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Budget Case Study Narrative

Cheryl Lawal, Billie Sczepaniak, Jennifer Wickersham

Oakland University ED 8020

Spring 2019

1. In order to shift the mindset of our school community stakeholders we will carefully share with

them the data that shows that our school district and demographics are rapidly changing,

whether we like it or not. When we look at the drastic decline in enrollment for our elementary

schools it makes it very clear that a change in the school district must occur. Initially this will

have to include cuts, such as eliminating two of our elementary schools, but once this phase has

been established we can then begin to look at how we will make change work for us, perhaps by

increasing our focus on school of choice or home school partnerships, etc.

2. Our vision wholly relates to looking toward the future while still carefully providing exceptional

educational opportunities in the present. Our budget reflects this vision by keeping all of our

federal programs in place. We also have made it a priority to keep teacher salary competitive so

that we are able to retain the best teachers, since we know this has a major impact on student

achievement. We have also kept appropriate funding for our fine arts programs, as well as

physical education, to ensure our students will receive a well-rounded education.

3. We will hold several meetings at the onset of the budget changes. These will take place at

regular board meetings, special in-district school meetings, and also off campus community

meetings. Initially we will share the difficult future our district would face if we did not make

drastic budget changes. We would survey the community to determine what aspects of the

school district are most important to them and we will strive to protect as many of those

elements as possible.

4. Considering our severely low numbers at the elementary compared to the secondary level, we

knew it was imperative to make cuts now so that we would not run out of funds in the near

future. By starting with the reduction of two buildings now but keeping many really great

programs and not eliminating too many jobs, the change will come on slowly and as numbers

continue to decrease (if we aren’t able to reverse this trend) the community will understand

that this is a natural reaction to the change in our population size and it is not an unfounded

attack on the district and its employees or students.

5. The decision to close two elementary buildings was a bold decision, but one that had to be

made. The previous administration must have ignored the downward trend in enrollment

because we could not find any indication that they made adjustments according to the declining

student population. The decision to close buildings served to allow our district to continue to

offer a quality education to our student and continue to employ great educators while still

creating a sustainable budget.

6. Pleasantville School District – Today’s education, with an eye on the future. The new vision of

Pleasantville School District acknowledges that our school district and community is changing,

but one aspect that we will not allow to change is the quality of education we offer our

students. In order to best serve these students, we will need to change the way we have

approached our budget and staffing needs, but by addressing these needs now and developing a

long-term system that will continue to analyze and monitor our decisions we will have an even

better school district in the future; we are confident it will become such a sought after district

we will be able to grow our elementary population again within a few short years.

7. As we roll out the new budget plan, additional meetings will occur. District administrative staff

will even attend small community based sessions so that the message can be shared on a more

intimate level, especially for those community members who do not have children attending

school. During these meetings we will highlight the great things our district’s educational system

has accomplished over the decades and we will show how this new system will take us even

further which will be a highlight for our community overall.