Budget Planning: St. Charles School District Considers Salary Freeze, Staff Cuts
District would need to cut $2.6 million in expenditures over the next two years to have a balanced budget.
St. Charles Board of Education discussed possible ways to trim $2.6 million in expenditures from the budget over the next two years in a work session Tuesday.
The administration brought a list of about $1.48 million in proposed cuts that include eliminating 10 positions. Some positions would be cut through attrition, but a few people could be laid off, said Jeff Marion, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.
Among the other suggestions would be getting rid of the permanent substitutes at St. Charles High and St. Charles West high schools and freezing stipends for coaches and club sponsors at the high school level.
In past three years the district has cut $7 million out of the budget, the majority of which has come from contracted services and supplies, said Superintendent Randy Charles.
“Everything on this list is significant,” Marion said “Whatever we adjust, we’re going to notice it more, it’s everything we have left.”
The board also talked about two ways of cutting salary costs. One way would be through a salary freeze, in which staff members would not get a raise and no additional money would be added to the salary schedule for the next school year. This would save $1.05 million.
Another option would be to have a salary “frost” in which staff members would not get a “step” increase on the salary ladder. However, the whole salary schedule would be increased, so teachers would get a small pay increase. If implemented for two consecutive years, the district could save $1.14 million.
School board members said they would support surveying the teachers and staff members to see whether a "frost" or a "freeze" is the preferred choice.
Board President Linda Schulte said she wants to be sure the district isn't living beyond its means.
"Until I’m absolutely sure there’s nothing else we can cut, I’m opposed to freezes," she said.
Proposed cuts include:
- Eliminate the Dean of Students position at Jefferson Intermediate/Hardin Middle School, restructuring the IT department, salary and benefit changes at administration. Saves: $244,650
- Reduce supply accounts by 5 percent. Saves: $150,000
- Reduce 10 positions in 2012-13 school year and five positions in the 2013-14 school year. Saves: $750,000
- Eliminate the permanent substitute teacher positions at St. Charles West/St. Charles High. Saves $18,000
- Cut back on cafeteria and recess aides. Saves $70,000
- Eliminate Department Chair stipends. Saves $31,000
- Freeze stipends for coaches and clubs. Saves $20,000
- Assume five extra teachers retire in 2013-14. Saves $200,000
Possible salary reductions
"Frost": Teachers and staff get no steps on the salary schedule, but $400 added to base in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Saves $1.14 million
"Freeze": Salaries frozen in 2012-13, teachers get step increases in 2013-14. Saves $1.05 million.