Listen to this post
RBC I School districts face another year of drastic cuts as the negative factor increases from -12.94 percent in 2011-12 to -16.1 percent for 2012-13. Options to keep cuts away from the classroom are unrealistic.
Districts’ only options become limited after four years of cuts:
* Increase class sizes
* Eliminate programs
* Increase furlough days (staff and students do not come to school, no one is paid)
* Four-day school weeks
* Reduce student contact time
* Charge fees for students to ride the school bus to and from school
Savings through attrition and department reductions have been utilized in past years. Districts have not been able to make compensation improvements for several years, provide appropriate staff development, add capacity or instruction through sustainable technology, or implement or expand proven programs like pre-school and kindergarten.
Districts are attempting to implement and comply with an overhaul of education policy and reforms enacted through legislation. At the same time the state continues to cut K-12 funding for what is now the fourth consecutive year. Colorado has added 9,000 new K-12 students this past year, and serves more than 800,000 students statewide. Students qualifying for free and reduced lunch have increased to an all-time state high of 41 percent of the K-12 population.