I-SS board discusses potential cuts to 2019-2020 budget
Correction: This article has been updated from the original version to correct an error in the third paragraph. The previous version reported that I-SS was considering eliminating four existing positions.
BY KARISSA MILLER
Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education members on Monday discussed the 2019-2020 budget, which continues to evolve as the district receives more information regarding state and federal funding.
Last month Chief Finance Officer Melissa Wike was directed to reconvene the budget committee with instructions to look for additional expenses cuts. The board does not want to draw down more than $1.5 million from the fund balance.
Wike presented the budget committee's proposed budget cuts, which include delaying the hire of three new school nurse positions and one Student Assistant Program coordinator position.
During the meeting, school board member Bill Howell suggested that the committee look at making reductions to three more areas, including the number of blended learning coaches at the secondary level, vehicles and professional memberships and affiliations.
Last year, the school board eliminated five of the district's 15 blended learning coach positions. Now the board is asking administrators to look at cutting even more of these positions.
Howell suggested that those blended learning coaches could return to the classroom setting as teachers.
Chairman Martin Page pointed out that Melanie Taylor, deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction, was not present to evaluate Howell’s recommendation and that this is her area of expertise.
Upon returning, Taylor’s input will likely guide the board with information on how many blended learning coaches are needed to serve the schools.
Additionally, Howell asked district officials to look at the number of vehicles that they currently operate. Howell indicated that he is not looking at reducing service trucks, but cars.
Last year, the board opted out of the AdvancED accreditation membership as a cost savings measure.
Wike told the board that administrators will look into all of their suggestions. She pointed out that administrators have been building the budget for several years and that they have made significant reductions, including several positions at the central office.
The board also agreed during their discussion that if they do decide to add an expansion item to this year’s budget that it will likely be done mid-year.
The board took no actions at the meeting and will continue the discussion of the budget as they receive more information from state and federal funding sources in the coming weeks.
Board members held their meeting in the new meeting room at the Career Academy and Technical School, located at 350 Old Murdock Road in Troutman. The board will meet there on July 15 at 6 p.m. for their regular meeting.