West Side schools facing budget cuts for upcoming year

July 21, 2016
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Austin schools are set to lose a combined $3.3 million in funding in 2016-2017.

Principals are scrambling to meet a July 22nd deadline for their local school councils to approve the details of their budgets now that CPS has released school-by-school budget info. The information is getting to principals months later than normal because of the budget crisis that continues to cripple state government.

Of the 32 Network 3 schools, many of which are located in Austin, all but a handful recorded a loss in funding when compared to last year’s adjusted budget, which schools received in February when CPS was forced to make its latest round of cuts.

With salaries being the largest part of a school’s budget,  some West Side teachers and staff are expected to be laid off before school begins Sept. 6th.

Steven Fouts, a mathematics teacher at Douglass High School, said the $217,474 cuts projected next year for Douglass amount to about two full-time teacher salaries. The years-long decline in the number of students is expected to continue at Douglass, 543 N. Waller Ave.; district officials predict enrollment will drop from 234 students to 204.

Fouts worries that less funding will hurt students, though CPS officials have insisted classrooms will be spared, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“When you cut school funding it makes it harder to build stability with students,” Fouts said. “You have to build long-term relationships with these students, but when funding isn’t there it’s not consistent.”

With cuts of this magnitude, it’s hard to build the necessary support system for students, he said.

That view was underscored in a recent Atlantic magazine story: “Deeply strained budgets fueled by declining enrollment hurt staffing levels, teacher retention and programming.”

“No one is choosing to go to neighborhood schools, just look at Douglass; the numbers are down,” said Andrew Born, director of programs and development at Austin Coming Together. “The money follows the students, but that wasn’t always the case.”

It has been three years since CPS switched to its per-pupil budget, and it appears schools are starting to feel the effects of that change.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the per-pupil rates are lower than a year ago – $4,373 for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade, $4,078 for 4th to 8th graders, and $5,068 for high school students.

Only seven schools in Austin – including Michele Clark High School and Ellington Elementary – are projected to have more students this coming school year – and more funding than last year.

And one school – Voise Academy – will see an increase because its absorbing Austin Business and Entrepreneurship Academy and Austin Polytechnical High School as part of a community-backed effort bring all three together.

Dwayne Truss, a longtime Austin resident and activist, said students will be hurt if the district keeps getting less funding money and the district continues to close schools.

Still, he’s remains optimistic, saying, “Schools in the Austin community will survive.”

Here is budget information by school:

Brunson

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 527
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 501
  • Percent Change: -4.9%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $3,681,009
  • FY 17 Budget: $3,549,831
  • Change: -$131,178

Clark HS

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 524
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 557
  • Percent Change: 6.3%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $4,478,306
  • FY 17 Budget: $4,617,158
  • Change: $138,852

DePriest

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 612
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 610
  • Percent Change: -0.3%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $4,928,607
  • FY 17 Budget: $4,903,091
  • Change: -$25,515

Douglass HS

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 234
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 204
  • Percent Change: -12.8%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $2,447,037
  • FY 17 Budget: $2,229,413
  • Change: -$217,624

Ellington

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 611
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 618
  • Percent Change: 1.1%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $5,148,996
  • FY 17 Budget: $5,169,470
  • Change: $20,474

Foreman HS

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 1045
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 861
  • Percent Change: -17.6%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $10,074,319
  • FY 17 Budget: $8,925,892
  • Change: -$1,148,428

Hay

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 397
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 378
  • Percent Change: -4.8%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $2,850,568
  • FY 17 Budget: $2,737,843
  • Change: -$112,725

Leland

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 529
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 515
  • Percent Change: -2.6%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $4,448,278
  • FY 17 Budget: $4,448,627
  • Change: $348

Lovett

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 373
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 352
  • Percent Change: -5.6%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $2,736,825
  • FY 17 Budget: $2,683,366
  • Change: -$53,459

McNair – AUSL

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 396
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 412
  • Percent Change: 4.0%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $2,779,703
  • FY 17 Budget: $2,892,201
  • Change: $112,498

Melody

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 470
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 438
  • Percent Change: -6.8%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $3,622,934
  • FY 17 Budget: $3,413,439
  • Change: -$209,495

Nash

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 301
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 282
  • Percent Change: -6.3%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $2,196,051
  • FY 17 Budget: $2,043,658
  • Change: -$152,392

Northwest

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 572
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 546
  • Percent Change: -4.5%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $4,077,635
  • FY 17 Budget: $3,967,105
  • Change: -$110,530

Prosser HS

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 1455
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 1398
  • Percent Change: -3.9%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $11,490,557
  • FY 17 Budget: $11,142,946
  • Change: -$347,611

Sayre

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 444
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 422
  • Percent Change: -5.0%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $3,004,250
  • FY 17 Budget: $2,927,968
  • Change: -$76,283

Spencer

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 699
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 662
  • Percent Change: -5.3%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $5,451,016
  • FY 17 Budget: $5,269,563
  • Change: -$181,453

Steinmetz HS

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 1545
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 1355
  • Percent Change: -12.3%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $13,347,128
  • FY 17 Budget: $12,308,010
  • Change: -$1,039,118

Voise HS (includes Austin Business and Entrepreneurship and Austin Polytechnical)

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 195
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 359
  • Percent Change: 84.1%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $1,574,188
  • FY 17 Budget: $2,636,358
  • Change: $1,062,171

Young ES

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 907
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 842
  • Percent Change: -7.2%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $6,846,064
  • FY 17 Budget: $6,530,414
  • Change: -$315,651

Catalyst Circle Rock (Charter)

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 521
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 516
  • Percent Change: -1.0%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $3,822,025
  • FY 17 Budget: $3,719,519
  • Change: -$102,506

Plato (Charter)

  • FY 16 Enrollment: 497
  • FY 17 Enrollment: 503
  • Percent Change: 1.2%
  • FY 16 Annualized Budget: $3,515,711
  • FY 17 Budget: $3,448,053
  • Change: -$67,658

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