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Supt. Reedy's Budget Update

The superintendent presented the update at the Board of Education meeting on April 19, 2017.

Budget Update
By Superintendent Reedy

We made a pledge to our employees and the community that we would be as transparent as possible as we come up with a budgetary plan for next school year.   

We have laid all of our cards on the table, and many people don’t like the hand they are being dealt.

I understand. Budget cuts can be very personal, especially when you are looking at a budget that shrank by $25 million this year, and that could be reduced by another $25 million next year.  

There is not a person in the APS community who won’t be affected.

Among those we have heard the most from lately are: 

  1. Those who don’t want us to cut funding for competitive middle school sports
  2. Those who believe, incorrectly, that we’re getting rid of gifted programs
  3. Those opposed to changing the high school schedule.

They make some very valid arguments and express some true concerns. There’s also a lot of misinformation out there, which I’d like to clarify here tonight.

First, I cannot emphasize enough that this is a process, the budget is a plan that is constantly changing and evolving. We don’t even know how much money we’ll be getting from the state. Still, we have to develop a plan. We can’t wrap up this school year and start next year without one.    

As to middle school sports, I want to make it very clear that we are only talking about competitive programs that middle school students have to try out for. Schools will still offer PE, intramurals and programs that are funded by grants such as flag football, lunchtime basketball, archery, tennis and soccer.

Also know that our Athletics Department is working with coaches and schools to find additional ways to provide athletic opportunities for our students.

As to gifted education, we are reorganizing the program, making it more efficient. But we are not getting rid of it – NOT getting rid of it. I assure you that. Students will continue to receive services as outlined in their IEPs.  

As to the high school schedule, we have asked our schools to develop two schedules while we determine which one to use, a decision that will have to be made soon.

In another cost-saving measure, we’ve decided that administrators will no longer take home company vehicles. This probably won’t save a lot of money, but it is part of the process of becoming more efficient.    

Process. That’s what all of this is.  We will continue to be honest and transparent, even when what we have to say isn’t popular. But we’ll also continue to listen, work together, gather input, answer questions and address concerns.