Dear MCS Community;
Last week Tom Luna, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, held several meetings across the state with school and district administrators. In these meetings he confirmed the 7.5% reduction in funding passed down by the Idaho Legislature this year, but also warned that additional cuts were likely. Superintendent Luna indicated that an additional 5.5% holdback is likely later in the year and instructed districts and charter schools across the state to develop fiscal year 2011 budgets under the conditions of a 13% reduction in funding.
Several days following Superintendent Luna’s announcement, the Idaho State Department of Education released a memo officially certifying that the conditions have been met to declare a financial emergency for all school districts in Idaho, pursuant to Sections 34 and 35 of SB 1418 (the Public Schools Appropriation Bill), which was signed into law on March 31. This declaration allows the MCS school board and administrator additional latitude in creating a budget for the upcoming year; as we craft our new budget we would sincerely appreciate parent, teacher, and staff feedback as we deliberate over these difficult decisions.
This significant reduction in funding places MCS at a significant disadvantage in the upcoming year(s). Unlike larger school districts, MCS is unable to dip into levy and/or bond funding to offset these cuts. It is our sincere desire to remain true to the vision and charter of the school as we contemplate the FY 2011 school year budget. In keeping with the community-based values of the school we need your assistance in helping us make these difficult decisions.
The MCS Board has created an online survey where you can provide direct input on our budgeting process. This survey is completely anonymous and will be available through the rest of the month of April at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/79MHCP9. Please take some time to fill out this survey and provide us with your input! Your feedback and ideas will help guide our deliberations over the next month.
The MCS Board has also scheduled several meetings over the next month to present budget options and to gather additional feedback from MCS families and stakeholders. On April 27, 2010, the MCS Board will meet with faculty and staff to solicit their ideas and input on the current budget crisis. On April 29, 2010 at 7:00 pm the MCS Board will host a parent meeting to present budget options and solicit additional feedback before we make any final budget decisions. We will send out reminders and additional information regarding these meetings in the next few days.
Using the input gathered through the survey and public meetings, the MCS Board will draft a budget using your input that maintains the core values of the MCS charter. The MCS Board will present this draft budget at its regularly scheduled May meeting (May 11, 2010 @ 7:00 pm) for additional public comment prior to finalizing it and submitting it for State Department of Education approval.
Thank you for your continued support!
Matthew T. Wappett on behalf of the MCS Board of Directors