◆ The administration is examining scenarios and options to balance budget reductions with funding needs.
In preparation for imminent budget cuts to education at the Wyoming state level, Lincoln County School District No. 2 School Board approved a staff reduction incentive in a special meeting on January 26.
Superintendent Matt Erickson released the incentive plan to LCSD No. 2 employees via a video recording made available January 27.
Erickson expressed appreciation to all staff members for their roles in helping to maintain Tier 1 of face-to-face instruction through the pandemic. He highlighted the fact that LCSD No. 2 students have maintained academic progress and excellence through the remote learning conditions that were implemented last spring. Erickson discussed the district accreditation review that will take place virtually in March and invited staff members to participate in the review process as panelists.
“As you are also aware, we are in preparation stages for budget cuts,” continued Erickson. “We face the potential of a $100 Million cut to K-12 education in the state of Wyoming, which equates to $1083 per pupil or $3.3 Million to Lincoln County School District No. 2, which is 6.54% of our budget.”
Erickson explained that district funds are split at an 80/20 ratio with 80% of moneys received going toward salaries and benefits with 20% providing for facilities, equipment, and materials.
“On the 80% side of the $3.3 Million cut we are facing, that equates to $2,493,126 that goes to salaries and benefits,” said Erickson. “We need to cut $623,282 out of stuff like lights, heat, and consumables.”
Erickson outlined specifics of the incentive program as a reference for interested staff members.
Administrators at LCSD No. 2 need to have staff contracts issued by April 15, and the legislative session is scheduled to conclude at the end of March. As a result, the district is moving quickly to stay ahead of the imminent budget cuts while still providing a reasonable plan to maintain standards of performance.
“Our Admin Team is working feverishly to make sure that we are in congruency with our mission, vision, and strategic plan,” said Erickson. “We take this responsibility very seriously.”
The administration is examining scenarios and options to balance budget reductions with funding needs.
Findings will be presented to the Board of Trustees, the teacher’s association, employees and stake holders for feedback and critical perspective. Presentation of the final budget plans are on the March 1 school board meeting agenda, where school board members will act on the proposals.
Erickson concluded his presentation by quoting Lou Holtz, former head coach and football analyst.
“’Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do, and attitude determines how well you do it. Goodness and hard work are rewarded with respect.’ The board of trustees and the district leadership team certainly respect each of you and are pleased to be able to offer this voluntary staff reduction incentive. Thank you for helping us reach our goal of face-to-face instruction. Kids are the winners.”