In a unanimous vote, the Ardmore City Schools Board of Education approved a plan to cut over $2 million from the district’s 2010-11 budget, which includes closing Franklin Elementary, a reduction in force and moving Take Two Academy.


 


The plan was a recommendation from the Budget Planning Committee that was appointed by the board in January. According to Superintendent Dr. Ruth Ann Carr, all the recommendations received a unanimous vote from the committee.


In a unanimous vote, the Ardmore City Schools Board of Education approved a plan to cut over $2 million from the district’s 2010-11 budget, which includes closing Franklin Elementary, a reduction in force and moving Take Two Academy.

 

The plan was a recommendation from the Budget Planning Committee that was appointed by the board in January. According to Superintendent Dr. Ruth Ann Carr, all the recommendations received a unanimous vote from the committee.

 

Johnci Martin, president of the Ardmore Educators Association and math teacher at Ardmore High School, served on the committee.

 

“I’m just happy they invited me to be a part of it. I felt I was a part of the decisions and could then talk to my membership,” Martin said.

 

While the goal was to cut 12 percent of the 2010-11 budget, the planned reductions fall $180,584 short.

 

Closing Franklin is the second highest portion of the cuts at $480,000.

 

“Franklin was chosen because it has more structural problems and is in the worst shape of our schools,” Carr said.

 

Carr said there are no current plans for the site.

 

“We just don’t know because the economy is so volatile,” Carr said.

 

Franklin students will be reassigned to the other three first through fifth-grade elementaries, and teachers and staff will be reassigned.

 

“It will be least stressful to the student body because Franklin is between all of (the other elementaries),” Martin said.

 

In a separate vote, the board approved new elementary attendance boundaries. Parents will be notified by letter next week about what school their children will now attend.

 

Carr said open houses at the other three sites will be arranged for parents and students to familiarize themselves with their new school.

 

To accomodate the influx of students, Charles Evans and Lincoln will each add one more teacher to their current count, while Jefferson will remain the same.

 

All T-1 classes, which are currently in the first through fifth-grade elementaries, will be moved to Will Rogers Elementary in order to free up the classrooms needed for Franklin students.

 

In addition, class sizes will be increased at all sites, resulting in the largest cost reduction, totaling $691,700.

 

Proposed numbers are that preschool through second grade will be 20 to 22 students, third-grade will be 23 to 25 students, fourth and fifth-grade will be 24 to 25.

 

At the middle school, teachers will see an average of 155 students per day, which is on average, 25 to 26 students per class period.

 

At the high school, teachers will see an average of 165 students per day, which is an average of 27 to 28 students per class period.

 

After the board instituted the Benevolent Retirement Plan, 11 teachers took advantage of it and will be given $400 per month for 36 months. The plan is a cost reduction of $46,800.

 

A total of 27 staff positions will be cut, not including those that will be absorbed due to retirements.

 

Of the temporary teachers — teachers who have only worked one year — 22 of them will not have their contract renewed.

 

A reduction in force will include three administrators, one support personnel and one certified teacher. The board scheduled a RIF hearing for 7 p.m. May 24.

 

“I am very concerned about the individuals who will be losing their jobs and we will do everything we can to help them find jobs,” Carr said. “I am very appreciative of what they have done for our district.”

 

Extra-duty salaries will have a 20-percent overall reduction. By reducing salaries, no student extracurricular programs will be cut.

 

By relocating Take Two Academy, the district will save $153,015 for the Ardmore district, as well as $129,285 for the other participating school districts.

 

Carr said school officials are looking into utilizing unused classrooms in the high school’s physical education building and/or fine arts building for Take Two use. Details are still being discussed.

 

“We are not displacing, and with the larger class sizes, we don’t need as many classrooms,” Carr said.

 

As for other programs at the Springdale campus, the nursery will be going to Gloria Ainsworth Child Care & Learning Center and programs for elementary and middle school students will be moved to the elementaries and middle school, respectively.

 

School officials are still working out details for the adult education classes that take place at the Springdale campus.

 

The district will also adopt a 1,080-hour school calendar and add 20 minutes to the school day.

 

As a result, classes will not start until Sept. 1 and students will attend a total of 165 days. Students will be in class each day for six hours and 50 minutes, and the last day of school will be the same week as previous years.

 

Start and end times for each site are still being discussed.

 

The transportation department will be restructured due to the calendar changes. The walking distances for children to their bus stop will remain the same.

 

District-wide expense cuts will include cuts in professional development stipends, a reduction in maintenance supplies, instructional budgets, software, maintenance and transportation uniforms and classroom supplies.

 

No organized opposition attended Thursday’s meeting.

 

Areas of Reduction


District-wide expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $337,928

Moving Take Two to AHS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   $153,015

Increased class size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $691,700

Franklin site closure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   $480,100

Central office savings — personnel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $156,000

Restructuring of the
transportation department. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   $129,000

Calendar change. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $205,200

Other certified/
   support personnel reductions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$287,500

Extra-duty salaries reduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   $66,300

Benevolent Retirement Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   $46,800

Potential unemployment benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . (minus $343,500)

Total Reductions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      $2,210,043

*Information provided by Ardmore City Schools