R EVENUE The Florida Choice Office offers a revenue tool to assist administrators. Revenue Estimate Worksheet Revenue Estimate Worksheet Sarasota County Schools District office creates a projection for each charter school. This occurs after the state’s budget is passed. Typically in April. 2011-12 Projections 2011-12 Projections Tools of Trade Revenue District Projections
P RE W ORKSHOP S TEPS 1. The administrative team met and discussed the budget shortfall. 2. The deficit for the 2011-12 school year was estimated at approximately 330,000 dollars. 3. We targeted areas in which reductions could be made more easily than others.
R EASONS FOR THE P RESENTATION To present the Budget shortfall and changes in income. To give the Faculty and Staff input on what they felt comfortable “losing or changing” To avoid staff reduction. To avoid income cuts or reduction of benefits
F ACULTY AND S TAFF F EARS Will I … lose my job? lose my benefits? have to pay more for my insurance? have my retirement (401K) reduced? have my pay cut? have furlough days?
P OWER P OINT FOR S TAFF List revenue sources Clarify those items that are line-itemed for certain purchases. Simplify the budget Create PowerPoint Presentation Present Budget Presentation Preparation
P OWER P OINT FOR S TAFF Highlight habit- changing cuts for teacher awareness. Xerox spending Electricity Waste Break room Supplies Highlight purchasing that could be cut. Those items that cannot be touched were not emphasized. Itemize expenditures that are not integral to teaching Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Purchasing
P OWER P OINT FOR S TAFF Merge all salaries Merge various benefits Insurance Retirement Stipends List stipends Compute an SSAS average teacher salary + benefits One teacher = $60,000. Salaries – 62% of budget
S MALL G ROUP W ORK R EPORTING O UT Poster paper Markers Mini budgets Small group workshop Groups of 4-6 Small Group Discussion List of Recommendations on Poster. Group Presentations Q & A MaterialsProcess
C OMPILATION OF R ESULTS - C UTS Yearly staff uniform shirt purchases Copying Conferences Electricity Break room supplies Admin Travel Buckle Down workbooks $900 $8000 $12000 $1000 $1500 $4400 ReductionsSavings
C OMPILATION OF R ESULTS - C UTS Cut one out-of-county bus route FCAT T-shirts Use kid delivery versus US Postal Stipends for translator, data coach, grants, webpage, celebration, and non-academic, non- service clubs. $10,000 $1,000 $10,000 ReductionsSavings
T OTAL S TAFF R ECOMMENDED R EDUCTIONS … $80,000
F EEDBACK AND S UGGESTIONS I really like the fact that we were given a voice in this matter. By having the workshop it empowered us to know what we can to do to help out. I think simply being aware of what the costs are, helps us to be more conscious about our daily decisions that impact spending. It also made the cut backs “sting less” because we understood the reasoning and were a part of the process. I liked how we had a brainstorming session where All ideas were accepted, regardless of how farfetched they may be. The small groups were also very helpful, as was the oversized post-it notes. I don’t know if there would be an advantage to grouping teachers by subject area or some other similarity so that they can also focus on specific spending issues within their department, in addition to school-wide. I know there were some teachers that got overpowered by other teachers during the process, I don’t remember, did we start with solo brainstorming time? (If we didn’t, that may help bring out even more ideas, and help empower those individuals that aren’t as vocal.) There were some areas that were a bit touchy or heated. It is definitely important that the teachers working together have rapport with each other and feel Having comfortable sharing these not so popular ideas. some way to warm people up to each other before starting the brainstorming session may be helpful, to build trust amongst the group.
F EEDBACK AND S UGGESTIONS The budget workshop was very constructive since everybody participated with ideas and proposals. It also made us feel that what we think is important and counts. This should be done every year. You had people voluntarily taking cuts in areas that they knew they could sacrifice. I don’t hear any complaints from other teachers about the cuts because they have a full understanding of where it COULD have gone if it didn’t hit there. I think it was a great way for Admin to see where teachers were very willing to make sacrifices and less willing. With that warning, you could tread lightly if you needed to put a cut on sore areas. I thought it was all very well thought-out and really showed respect for the staff. I have a few friends in public education and I hear a lot of harsh words regarding their administration and cuts. They all feel like it’s out of their hands. I think here at SSAS, teachers do not feel as vulnerable. In fact, this has always felt like a team effort – never an admin vs. teachers battlefield.
F EEDBACK AND S UGGESTIONS It made the teachers feel involved and feel that we had some control over what changes were being made. I think it is important for teachers to feel like they actually do have some control over big decisions at a school. It forced us to hear different points of view about some of the more contentious issues (Bonus, Insurance, etc…) and consider how other schools and businesses deal with budget issues. It made people more aware of how the budget works, how the money is spent, and what the money is spent on.
F EEDBACK AND S UGGESTIONS It made us more aware of the difference between need and want, and how lucky we are to be at a school that tries to give us as many “wants” as possible while still balancing the needs. After seeing the numbers, we also should be more willing to take on extra responsibility in order to keep some of the perks, like bonuses (which are not a need, but are super nice to have). I think it makes it easier for Admin to ask for sacrifice on the part of the teachers when we actually understand the whole situation and the real numbers. When we can actually see that there is literally no money for something, we won’t be upset when we are told we can’t have it. That workshop was a real eye-opener in the money coming in and where we spend it. Also, it empowered teachers to have a say in what was cut.
F EEDBACK AND S UGGESTIONS I really liked the idea; it made us feel more in control of our fate. I felt like I had a voice in the decision making of our school. The working shoulder to shoulder with my peers was wonderful to know that we were all willing to work together. The budget workshop was a positive experience overall (at least for me) because the input of the staff was directly solicited; we were included in the process and given a chance to list our priorities for the fiscal year. Also, and again speaking only for myself, it made me more grateful to work at a school where we as a staff were not only committed to maintaining everyone’s employment and avoiding salary reductions but we were committed to ensuring that the students felt the least possible impact of the budget reductions.
F EEDBACK AND S UGGESTIONS Some people did have trouble remaining objective during the groups sharing the ideas, I seem to remember more than once, “don’t shoot the messenger” coming to mind. It made some people more aware of how little things add up very quickly and how much wasteful habits end up costing the school (using paper frivolously, using 6 Styrofoam cups a day, AC at 68 degrees). I’m not saying that this made people change their habits (unfortunately), but I think it did bring some awareness to some people, and that is a start.
Participating in the budget workshop was a refreshing approach to solving an unpleasant problem. It was obvious that the reduction of revenue was going to bring changes to the school. Change can often be difficult to accept. However, collaborating on solutions allowed us to become the agents of change, rather than just accept decisions made by others. Working as a team allowed us to explore a variety of options for change, which also made the inevitable easier to accept. Being able to discuss and refine the solutions presented allowed each of us to take ownership in the process. The workshop also enhanced my understanding of the problem itself. Overall, the experience helped to build trust between the teachers and administration and helped to strengthen the sense of teamwork between individual teachers.
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S ARASOTA S CHOOL OF A RTS AND S CIENCES SSA+S 645 Central Avenue (soon to be 717 Central Avenue) Sarasota, Florida 34236 www.ssas.org 941-330-1855