Life could be rough in Wake schools this upcoming school year.
As noted in today's article, the district is looking at some cost-cutting measures that could affect the daily quality of life for students and teachers. Supt. Del Burns said they're at the point now where Central Services (anything not school based) is so "lean" that they can't make further cuts without having a direct impact on the classroom.
“We’re at the point now where it has a direct impact on schools,” Burns told school board members on Thursday. “It has a direct impact on classrooms.”
Go to p. 138 of the budget proposal for some of the energy-saving cuts being considered.
Building temperatures during school hours could be changed by one degree. It's now at 68 degrees in the winter and 74 degrees in the summer. It was already raised one degree this school year.
The temperature for after-school activities such as PTA meetings and athletic events is now supposed to be the same as during school hours. It could be changed by up to five degrees. (The budget says 5 degrees or more but staff says it should have said up to 5 degrees.)
Groups that rent school facilities could see a 60 percent increase in the amount they reimburse Wake for utilities. It's supposed to be the first increase since 2001.
Rosa Gill, chairwoman of the school board, raised concerns that those community groups that use schools are hurting too now. But board member Lori Millberg said they had no choice but to ask them for more.
“If they’re (utility companies) raising rates, how can we afford not to?" Millberg said.
What got a lot of discussion was requiring employees to remove all personal appliances.
"On the surface the single coffeemaker may not seem like much but when you have 9,000 classrooms, there may be a cumulative impact," Burns said.
Burns also warned that the practice of reorganizing classes may now become the norm because the fund balance won't be as much in the upcoming fiscal year to cover teaching positions.
Don't forget the elimination of the contract with Richard Milburn High and other community groups to educate long-term suspended students. Staff wants to save $1.2 million by offering online services to those kids instead.