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CAROLINE CROSSROADS Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
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Superintendent’s letter to citizens

 Dear Citizens of Caroline County:

As our budget concerns continue, we are working hard to develop possible solutions. We have updated information that we would like to share with you based on the General Assembly’s passed budget for the 2010-11 school year which is waiting on the final signature of the Governor.

Based on what the School Board passed as the budget requests for Caroline County Public Schools to the Board of Supervisors, we still have about a $3.1 million dollar shortfall for the 2010-11 school-year budget based on an Average Daily Membership projection of 4110 students. The state funding cuts make up approximately $2.6 million dollars of the $3.1 million dollar shortfall. The other $0.5 million dollars are the proposed increases in the Caroline County Public Schools budget due to health insurance, workers comp, software, etc. We received approximately $0.9 million in relief from the Virginia Retirement System and Group Life savings which reduces the shortfall to $2.2. At the School Board meeting on March 8, 2010 the following reductions were proposed, presented, and passed:

8 Teacher Assistants

6 Elementary Teachers (grades PK-5)

5 Positions in Transportation and Maintenance

11 Secondary Teachers (grades 6-12)

8 Positions in the Central Office

Textbooks

OC3 Internal Connection

Equipment for Instruction

Supplies for Instruction

2 Resource Officers (1 School Resource Office + 1 DARE Officer)

Athletic Program Reduction

Dual Enrollment costs passed onto students

Special Education Program Reduction

Reductions in Summer School Program

Teaching Supplement Reductions.

Each additional teacher truly makes a difference in the classroom by actively engaging students in the learning process. As proposed, presented and passed at the School Board meeting on March 8, 2010, we are requesting an additional $500,000 from the county. This funding allows us to reinstate ten teaching positions (4 positions in the elementary and 6 at the secondary level) from the 17 teaching positions proposed to be cut. We would also be able to reinstate the middle school SRO position and the DARE officer position to our school system.

We will; however, still be cutting over $1.5 million from our current 2009-10 year school board budget. As stated by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” We believe that every dollar invested in a child helps begin to make that change. Thank you for your continued support of our children and our schools as together, we work to make the world a better place for our children.

Sincerely,

Gregory N. Killough, Ed.D

Superintendent

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/carolinecrossroads/2010/03/25/superintendents-letter-to-citizens/

  • bosmom

    Just wondering what an OC3 internal connection is. Anyone know?

  • stonewallpark

    I would like to share a few things that i question about this letter.What is a secondary teacher? Are they license teacher’s if not ,why do we need them? Why do we need to pick up kids on differant buses when I went to school we all grade1 thru 12 grade rode the same bus. If we pay teacher’s to teach our kids why do they need teacher assistants the teacher should do their job.,we don’t need a assistants.If the people hired to do a job do it we don’t need 8 people in cencral office.We do not need summer school if you cannot pass with the lower of grade score that are in place now ,you can repeat the grade. The school should not be a baby setter.If your kid wants to be a sports star you take him or her to practice it is not the school problem.My dad or mom took me just like the other kids did.I have other things but no one will answer these .One more thing i would touch on is I think that Mandela was wrong on the most powerfull thing in the world.The greatest thing is the atom bomb it did alot of damage .Education is a wonderfull thing if it is taught correctly.If you pass people that can’t read or write have you done your job.Think about it.

  • bosmom

    I’ll try to answer a few of your questions, Stonewall. First, I’m fairly certain that secondary teachers are middle and high school teachers, so, yes, they are licensed. 2nd question. The k-5 ride a different bus than 6-12 because the schools go on a staggered schedule. k-5 goes in an hour later than 6-12. 3rd. Teachers assistants are only used in Kindergarden and with special needs children. I’m sure it has to do with the child\teacher ratio. 1 person with a room of appx. 16 5 and 6 yr olds is not a good idea. Too many things can happen. I don’t have an answer about central office. As far as sports practice, I assume you are talking about the activity bus. That is not just for sports. It’s for all after-school activities. Without the acivity busses, alot of the children would not be able to participate in these after-school activities, whether it’s due to being a two working parent family or the current economic conditions. I feel that extra curricular activities are a very important part of being a well rounded child\teen-ager. Hope this helps.

  • stonewallpark

    Thank you for the info but if we need to save money why can’t we sent all the kid’s at the same time?The letter states 11 secondary teachers for 6-12 grade.There should not be a cut on the special needs.The after school acivities should end when the school close’s at 3.15 or whatever time.We need to cut out all these extra after school programs they are not needed at all.The sport’s star can get to practice without the school giving them free ride’s.The school system could save millions of dollars if they would quit being baby sitters.The moms and dads need to take care of their kids not the school.We are not making a better place for our children when we have to have police at the school everyday to protect them.People need to take care of their kids and teach them respect for others and self.The school should be for learning not a place to socialize.I feel these are a few things that are wrong and could be corrected this system . I am just trying to point out a few things that could help us all.

  • Eric

    Stonewall, if the kids ALL went to school at the same time, then we’d need twice as many buses, and hire twice as many bus drivers. As it is right now, all the buses/drivers can do two runs in the morning, and two in the evening, which saves a lot of money. (K-5 is 6 grades, 6-12 is 7 grades, but some high schoolers drive themselves… so it makes things fairly even.)

    I wonder if the schools have remote-controlled heating units, so that if school is canceled due to snow… they could drop the temp. in the schools 10-15 degrees to save money. (I’m assuming that they at least have programmable thermostats…)

    If the high school doesn’t charge for parking… they could charge $100/semester, and if there’s 200-250 spots, it might be able to pay for a full-time Resource Officer. ($40k-$50k/year)

    I’m sure that there are other items that they could cut… before having to cut things like summer school, special ed, and other needed programs.

  • bosmom

    Stonewall, Caroline is not the only school system that operates on this staggered schedule. I know Hanover does as well.
    I agree that it is a sad day when we have to have resource officers at school, but the reality is the world has changed since we were kids and it’s not all a good thing.
    I stand by my opinion that extra curricular activities are a good thing. I don’t think that by offering these things that the schools are being “babysitters”. You keep focusing on sports but there are many other after school activities in which to participate. My own daughter was in show choir in middle school and they met once a week after school. I feel that being involved in these acivities gives the kids a possitive attitude about school. And this has nothing to do with me wanting the schools to take care of my kids because nothing could be farther from the truth.
    And then there are the instruction supplies. Do you know that teachers supply many of their own classroom supplies? If that is cut, the teachers will be forced to provide even more. That’s why when there is teacher appreciation day, I always give classroom supplies.
    This whole list of cuts is sad.