these potential State cuts.”
Butler says, “Our challenge now is to undo those poor decisions and work aggressively to keep our reserve at the required 3% and place tight controls on all of the district’s spending.”
Additionally he elaborated, “to assist the district with the setting of priorities in spending and working with tight budget controls, the district must relay on critical input from the budget advising committee, suggestions from each Board member, and input from representatives of our major stakeholders. I have served the budget committee for over 7 years and I can say we have never seen the budget process this bad. The entire Board agrees that we must reach out to the community for their input and any assistance that they can provide positive ideas doing these difficult financial times.”
Butler pointed that suggestions by the Budget Advisor committee will be presented to the Board along with additional suggestions by staff and Board members over the next few weeks.
“To help move this process along a budget study meeting has been scheduled so that time will be made available for full discussion of each suggestion. The goal of the Board this year is to be sure we have a balance budget one that reflects the new direction being developed for our Inglewood Schools,” he stated.
He outlined the following goals, “For the District we have provided staff with a clear set of guidelines that must be addressed: These suggested guidelines are:
. Maintain a 3% reserve
. All reduction must be away from the classroom
. Full adherence to cost containment within all departments
. Full use and charges to our consolidated program
. Reductions of consultants and non-productive programs
. Encourage the assistance of our PTA in providing additional funds for their School site
. Full parent involvement in our school site councils.
We strongly believe that if we hold the line on spending and adopt a position of strong monitoring of the seven stated guidelines, success for the District is a strong reality for 2009-2010 school year.”