DCSD Grapples With Funding Shortfall
by Lisa Crockett
The failure of ballot measures 3A and 3B last November means that schools all over Douglas County will be tightening their belts. With the failure of the measures, Douglas County School District (DCSD) begins its process of identifying an additional $16 million in budget reductions for the 2009-10 school year. These reductions will impact classrooms, class sizes and staffing.
Since the election, DCSD Superintendent Jim Christensen has been gathering feedback on ways to cut costs from “stakeholders” – a group that includes district employees, parents, and students. “While we move through our process, the state and nation’s economic situation continues to be uncertain,” said Christensen in a letter to DCSD staff. “We are not only challenged by local factors such as lowering enrollment projections by 1,200 students, increased medical costs and less local specific ownership tax revenue (sales of cars and car title renewals), now more than ever we also face concerns regarding state funding.”
As of press time, no site-specific plans had been announced, so it is unclear precisely how the cuts will affect schools in Castle Pines North (CPN). The district has already had some success in cutting energy costs and computer server costs. For more details on budget cuts in DCSD, visit www.dscdk12.org and click on “Budget Reduction Info.”