state funding

Eudora Elementary School was the site of a public forum on Tuesday evening to seek opinions on how important specific identified core values are to the general public.  Don Grosdidier, Superintendent of Eudora Public Schools, began the presentation with a breakdown of the School District’s budget and where that money comes from. The school district’s general fund budget currently is $9.545 million dollars.  75% of this budget comes from state aid and 10.3% comes from local taxpayer money.

Grosdidier, in his speech, stated the current formula used by the state for pupil funding is a good formula. He added that the state needs to look at revenues to support the current formula.

Grosdidier went on to discuss how state aid has been reduced by the State Legislature in the last two years due to the current economic crisis. Grosdidier said that due to the decline in state aid, ESD has seen a decrease in just over $871,000 in the last two years. In addition to reduced state aid, the new facilities money, part of the Federal governments stimulus package, that ESD received to help build the new elementary school, will end with the completion of the current school year budget. According to Grosdidier, this will mean a loss of approximately $1 million dollars that currently is in the budget.

Without some way to replace that money, via some type of aid from the state or federal government, the likelihood of either raising taxes or cutting programs could be a possibility.

When asked during a one on one interview about any current plans about that possibility, Grosdidier said “We cannot be specific at this time, because right now, the level of any budget cuts is unclear.”

The second part of the public forum was to obtain feedback from local citizens about four core values. Groups were formed to discuss their opinions on and the importance of personalized education, class sizes, early childhood programs and teacher collaboration. Several educators, including the principals from all of the Eudora schools, were part of each group and those in attendance went from group to group to hear a brief description of each core value and then give opinions on how important they are to a student’s education.

The opinions given by those in attendance will be collected into a report that will be given to the Board of Education and be available on the School District’s website. “This feedback is important, especially since we are not in a crisis situation at this time” Grosdidier said.  “Depending on the feedback received tonight, this information could play an important part of any future considerations that may need to be made.”

Grosdidier did stress how important the upcoming election will be to ESD and all school districts around the state. “These elections can be the key to the future.”