Update on agency financial picture

It is no secret that the Governor’s across-the-board cuts, declining enrollment, federal funding issues, and now a likelihood of a partially funded allowable growth rate will all have an effect on our Agency. Staff reduction will be a necessary result of these changes as we prepare for 2009-2010. It is hoped that normal attrition (i.e., retirements and voluntary resignations) will cover most, if not all, of the necessary reductions.

If you are planning a retirement or voluntary resignation at the end of the 2008-09 school year, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting Shirley Horak. The more we know and the sooner we know, the easier it will be for the Agency to plan for 2009-2010 without disturbing the lives and plans of others. Thank you for helping if this applies to you.

Many unknowns still exist regarding 2009-2010. What will be the number of retirements and voluntary resignations? Will the Governor’s proposed budget be approved? What decisions will the legislature make regarding school and AEA funding? Will the federal stimulus package have an impact on our AEA? What will be the cost of health insurance for next year? All of the above will have an impact on 2009-2010.

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6 Responses to Update on agency financial picture

  1. Cindy Campbell says:

    I understand the issue with the budget cuts. I don’t understand how we can continue to provide services to children, schools and families with fewer and fewer staff. Line staff are already stretched pretty far now. One of these days something has to give. We cannot continue to be expected to stretch and stretch with fewer and fewer staff.
    We need to look at doing business differently in some ways. LEAs are still expecting services to be provided in a certain way and at a certain level. Many are unhappy as it is.

  2. Rob Coates says:

    This might be a time to revisit the idea of at least a small early retirement incentive to get more staff to retire early.

  3. Connie Mettlin says:

    Is there any place else that can be cut besides personnel? I feel we need to look at others in the AEA rather than line staff. What about realigning the AEA for assignments, ie mileage–assign people closer o home to save on mileage costs; locate another insurance company that is cheaper on premiums–they are out there! Extend our working week to 4–8.5 hours–. What about those who work on “time sheets”–can we eliminate them and thus bring part timers or the 4-day a week people to a 5 day work week thus saving costs of the “time sheet” people. Do more things on line rather than sending memos and other information via van mail? How ’bout doing the work adjustment sheets and sick leave on line rather than filling out forms on paper? Allow people to work (1) day a week at home–mandatory. Have office staff and those in the main offices and satellites to work 4–10 days hours a day thus saving on heating/cooling/electricity? If we need to use van mail, extend the routes and places of pick-ups to eliminiate the need for vans on the roads and cut drivers as well as extending their day to 4/10 hour days. Eliminiating personnel will certainly confirm to our schools that we are indispensable and they can find others to do our positions!

  4. Andy Lawler says:

    I understand the situation at hand. While enrollment declines the needs of the children increase. We face many complex kids in the classroom that require a lot of resources for success. School and AEA staff combine their talents and exhaust their resourse and energy working with our complex kids. For some kids school is their only hope. For some families school is their only support. It would be terribly sad to take what little kids are getting now from already stretched and very dedicated staff.

  5. Kate McElligatt says:

    I feel that as special educators, we need to get back to our main mission, providing services to disabled learners in the schools. We are being asked to spend an excessive amount of our time on general education programs, services, etc. Examples would be training special educators on the Iowa Core Curriculum, IDM, and so forth, expecting us to work on school improvement committees and remediation plans for SINA schools. Our role is overlapping more and more with general education. With limited staff, we cannot afford the duplication of services. If we are not available and effective to provides services to children with disabilities, we will be of limited value to our schools. We need to spend the vast majority of our time working in our area of expertise rather than trying to be all things to all people.

  6. Patricia Notestine says:

    I recognize the difficulties that we are facing due to the budget cuts. But if the Agency is looking retirements to help solve this problem and make our staff younger and less expensive there must be some sort of incentive for more mature staff members to consider this option. Without an incentive it simply won’t happen. I also agree with other members of staff that some systemic changes in how we deliver services should be looked at so that we can still have an impact with fewer staff members.

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