April 16, 2018 10:39 PM
(ABC 6 News) – The Byron Public School Board approved their 2018-2019 Budget Adjustment plan Monday night.
School officials said they’ve been working for months to balance their budget after their funds dipped below 8% in 2017.
A sea of blue t-shirts filled the room to capacity Monday night as the Byron School Board approved their 2018-2019 Budget Adjustment Plan.
"We had a really robust discussion through the budget process that was several weeks, months long," Byron Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joey Page said.
The total adjustments add up to $527,360.
"So we see components both from the budget advisory and from the final plan that went to the board," Page said.
Page said those changes include increasing elementary class sizes from not refilling a paraprofessional position and a small reduction in clerical staff.
However, some teachers and parents did not support these changes.
"I'm very disappointed in what the final decision was," Parent Julie Edwards said. "I had seven minutes to speak tonight, and I had to make it count, and I didn't feel like I was heard at all."
Edwards also said she doesn't think the teachers or the students are being treated fairly.
"I'm very passionate about class sizes,” Edwards said. ”We have had some phenomenal teachers and the reason that Byron is the best is because we value small class sizes and we hire the best of the best and the teachers reflect that."
Page also said a new school year could also bring new needs for the district.
"We're reducing or making adjustments to our budget now,” Page said. “As we have more information about our finances and as we grow closer to the start of the school year, reductions can be restored."
Also Monday night, separate from the budget discussion, teachers left the meeting in tears after the board approved a resolution relating to the termination and non-renewal of probationary teacher contracts.
After the meeting, the Byron Education Association (BEA) said in a statement:
“Byron Education Association (BEA) members and support staff attended Monday night’s meeting in support of all staff, students, and programs. We appreciate the difficult decisions facing our school board, yet we are disheartened by the lack of response to community, parent, and staff concerns. We feel constituent input was not considered in these critical times and the confinement of the budgetary process may have stifled options that the board could have considered. BEA members are frustrated by the lack of discussion and evaluation in open forum of proposed cuts. BEA is committed to continuing to provide the best educational opportunities for all of our students, and we hope to be able to work with school leadership to achieve this as we move forward from this difficult time.”
Updated: April 16, 2018 10:39 PM
Created: April 16, 2018 10:25 PM
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