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Superintendent's Corner

posted Nov 21, 2014, 6:49 AM by website team   [ updated Nov 21, 2014, 6:50 AM ]

The campaign season is over for the moment and the end of the first semester is moving rapidly upon us.  Our students and staff have remained dedicated and engaged in a variety of exciting activities.  As part of the newly created Gold / Black Program students are recognized for their performance in the areas of attendance, discipline, academics, and community service.  Students completed a total of 314.75 hours of Community Service during the first nine weeks as part of the program.  Twenty students reached Gold status and 2 students reached Black status.   This is a very positive start to the new program

USD #386 Madison-Virgil recently hosted the 1st Annual Veteran’s Day Reception and Assembly.  Mrs. Ecton and the Madison High School government students planned and organized the event.  The Veteran’s Day Planning Committee consisted of Bailey Talkington, Quentin Haas, Braden Livers, Katie Gehring, and Katherine Aikman.  Several staff and students participated in the program.    I would like to offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude to our staff and students for all of their hard work and efforts in planning and organizing this event to honor our veterans.                 

                Recent revenue estimates from the state’s Consensus Estimating Group reveal a need to cut $279 million from the state of Kansas current year’s budget to reach a zero ending balance by the end of the fiscal year.  Additionally, the state faces $436 million shortfall for fiscal year 2016.  This is a total of $715 million that must be cut from the state budget in an 18 month period.  More than half of the state’s budget goes toward K-12 education.  School funding could certainly be at risk. 

Various legislators have begun to comment on the issue and many have used the phrase “becoming more efficient”.  Efficiency is important and it helps to assure patrons that the district is being good stewards of their tax dollars.  It is also important to note that in 2008-2009, the Base State Aid Per Pupil (how much we get for each student) was $4433.  In 2014-2015 that number has dropped to $3852.  That is a decrease of $581 per student.  Districts have been forced to operate and provide the same high quality level of service for several years all while receiving significantly less funding.  The reality is that while all school districts will continue to look for efficiencies, the areas where significant savings can occur through simply becoming more efficient have been implemented a long time ago.  There are always ways of doing things cheaper.  It is important that we not forget that simply doing something for less money does not mean we are doing it more efficiently.  To do it more efficiently, we also have to be able to ensure the same level of effectiveness in spite of the efficiency.  When used in a political manner, efficiency can become another word for “cut” or “reduction” in funding.  Our students’ futures and lives are too valuable to have their educational experiences limited or reduced to the bare minimum due to an “efficiency”. 

Have a great week and remember, “It is A Great Day to Be a Bulldog! 

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website team,
Nov 21, 2014, 6:49 AM