Park City School District aims to get more classroom bang for its buck
The Park City Board of Education is trying to ensure more of the district’s resources are making a difference in the day-to-day lives of students.
The Board recently asked district leaders to find ways to cut administrative costs in order to funnel those funds directly into the classroom. The effort is an attempt to more closely align the district’s finances with that of many other school districts around the country that allot 65 percent of their total resources to instructional funding.
According to Todd Hauber, the district’s business administrator, about 63 percent of the budget has gone into instruction in recent years. But raising that number to around 65 percent for the 2016-2017 fiscal year would take a restructuring of around $800,000.
Administrative costs that could technically be shuffled include funding for things such as the nursing staff, school counselors and special education services — essentially everything that’s not a teacher or a teacher aide in the classroom, Hauber said. However, the Board does not want to touch those areas, which they deemed critical services for students.
"We talked about with the Board, and that’s not where they wanted the superintendent (Ember Conley) to focus her effort," Hauber said. "It’s not to look at those programs that were, in their minds, part of direct instruction, even though the math doesn’t work out to include those as part of the 65 percent."
Instead, the Board directed the district to consider all administrative costs that do not directly impact students in the classroom, including school-level administration and district-level administration, as well as areas such as transportation, maintenance and custodial services. Hauber said it’s been challenging to find $800, that can be trimmed from those areas.
"We have some pretty efficient programs in place, and we have effective administrators in place," he said.
Still, Hauber was set to deliver a presentation to the Board at a public meeting Tuesday outlining how the district has identified ways it can restructure about $500,000 of the money.
Hauber said trimming that amount of money is possible through a variety of avenues, but he declined to go into specifics because decisions regarding personnel have not been finalized.
"We’re going to run the target and some of the general ideas by the Board (Tuesday)," he said. "And if it appears acceptable to them in the approach we’re taking, then we’ll have those personnel-type conversations."
There have been no layoffs as a result of the budget restructuring, Hauber said.
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A district spokesperson said six students were removed from an area in the school as police conducted a search.