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Author Topic: A place for community ideas to help with the CSD Budget Crisis  (Read 10078 times)
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« on: January 20, 2011, 07:36:09 PM »

This board is a place to share opinions and ideas about how to help solve the budget crisis in the Corbett School District. If you have ideas or opinions you are invited to respectfully submit those here!

Mindy Schmidt
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 07:40:29 PM »

To the Corbett School Board,

We received and reviewed all the packets of information from last night’s ( Tuesday Night 11/18/2011  ) Community Information Event and
we would like the below entered into the record as one additional option to be considered for your proposed budget cut scenarios.


1. Cut 8 school days - $160,000 ( This is a 4.8% reduction in pay for all employees at CSD – this is
significant but still less than other districts. )
2. Cut three teaching positions ( Anywhere except from our K-2/primary programs ) $225,000
( See below idea for an Exploratory Teaching elective for our high school students to assist
in the grade school when class sizes increase. )
3. Eliminate elementary music - $67,282 ( Or the Charter could possibly fund? )
4. Eliminate AP training and some testing - $12,000 ( Previously trained employees could possibly
train others in need. Could also save additional monies in AP testing for students who wish to OPT
OUT of testing and forgo the AP designation on their transcripts. )
5. Eliminate Athletic Director - $42,500 ( Position assumed by varsity coaches and administrators.
Too small a district and too big a budget shortfall for an AD with benefits.)
6. Cut Culinary Arts. See below for how these few students could be utilized into an “Exploratory
Teaching” elective where only a “teacher of record”would be required. $66,720

TOTAL: $573,502

This scenario retains: Music for middle/high school, AP testing & AP programs AND Athletics. Most importantly it
doesn’t require large loans or an expansion of the Charter School and/or year round school in Corbett.

Other areas where money could be saved or found:

• Levies, endowment funds and/or fundraisers
• Cutting trips/conferences for staff
• Forming a task force to find cost saving measures for the budgeted items
• Administrator pay freezes and/or salary evaluation
• An independent cost analysis of the Corbett Charter School to determine if the contract should be
adjusted to better reflect the actual costs of the additional students to the district next year
* See below for more ideas and notes on the above.


• Levies and/or bond needed for our septic system. CSD will start to incur fines and this is an
obvious health risk to our elementary children. ( All people. ) Children were not allowed to play
with balls at recess because of the sewage on the field this week at the grade school. This is a
problem that is not going to get better with adding more students to our district and it has been an
issue that has needed attention for years.

• Really working for passage of a levy must be supported and promoted by our school board
with cooperation from those community members who would like to help. If we take steps, like the
above cuts, for next year and the next attempt at a levy fails, then sports and music must be put
up for cutting. (This needs to be clear to the community so they know what they are voting for or
against.) If we can’t afford these things then we can’t afford these things. When your credit cards
are maxed you shouldn’t apply for a new card.

• Serious efforts towards an endowment fund to add back to the above list of cuts should be
considered. Not everyone will give money if there is uncertainty in how these funds will be spent.
People will be reluctant to support such a fund if the district moves to taking out large loans and
increasing the size of the Charter.

• Contacting our representatives. We agree that Salem should hear from us. One idea would be
to get all the kids on the field ( after the septic situation is cleaned up ) and organize a rally that is
videotaped, put on YouTube and then we can contact the media. This, in addition to an organized
letter campaign, could help draw attention to school funding in Oregon.

• To be clear about how Corbett is funded - It seems to be unfair and inaccurate to insist that
Corbett is not funded with the same formula every other school in the state is funded by. We are
funded less because we don’t have to provide services that other districts do. ( ELL, pregnant
teens, number of identified SPED students etc. )

• Exploratory teaching vs. Culinary Arts: High school students would earn credits while also
helping with elementary classroom needs. This would require minimal instructional time to train
students and could be done by an administrator who could also serve as the teacher of record. It
works. It’s great for ALL the kids and can help the teachers too. ( For example, they could do a
unit on PE and teach elementary kids so teachers could combine classrooms on a rotating basis to
recover prep time ) AP High School students could also assist in the grade school in Math, Science
or Language Arts instruction.

• Elementary music can be taught in classrooms by teachers if the Charter can not provide
funding to retain our Elementary Music Program. Teachers could have a rotating block for music
with all the other elementary teachers to allow for recovery of some prep periods too. More
volunteers could be put in place to support staff. The PTA could possibly create a project to create
a rotating schedule of available parents & volunteers etc. to help at crunch times for teachers.
The above scenario is only ONE idea from ONE family. There are ways of getting through this
budget crisis WITHOUT going deeper in debt as a district if we all work together. We don’t support
bringing in large numbers of out of district students, implementing year round school or living outside
our means. Districts everywhere are having to cut days, cut programs, freeze salaries and increase
classroom sizes. There are ways to support our schools during these trying economic times and the
community would be there to step up and help.

Thank you for your time in reviewing this information,

Bruce and Mindy Schmidt

* This was presented and put on the record at last night's school board meeting.
It is attached below as a pdf.
Thank you.

* schmidt_bc.pdf (103.78 KB - downloaded 818 times.)
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 10:08:13 PM »

Here are a few new budget solution ideas from Gaston and Warrenton -

*residents directed the Superintendent to slash Gaston’s budget rather than merge with another district or create a charter school.

*cut $200,000 from administrative budget

*”I really like the small district feel. I feel the kids get more personal attention. I think the cuts can work.”

*District office employees, including the superintendent, will take furlough days.

*”Volunteers will play a huge role in the new school dynamics” “I had about four different parents come up to me after the meeting and just say, ‘What do you need? What can I do?” “We are trying to get our volunteer cadre ready to roll.”

*Gaston (465 students) must to cut $900,000 from its budget.

*The Middle/High School principal is dropping down to half time to save the district $50,000

*”In December, district leaders were mulling the idea of merging with a larger nearby district or educating students in a charter school arrangement. Patrons weren’t thrilled with either option”. (Mr. Trani said Gaston came through our school to see our charter school arrangement and ask questions)

*”Community Members are applauding a list of (budget) cuts.”

*”27% decrease in the administrative budget” The Superintendent works part time. They will have 1 full time administrator.

*”I think we will really have to band together now. Parents will have to step up and do more because there won’t be as many people on staff.”
*Warrenton Schools will have to cut between 450,000 and 550,000 from their school budget depending on how much money is carried over at the end of this (school) year.

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