Dear EPS Parents:
Today – in light of the state budget crisis – the Enid Board of Education approved the district’s 2016-17 expenditure reduction plan. Please see the press release below for more information.
Like all Oklahoma schools, this is a situation we do not want to be in and that we did not create. The decisions have been difficult. As a district, we have done everything possible to protect classroom instruction and opportunities for students. As with any change, I understand families will likely have questions. Please know that we will be providing more details to parents and the community as soon as possible. Principals also are available to help with your questions and concerns.
Many people have asked what they can do to help. I encourage you to visit with local legislators about assisting public education with immediate and long-term funding solutions that will provide the resources necessary for Oklahoma’s students. Our district is honored to serve your family, and we appreciate your support of Enid Public Schools.
Dr. Darrell Floyd
Dealing with the Budget Crisis
EPS makes adjustments for 2016-17 school year
In the wake of a state budget crisis, Enid Public Schools officials have developed a plan to reduce district expenditures for next school year.
“We have done our best to protect classroom instruction and opportunities for EPS students,” Dr. Darrell Floyd, Superintendent, said. “We have looked for strategic options that will do the least harm to the school setting. It is unreasonable to believe, however, that our students – like those across Oklahoma – will not be impacted by the state’s devastating shortfall.”
EPS expects a $2.6 million loss in state aid for the 2016-17 school year. While planning continues and additional reductions are likely, the district announced several changes this week to help prepare for funding reductions.
Personnel costs account for more than 80% of all district spending. Floyd said district officials are confident needed changes can be made through employee attrition.
Middle School Schedule
Next school year, all three middle schools will move from a seven-hour day to a six-hour PLUS day, with the official school day ending at 2:30 p.m.
The PLUS portion of the schedule will actually allow the district to expand offerings beyond its current level. Although one less elective will be conducted during regular hours, students will have the opportunity to participate in athletics, programs and clubs from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on a voluntary basis.
According to Doug Stafford, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, the schedule change will allow the district to operate with fewer middle school positions, but still offer students an extensive selection of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities. He added that a six-hour schedule is common among other 6A school districts.
Most core subject teachers will have their planning periods during the PLUS hour, resulting in more teaching time during the regular school day.
“Even though this is a cost-saving measure, we believe it is more developmentally appropriate for middle school students than our current schedule,” Stafford said. “Our strategic plan calls for us to offer more opportunities for students, and this schedule will open many new doors. If students have an interest in a topic, we can have an after-school club or program to fit their needs. The possibilities are exciting.”
EPS will continue to offer its regular slate of four-year-old classes; however, there will be a change to the length of the program each day.
Four-year-old students will attend class from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will have physical education and music integrated into their classroom activities. The change to the schedule will allow the district to use elementary staff more effectively.
According to Randy Rader, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education, the earlier dismissal also has safety benefits for four-year-old students because there is less traffic near the schools at 2:30 p.m. than at 3 p.m.
“It will create a safer environment for our students at the end of the day,” Rader said. “During the day, they will receive a robust academic experience, and they will learn everything they need to be ready for a successful year in kindergarten,” Rader said.
According to Floyd, the district reduced administrative expenses by more than $200,000 over the past two fiscal years through retirements and reorganization. Additionally, at least another $66,000 in administrative savings is expected for the fall of 2016.
District officials are still revising other areas of the expenditure reduction plan, but options expected to be added include:
-- Administrative reorganization;
-- Small increase in class size at all three levels;
-- Reduction in custodial support, managed through attrition;--
-- Reduction in travel (including distance) for athletics, extracurricular programs and field trips;-
-- Elimination of several non-personnel expenses, including printing of student handbooks, which are available online; and—
-- Transfer of eligible expenses, including utility costs, from the general fund to the building fund.