District Reduces Budget By $3.2 Million

On Tuesday, June 1 the school district publically announced its $3.2 million budget reduction plan. Due to reductions in funding for public education as a result of the poor economy, the school district was forced to make significant budget cuts.

“[The cuts were necessary because] we have lower property taxes, less state money and increased costs,” Superintendent Barry Groves said.

The cuts in funding will affect 39 programs in varying amounts ranging from $3,000 to $538,847. Among these are the Art and Music Block Grant (reduced by $61,000) and instructional material funding (reduced by $101,000). Exit Exam classes will be eliminated, as will four of eight extra counseling days.

The budget reduction process started with a focus group composed of select people from the school district community. The group identified which expenditures should be cut over a two-year period. According to Groves, members of the group from LAHS included, “a parent, a student, two teachers, [Principal Wynne Satterwhite and] computer specialist.” Members were chosen through the ASB, PTSA, various classified organizations and from the pool of local teachers.

The suggestions were then sent to Groves to be reviewed. Groves presented a report to the Board of Trustees, recommending which budget cuts he believed should be implemented. The Board made the final decisions and posted a list of the reductions on the MVLA website.

Major reductions were made to elective and enhancement programs, as well as staff training and hiring programs. CORE classes were minimally affected.

“Although we are reducing $3.2 million from our budget, we are able to maintain our current classroom staffing ratios for students.” Groves said.

The MVLA High School Foundation hopes to raise $850,000 through fundraising. But Groves does not anticipate any improvement to the budget situation in the near future.

“The 2011-2012 year may also be a difficult year for our budget,” Groves said.

Many students expressed disappointment about the cuts.

“The cuts are necessary, and I understand they were made to keep the school and overall education afloat,” senior Scott Casas said. “But the elective classes are important, and they help students find their own niches.”

Students also anticipate a negative impact on a broader scale.

“[I understand] the state is trying its best … with the dip in the economy,” junior Jamshed Vesuna said. “Unfortunately, this time [cutting education funding] affects our future, and the future of the state.”

To see the final list of reductions made, visit http://www.mvla.net.