Budget Vote:
May 20, 2014 at BCHS, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Budget Planning Calendar

Please join us and offer your input on BCSD budget issues. All meetings will be held in the BCHS Library & Media Center.

February 26, 7 p.m.:Presentation of proposed 2014-15 budget. Focus on Transportation, bus replacement plan, fringes, insurance, debt service. Discussion and tentative decisions.

March 5, 7 p.m.:Special Education, Technology, revenue. Discussion and tentative decisions.

March 19, 7 p.m.:Operations and Maintenance, Athletics. Discussion and tentative decisions.

April 2, 7 p.m.:K-12 instructional staffing and programming. Discussion and tentative decisions.

April 22, 7 p.m.:Budget discussion and final decisions; budget adoption.

May 7, 7 p.m.:Budget Hearing

May 20, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.:Budget Vote, BCHS

May 21, 7 p.m.:Board of Education meeting



Bethlehem A to Z heading

BC News

Feb. 29, 2012

Community discusses bridging a $4.4 million gap

More than 200 residents meet in-person, online to discuss potential savings areas

The following are notes from the group at Table #2 at the Community Budget forum. Read more about the forum here.

The tax levy

Most in the group said they would be willing to support up to a 6 percent tax levy increase, but would understand why many in the community would not. However, many said that there is an understanding in the community that Bethlehem offers above and beyond a normal education and that comes at a price.
As one person in the group stated, “You get what you pay for.”

reactions to the potential reductions listed on the budget worksheet


•One parent suggested getting rid of the transportation department wholesale and having parents be responsible for transporting their children to and from school and events. Several others did not think that was feasible for working parents and wondered how it would affect the district’s transportation of special needs children and children to other school districts.
•Many in the group said they would support increased walking distances for high school students, but not for elementary students.


•A few attendees wondered why a single principal couldn’t cover two buildings.
•The group also wondered what type of administrative staff is needed over the summer break.

Elementary reductions

•All in the group agreed that reducing specials to every other week is too drastic a cut. A few wondered how classroom teachers could properly teach what PE instructors have specialized degrees in.
•A similar concern was brought up regarding Math AIS and Challenge
•If enrollment shows we can cut 2 FTEs without bigger classes, we should do that before touching anything else.

Secondary reductions

•Many in the group said electives should be considered for reduction at the secondary level before specials are reduced at the elementary level.
•Keep "competitive" languages like Chinese and Spanish. Cut "dead" languages like Latin.

Special education

•Many in the group felt they needed a clearer picture of what cutting 30 aides would look like. Would this create an unreasonable workload for aides and negatively affect students?


•The group felt that sports are an integral part of the learning experience. Cutting all sports is drastic and unrealistic.
•Can we rely on more booster support for some programs?
•We need to take a look at what the enrollment is in each sport - not just the overall cost - before determining what to cut.

Outstanding Questions

• Can the school save money by synchronizing the High School and Middle school bus runs?
• Would the school consider a 4-day school week? How much would this save?
• How many high school students who are eligible to take the bus actually take it?
• Can the district explore consolidating business operations like payroll and HR with the town or another schools district?
• How much is the technology budget and can we see what the money’s spent on?
• Can we make money by selling pouring rights? What about other types of advertising?
• Why are we only getting $30,000 per year for leasing Clarksville?

Materials related to the budget process and Feb. 28 community budget forum:

Click here to see a detailed list of the proposals and their impacts [PDF].

Click here for video of the meeting and budget forum,

Click here to view video of the webcasted portion of the Feb. 28 community budget forum.

Click here for the transcript of the February 28 web chat [PDF].

Click here to read more about the district's budget picture.

Understanding the new Property Tax Levy Cap

Agendas, minutes and video of previous meetings can be found here. The 2012-13 budget planning calendar can be found here

Read Superintendent Douglas' note on becoming involved in the budget process here.

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