May 20, 2014 at BCHS, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Budget Planning Calendar
Please join us and offer your input on BCSD budget issues. All meetings will be held in the BCHS Library & Media Center.
• February 26, 7 p.m.:Presentation of proposed 2014-15 budget. Focus on Transportation, bus replacement plan, fringes, insurance, debt service. Discussion and tentative decisions.
• March 5, 7 p.m.:Special Education, Technology, revenue. Discussion and tentative decisions.
• March 19, 7 p.m.:Operations and Maintenance, Athletics. Discussion and tentative decisions.
• April 2, 7 p.m.:K-12 instructional staffing and programming. Discussion and tentative decisions.
• April 22, 7 p.m.:Budget discussion and final decisions; budget adoption.
• May 7, 7 p.m.:Budget Hearing
• May 20, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.:Budget Vote, BCHS
• May 21, 7 p.m.:Board of Education meeting
Community discusses bridging a $4.4 million gap
More than 200 residents meet in-person, online to discuss potential savings areas
The district has asked the community what it values most and what it can support when it comes to a Bethlehem education, and more than 200 people made their voices heard at Tuesday night's Community Budget Forum.
Community members who participated in the online forum were asked to complete a survey on the proposed cuts and the possibility of exceeding the tax levy cap. Click the above image to see the results of that survey [PDF].
"I really appreciate the level of community involvement we had Tuesday night," said Superintendent Thomas Douglas. "The discussions held that night will be very important to the district and the board as we move forward in our budgeting process."
At the beginning of the forum, Chief Budget and Financial Officer Judith Kehoe detailed the district's revenues and expenditures, and the $4.4 million budget gap that would still exist even if the community approved a maximum allowable tax levy increase of 2.72-2.98 percent.
After the recap, Superintendent Thomas Douglas and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Jody Monroe rolled out a list of potential cuts or reductions that may have to be made to bridge the gap. That list included, but is not limited to, cuts in Elementary and Secondary instructional and co-curricular programs, Special Education, Athletics, Administration, Operations and Maintenance and Transportation.
"We understand that none of these potential cuts or reductions is going to be popular," said Douglas, "but to not bring them up for consideration would be irresponsible."
Read Superintendent Douglas' note on becoming involved in the budget process here.