School board discusses budget cuts
The Fairfield Community School Board met Monday and approved a motion to reduce spending during the next fiscal year by $850,000.
School board president Philip Miller stressed the importance of the budget reduction, since the district needs to balance its budget to comply with the law. Curriculum director Marci Dunlap told the board that the district's advisory committee started an analysis of the district's priorities in 2014, and that the committee reconvened in October. The advisory committee consists of teachers, parents, community members and business leaders.
The committee worked to establish the district's objectives and priorities, and it came up with five priorities for budget action. The priorities ranged from maximizing student achievement, maximizing the efficient use of resources, and maximizing the desirability for teachers and parents.
Dunlap said the priorities were downsized and refined from what they were in the past.
“[It's been] three years of consistency and massaging to get them down to the five we have,” said district superintendent Laurie Noll.
After the motion to reduce the budget, the board made a motion to provide a directive for district administrators. Now, the district's administrative team will return to the board with recommendations of how to accomplish the budget reduction.
“[Tuesday], the administrative team will look at and vet ideas that have been brought forward,” Noll said, adding that they will discuss the ones that rise to the top, and bring those to the board for consideration.
Noll said the board recommendations would need to be brought to the board by spring, especially if they involved staff reduction.
In other news, a group of eighth-grade students from Fairfield Middle School in Josh Allison's Idea Class gave a presentation about the importance of the district installing and using solar panels. The students spoke about the money-saving and environmental benefits of solar power.
Miller asked the students several questions about where solar panels are manufactured and how they could help the district. He said the district is weighing the costs and benefits of solar panels.