How is this impacting our students?
• Our class sizes have grown. We did not replace six retired teachers at the end of the 2012-2013 school year;
• We have delayed computer replacement for nine years so far. Districtwide, the system has one computer/laptop for every 2.5 students; 45 percent of those should be replaced by summer to meet the five-year recommended replacement schedule. In addition, 56 percent of teacher computers also should be replaced if the district follows a five-year replacement cycle.
• We canceled K-6 summer school intervention and enrichment programs for 2013;
• Halted the move toward providing every student with a school-owned laptop, which would have offered 21st century learning opportunities;
• Eliminated the installation of locally funded SMART boards, another 21st century learning tool;
• School-funded field trips have been eliminated;
• We have delayed new bus purchases; some of our buses are 15 years old. Of Concord’s 50 buses, 24 of them should be replaced by this summer, as they are 12 or older.
• Increased the distance between homes and bus stops; rerouted buses to include students in grades K-6 instead of K-4 to reduce mileage;
• Adjusted the length and times of the school day to accommodate transportation adjustments;
• Eliminated building budget and frozen capital projects spending, except for emergencies;
• We’ve also eliminated technology positions and placed a hiring freeze on counselors. The number of students per counselor far exceeds the recommended amount;
• There’s also been a hiring freeze for custodial staff. Custodians are now responsible for more than the generally acceptable square footage and much of the day is staffed by only one custodian.
This isn’t about field trips. Asking students to walk to school is not an option because of our geography and infrastructure. We believe our buses are safe, but some of them have outlived their normal life span. We are thankful that our community has supported the construction of first-class buildings that have not required large-scale renovations in the past several years. The time is coming, however, where repairs will be needed.