Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shelby County Preliminary Budget

I attended the Shelby County Unified School Preliminary Budget Presentation for the community on February 5, 2013.  My initial reactions were that it was a packed house; of course no one wants their funding cut; custodial staff doesn't want to be outsourced; teachers don't want their support staff cut either. Sounds like the big cuts are to the optional schools and programs. Before doing the research, just wondering why they would cut the best part of the MCS programs. They want to increase funding for Pre-K. Only one person brought up the pension funding and pointed out that since only 25% of MCS graduate from college, maybe expanding their vocation school programs would be more of a benefit to more kids. I got tired of the term "world class education" very quickly. I think some marketing group got paid way too much money for that slogan. As one of my friends said, it's going to get very ugly, very quickly.

Here are the documents that were discussed last evening.  There is the working budget and the presentation to the community last night.

After looking at the working docs and presentation from last night, these are some of my questions:  I will be emailing them to each of the school board members.  As I find out the answers ~either from the school board member or my own research~, I will post them.  If there are any questions that you have, please post.  I will do my best to get the answers.

  • Why are we funding Pre-schools? 
  • What is the loss of MDP officers?  Will the Shelby Co Sheriff's office do what the MDP officers did? 
  • Why specifically has overall enrollment declined?  Are these declining numbers from MCS or SCS?  Why are parents choosing private, charter, option and home-schooling instead of enrolling their children in MCS or SCS.  Why are parents moving to North Mississippi, Fayette and Tipton Counties?
  • What are ASD schools? 
  • Why are more parents choosing Charter schools?
  • Why are more parents choosing Optional schools?
  • Wouldn’t it be better for the kids to have more Optional schools where parents could choose what school their child goes to?
  • What is the CLUE program?
  • What is the CAPA program?
  • What is the projected per student cost for 2013 - 2014?
  • What was the per student cost in SCS?
  • What was the per student cost in MCS?
  • Much of the input last night ~Feb 5, 2013~ was from Optional school teachers, parents and students who didn’t want funding for Clue, CAPA, and Optional programs cut.  Where are those cuts outlined in the budget?  I see where Music, Art and PE are cut in elementary, but I don’t see where the other cuts they were talking about are. 
  • What does the term “Elementary MAP” on the Description of Staff Model slide #24?
I think as parents, citizens and taxpayers of Shelby County, we are due some answers.  I believe that the reason that the MCS surrendered their charter was because they weren't getting the job done with the amount of money that they were given, so to get more money, they wanted to force a merger with the more successful Shelby County Schools.   Since the courts have shut down the municipality schools for the 2013 - 2014 school year, I think it's imperative that all of us in Shelby County get involved and help the School Board find some common sense solutions.  We know how to balance our home and business budgets, we should be able to help the School Board stretch every dollar that they receive from us taxpayers.

Update:  I did find this link concerning Choice Transfers.  What I'd like to know is how common are they and what criteria do they really use to approve Transfers?.  

1 comment:

  1. a CAPA school is an optional school for Creative and Performing Arts in the MCS system. My kids were in great choir program in a SCS school and Overton always had choirs and bands that was hard to beat but not impossible.
    CLUE is the Gifted and Talented Program for MCS. SCS didn't use that program.