FY08 Budget Preview

An early preview of the Oak Ridge Schools FY ’08 budget (scheduled for adoption April 12) will be a topic of discussion at the School Board meeting on Wednesday, January 3.

The “budget concepts” document (be patient, it’s a large file because it was scanned) provided to the Board is very preliminary, but does illustrate some of the relevant challenges.  Among them are the fact that we still have not implemented the Compensation Study, which means that some of our employees are paid significantly less than market value.  In addition are changes to the Alternative School to address No Child Left Behind issues… probably graduation and attendance rates, as much as anything.

I think most of us have asked ourselves, what if “alternative school” really was an alternative (for kids who just don’t fit in, for whatever reason, to the standard school model) rather than it’s present form, which is more like what most of us called “reform school” a few decades ago.

The part that concerns me most is that we are projected to continue “spending down” our undesignated fund balance, leaving us almost no cushion against unexpected expenses (i.e., food service equipment or HVAC systems that fail sooner than planned).

If you’re interested in the school budget, you may want to read through this before (or during) Wednesday’s meeting.

One Response to “FY08 Budget Preview”

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