The CMS Board of Education held it’s second budget workshop for the 2013-2014 Budget. This workshop was held in room 267 of the government center on Monday, March 18th, 2013. All of the nine board members and most of the executive staff were present for this important priority meeting.
After Chairwoman Mary McCray opened the workshop, Dr. Morrison and Scott McCully talked about how a larger student enrollment impacts the budget. Since 2003, CMS has experienced an extra 27,312 students. The projected enrollment for CMS for the 2013-2014 year is 143,836. This is an increase of 2,665. The cohort survival method is the way the student growth projection number was reached. The economy is always significant in driving student enrollment. Another driver of increased enrollment will be the new charter schools slated to open in the Fall of 2013. The projected enrollment for these four new charter schools is 1,653 students. This year, 2012-2013, student enrollment exceeded expectations. The projected enrollment for the 2012-2013 year was 140,010 but the actual enrollment on the 20th day was 141,171. This is an increase of 1,161 students. The yearly increases in enrollment will continue to impact the budget.
Sheila Shirley and Dennis Covington had a major part in this budget presentation. Sustaining Operations(operating budget) are projected to be $7.6 million. Increases are expected to occur in the following areas: health insurance, retirement, CMPD School Resource Officers, utilities, fuel prices, response to instruction, telecommunications, Communities In Schools, property & casualty insurance and unemployment insurance.
There are costs associated with student enrollment growth and the opening of new schools(operating budget). These total costs are expected to be $7.8 million. New staff and non-personnel(to help with the additional 2,665 students)are expected to cost $3.9 million. Charter School Growth is expected to cost $2.7 million. The maintenance on the new schools is projected to cost $1.1 million. The additional position allotment is projected to cost $0.1 million.
The priorities for the 2013-2014 budget(not in order): technology, choice & personalization, professional learning, partnerships, teacher salaries, safety and security. The order and addition of the priorities have not been determined by the board at this time.
Vice-Chairman Tim Morgan asked Sheila Shirley why the per student costs for charter schools is larger than for other CMS students. Shirley explained that when LEA’s figure per pupil costs for charter they must figure the full allocation from state and county. This makes the per student cost for charter schools $3,992. Part of this $3,992 is caused by overhead costs. This is the county portion of the per pupil cost. Not all new CMS students cost $3,992. The full cost to CMS per pupil for a student not in a charter school is $8,565. The county portion for these CMS students is $2,410. Charter students get an additional $1,582 per pupil from the county. The charter school dollars are pass through dollars. This means CMS gets an exact amount for charter schools and that exact amount of dollars is then given to the charter schools.
Valerie Truesdale talked about her visit to Miami-Dade Schools and a new innovative type of school they have. This is called iPrep Academy. This is not a traditional school. There is no traditional cafeteria partly due to the students bringing their own food. Because the students are responsible to get themselves to school, there is no busing. There is no traditional gymnasium, track or stadium. The principal is the superintendent. Each classroom has inside and outside windows, due to the number of observers. Each child is given a Mac-Book Air. The students spend their time in small groups or working independently. This is a high tech and independent learning oriented model.
Vice-Chairman Tim Morgan asked Valerie Truesdale about the per pupil expenditure for this type of schools. Truesdale explained that the cost of the computer for each child is key. The Miami-Dade School System was given the Mac-Book Air Notebooks at no cost. The lack of busing does help save money. Truesdale explained that the per pupil expenditure is not increased inside the Miami-Dade District for this type of school.
Vice-Chairman Tim Morgan asked Dr. Morrison what major challenges CMS has with this budget. Dr. Morrison listed these challenges: raises for staff, the bell schedule, technology, professional development and the number of nurses in each school.
The next CMS regular meeting is March 26th, 2013 at 6:00 pm in room 267 of the government center. The next budget workshop is Tuesday, April 30th in room 267 at 3:30 pm. The government center is located at 600 East Third Street, Charlotte, North