The Impact of Resource Management on Student Performance Essay

Total Length: 2382 words ( 8 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 4

Page 1 of 8

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the need for the Butler School to reduce its annual budget by $1,000,000 in order to meet the mandate of the community that the school should “live within its means.” The recommended reductions are based on eliminating extraneous programs, staff positions, administrative services, and supply funds. Areas that are not reduced include programs that support the humanities, athletics, science and technology, as these areas are deemed too important to the formation and development of students’ characters and skills, which are needed to ensure success in their ensuing years. Letters to a state legislator and to the community are attached in the Appendix.

Keywords: school funding, budget reduction, administration reduction, school budgeting

Introduction

As Butler Elementary School has been tasked with eliminating $1,000,000 from its annual budget, there are a number of cuts that the school will be required to make in order to meet the desire of the community that the school “live within its means.” In some ways, this means that the school will have to do away with certain extraneous programs and positions that, while helpful in the overall scheme of things, do not negatively impact the school’s ability to function by their removal. This paper will present the line item cuts recommended to allow Butler to meet its target reductions and will provide an explanation as to why these cuts are recommended as opposed to other programs and positions.

Budget Overview and Recommended Reductions

There are a number of cuts that could be made to allow the school to meet its target; however, the elementary school is only capable of providing so many reductions and these would not be enough to meet the $1,000,000 target. Therefore, it is also necessary to make reductions from the middle school budget as well. For that reason, a total K-8 recommendation for reductions is here provided in the following chart.

Item

Savings

Cost of Replacement

Net Savings

Total

Line item reductions from Option One

Staff Positions

Eliminate middle-school assistant principal position; add full-time office staff

135,563

29,148

106,415

Supplies

District:

Reduce annual supply allocation from $575 to $400 per teacher

15,225

15,225

Reduce hard copies of formal comms--replace w/ e-copies

15,824

500

15,324

Reduce administrative supplies annual allocation by 50

6,650

6,650

Reduce psychologist supplies annual allocation from $2,075 to $1,275

1,275

1,275

Elementary School:

Parent fees: have parents pay for field trips, bus, and acitivty

17,400

17,400

Grades 5-8 band program: parents pay for band competitions, fees

6,315

6,315

Increase price of yearbook to include stipend, printing, and binding

15,087

15,087

Have parents pay for student magazines--add to textbook fee

20,200

20,200

Student competitions: eliminate Gifted Program competitions

18,500

18,500

222,391

Sum

Line item reductions from Option Two

Staff Positions

Elementary:

Eliminate learning-center assistant (rely on volunteers, closing during breaks)

25,450

25,450

Replace science lab teacher w/ full-time assistant

63,799

25,000

38,799

Elementary:

Reduce supplies/discretionary spending from $8,000 to $4,000

4,000

4,000

Middle School:

Reduce supplies/discretionary spending from $11,000 to $5,500

5,500

5,500

Programs

Elementary:

Eliminate extra/cocurricular activities, including substance abuse program

23,492

23,492

Middle School:

Eliminate extra/cocurricular activities, including substance abuse program (not including sports)

85,670

85,670

Technology

Eliminate next phase of Technology Plan, rely on PTC and Education Foundation

158,225

158,225

563,527

Sum of One, Two

Line item reductions from Option Three

Improvement of Instruction

Eliminate all school-improvement activities (ex: committees)

103,395

103,395

Eliminate all substitute teachers needed for committee work

26,500

26,500

Reduce summer work to items necessary to reopen school year

29,685

29,685

Reduce professional development for teachers, administration and board

33,888

33,888

Staff Positions

Elementary:

Eliminate five grade 1 assistants

42,264

42,264

Eliminate two kindergarten assistants

48,640

48,640

Eliminate four special-education assistants

100,917

100,917

District:

Reduce speech and language pathologist FTE from 2.6 to 2.0

45,200

45,200

Sum total of line item reductions:

$994,016

Sum Total

Impact on Organization

The impact on the organization as a result of these reductions is designed to be minimal.

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Cuts have been recommended at the district level, the elementary school level and the middle school level. Cuts have included administrative reductions, supply fund allocation reductions, program reductions, technology reductions and staff reductions. Without compromising the integrity of the school’s educational quality, these cuts are meant to enable the school to live within its means while still providing top-notch service and educational opportunities. Students and faculty may notice minor inconveniences in terms of hours of when the science lab is open or the amount of assistance available in classrooms—but with time adjustments will be made to enable these changes to be accepted with positivity.

Student Performance

The financial recommendations made herein will not adversely affect the instructional program provided to students. Assistants have been eliminated from the grade 1 level and the kindergarten level as well as the special education classroom—but the main teachers remain, and with the main teachers implementing the Montessori method to help students learn on their own and advance on their own at these levels, volunteers (parents of students) will be asked to help as is consistent with this method (Mangal, 2007). In short, student performance is not expected to be negatively impacted by these reductions. In fact, those areas in the middle school that are some of the most popular and most formative—including sports, band, art, music, family consumer science, and applied technology—have not been touched at all. The reason is that our organization believes strongly in the formative quality of these areas, as Turnnidge, Côté and Hancock (2014) and Hatfield, Montana and Deffenbaugh (2006) have shown.

Management of the Organization

The administration and supervision of students will only be marginally affected. The administration will be affected in terms of committee organization dedication to improving areas of instruction. However, with instruction already at a high level of quality at the school, these committees have a somewhat superfluous quality that will not be greatly missed at this point. In the future, they may need to be revived—but for now the school administration can do without them. As for supervision of students, only the grade 1 level and kindergarten level along with the special education classroom will suffer—but with the assistance of volunteer parents to fill the gap, this reduction can be more than made up for.

Vision

These financial recommendations relate to the organizational vision of Butler in that they maintain the school’s dedication to the formative type of education rooted in community values that will help strengthen the character of students so that they can succeed in the years ahead. The humanities, athletics, band, science and technology will remain largely untouched—and that means Butler will be there to help guide students in some of the most formative ways possible. For other areas, where assistant positions are being cut, parents or other members of the community can collaborate with the school through a volunteer service to come in and help the main teachers in the younger grades, in the science lab, and in the special education classroom to maintain order, provide additional supervision, and assist in the educative process. Indeed, this is a perfect opportunity for the community and school to come together to promote a safe and efficient facility. More on this topic can be found in the “Letter to the Community” located in Appendix B.

Student Diversity

My combined impartiality and sensitivity to student diversity in preparing the budget, including attention given to special education and NCLB disaggregated groups, was to some degree subordinated by the needs of the school to live within its means. However, acknowledging that student diversity is important, I have left language and speech programs intact, because I know how critical it is for at-risk students and English as Second Language learners to have full access to all the support they require in order to excel based on what researchers like Dashwood and Son (2017) have been able to show. For the special education classroom, I am hoping that the good will of the community will be enough that the gaps in assistance can be filled by volunteers from the community.

Reflection

Overall, the recommended reductions to the school’s budget focus on trimming the fat, so to speak—cutting supply fund allocations where possible, reducing administrative staff where efficacious, and relying on the involvement of parents and….....

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References

Dashwood, A., & Son, J. B. (2017). Academic language support for at-risk students: REACHing further. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 11(1), A58-A70.

Hatfield, C., Montana, V., & Deffenbaugh, C. (2006). Artist/art educator: Making sense of identity issues. Art Education, 59(3), 42-47.

Mangal, S. K. (2007). Educating Exceptional Children: An Introduction in Special Education. Delhi: PHI Learning.
Stanford. (2018). Landmark U.S. cases. Retrieved from https://edeq.stanford.edu/sections/landmark-us-cases-related-equality-opportunity-education

Turnnidge, J., Côté, J., & Hancock, D. J. (2014). Positive youth development from sport to life: Explicit or implicit transfer?. Quest, 66(2), 203-217.

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