Board Approves 2017-18 Budget

The operating budget is about $679 million of the district's total $1.3 billion budget.

A message from the APS Budget Steering Committee

The APS Board of Education approved a $679 million operating budget for the 2017-18 operating budget.

The total APS budget -- including capital funds, transportation, instructional materials, food services and athletics -- is more than $1.3 billion.

The budget was approved by the state Public Education Department in June.

The budget includes a 4-day reduction to contracts for year-round employees, resulting in a pay cut of about 1.5 percent. This mostly affects people who work in City Centre or Maintenance and Operations.

Beginning July 1, 2017 (and assuming the APS budget is approved by the state), year-round employees will work 256 days per year instead of 260. The deduction will be spread over 26 paychecks to minimize the impact. Employees saw the first slight decrease in pay in their July  21 paycheck.  

The 4 days non-work days will occur during the winter break when schools and administrative offices are closed; employees no longer will need to use vacation or comp time during this time.

We are NOT reducing the pay of full-time employees who make less than $25,000 a year or for district or school-based employees who now work fewer than 260 days/year including teachers, educational assistants and principals.

Here's how to determine how the reduction could affect you if you currently work a 260-day year:

  1. Divide your annual salary by the number of days in your contract to determine your daily salary.
  2. Multiply your daily salary by 4 to determine your yearly reduction.
  3. Divide your yearly reduction by 26 to determine your gross reduction per paycheck.

For Example:

Salary calculations

Current Salary
(Before taxes/benefits)




Daily Salary
(260 days)




Yearly Reduction




Paycheck Reduction (26 pay periods)




*Employees who make $25,000 a year or less will not have their pay reduced.

Here are a few highlights of the 2017-18 budget.

Gifted Education

We are reorganizing, not cutting, gifted education. Students will still get gifted services for which they qualify. This reorganization plan includes:

  • Moving resource teachers back into the classroom
  • Having some teachers at smaller schools serve more than one school and others teach a combination of gifted and regular education classes
  • Tightening the pre-screening process
  • Developing a more consistent districtwide model for gifted education
  • Establishing minimum class sizes for high schools.

Reserve Fund/Working Cash

APS does NOT have a $94 million reserve fund (or an $81 million reserve fund, which is another number that has been bounced around). This figure includes money earned by teachers, educational assistants and other school-based employees that is paid to them during the summer.

This misleading figure also isn’t taking into account working cash that we use to cover our bills while waiting for reimbursements from the state, federal government and others. For example, we have to cover the cost of summer school – including salaries for teachers – long before we are reimbursed for it. 

The truth is, our reserve fund is less than half of what has been reported. We already into it by about $12 million to cover mid-year reductions, and we expect to take another $5 million from the account to help cover cuts in 2017-18.

Fund figures

Cash reserves on June 30, 2016                           

$58 million

Mid-Year Reduction                                            

-$12 million

Estimated cash reserves on June 30, 2017           

$46 million

Reduction for 2017-18                                        

-$5 million

Estimated cash reserves on June 30, 2018           

$41 million

It should be noted that we have more than $41 million in monthly bills, which include payroll and utilities.

School-Based Computer Technicians

In an effort to be more efficient with less money, we are creating technology zones in the four quadrants of the district where skilled computer technicians will assist schools as needed, often remotely. As a result of this reorganization, 32 school technicians were released from their contracts, though they were encouraged to reapply for the newly created technician positions or other similarly-paying jobs.

Staffing Changes

There are at 250 people who were told that they would be reassigned or that their jobs were being eliminated as a result of reorganization, cutbacks or declining enrollment. They include:

  • 11 administrative positions (the result of 10 percent cuts to department budgets)
  • 9 assistant principals
  • 24 resource teachers 81 secondary teachers
  • 70 elementary teachers
  • 42 special education teachers
  • 19 educational assistants.

Most of these individuals have been placed on a priority hire list due to reductions in school budgets, often the result of lower enrollment. We hope to find a place for all of those who wish to continue working with the district, which is doable since this is within our normal rate of attrition. On average, we have between 500-600 employees who retire or resign each year.