Budget CutsWhat is your school doing to try to cut unnecessary spending and maintain necessary spending?
NC's brilliant governor required all state workers (not just teachers) to take an "unpaid furlough" day... for teachers this meant not coming in for one of our scheduled work days - or if we did come in (which many needed to) we simply wouldn't get paid.
Also, nobody moved up a tier on the pay scale last year.
They reduced our health insurance options (the change literally went into effect 2 weeks before my 2nd child was born so her birth cost me twice as much even though I had been paying for the premium insurance all year).
My question was: how much did the new computer lab cost? Could someone's salary be paid with all those new computers, if we just went one more year with the perfectly good old ones? I was told this was a "completely separate part" of the budget that couldn't be touched. Ugh.
The school that I work for has done numerous things as far as spending is concerned. They are not ordering any new textbooks and cutting way back on other supplies as well. Something else they are doing (which most people highly disagree with) is combining jobs. Instead of having a general special education administrator and an early childhood administrator they are employing one person to do both jobs. They have also cut back on teachers assistants as well. In addition to all this, they have eliminated tuition reimbursement.
Our school gave out pink slips to anyone who wasn't tenured or full time. We also have been told not to expect a lot in the way of new novels, resources, or training money. In addition, they cut all the people working at our community resource center which did lots of wonderful things during the summer for our kids in an attempt to keep them learning and not forgetting all they've gained this year. I hate to say it, but I think it will only get worse before it gets better.
We have cut a number of extracurricular programs, ended out of state travel, limited athletic schedule and travel and discussed implementing a "pay-to-play" charge for participating in sports. We cut back on tech hours and training stipends, and reduced the number of "optional" work days for each teacher. So far so good, but we're about out of things we can cut before we get to teacher salaries. Hopefully the budget situation improves soon.
We've been lucky not to have cuts yet, there are some folks retiring that they aren't going to replace, but I think there will be cuts soon. We are not getting substitutes and instead having teachers cover more classes, which I think is fine. We have had a lot of things going on though that have really pushed things to the limit including construction and other issues so I think the worst is yet to come.
My district is trying to do what is necessary through attrition. This is true in general in my area, but it is very difficult none-the-less. My husband decided on a change of career to teaching, several years ago. He finished his student teaching last month. He is a high school math teacher, in a market where for the first time that I can remember even THAT is a hard placement :(
One of my old schools forced all teachers with 30 years' experience (the minimum retirement requirement in Florida) to resign at the end of the year. They will be replaced by mostly first-year teachers, thus saving at least $25,000 per teacher in salaries. Of course, the action sends a message that teaching experience is no longer important.
My school (a community college) isn't doing so well in my opinion. They've cut most of the part-time faculty (including me). They're looking to let some people go via attrition. But they managed to cater a breakfast for the entire faculty to tell them about the fact that more cuts are coming...
We also are looking at not replacing teachers as they retire. There will be no increase in the base of the salary schedule this year and we are loking at placing a cap on district paid health insurance.