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Danville Schools address concerns about budget cuts with FAQ

The Danville Independent School District recently added a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to its website that addresses several topics being publicly discussed as the school board ponders cuts for next year’s budget. The board is searching for ways to cut nearly $1 million from its 2020-21 budget.

More topics will be added, said Superintendent Dr. Tammy McDonald.

At last week’s school board meeting, several people voiced their concerns about the possibility of the district ending its financial ties with the Wilderness Trace Child Development Center as fiscal agent. 

A special called meeting to discuss the situation will be 6 p.m. today, Feb. 26, at Hogsett Primary School on Waveland Avenue.

Also during the last meeting, a group of football supporters told the board why they thought the football program and weight room coordinator, who is also the head football coach, were important and why their budgets and coaching stipends should not be reduced.

As a response, “In order to promote transparency and better inform Danville stakeholders, our district creates FAQs regarding topics that are of interest to the community, parents, students and staff,” the school district website states.

A link that addresses Danville Independent School District and Wilderness Trace Child Development Center contract states that the center is not a Danville school.

“It is a non-profit learning center that serves children from 2 through 5 years of age from the community and multiple school districts in the area. In fact, the facility lies outside of the Danville Independent School District boundaries,” the FAQ reads.

Currently, there are seven Danville students enrolled at WTCDC. The center has five of its own employees and DIS assigns 10 employees to the facility, in which the center reimburses their salaries to the school district twice a year.

The FAQ states, “Danville Schools hires employees for WTCDC. Danville Schools does not handle any other finances for WTCDC. Twice a year Danville invoices WTCDC for a reimbursement of the salaries and benefits of the Danville Schools employees who work at WTCDC.

“These individuals are legal employees of Danville Schools and earn all the rights of Danville employees, including tenure. The management of these employees is handled by a WTCDC employee and their formal evaluations are handled by Danville Schools’ administrators. If WTCDC decides to reduce staff, Danville Schools must absorb that position within the district. 

“WTCDC pays Danville Schools a 2% administrative fee for handling employee paperwork and evaluations. This fee is based on the amount of salaries; therefore, it changes each year. For the 2019-20 year the 2% fee is $5,842.”

In Danville’s preschool, located in the Hogsett Primary School, the website states, “There are five Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Educator (IECE) certified teachers at our preschool for four classrooms. IECE certified means our teachers hold a dual certification in early childhood and special education. There are five instructional assistants and one moderate and severe disabilities teacher for additional support. The principal is both IECE and National Board certified in early childhood. Danville Schools preschool also provides an early childhood National Board certified assistant principal and instructional coach.”

In addition, “Our program includes well-defined learning centers, individual and group instruction, and real-life experiences for children of diverse backgrounds, abilities and learning styles.”

The preschool has indoor and outdoor playgrounds and fine arts learning spaces. It also offers speech, occupational and physical therapies, a sensory room, free medical services and dental cleanings and exams.

Children qualify for the preschool program based on family income “or if eligible for special needs services, any time after age 3.”

In regard to athletics and weight room budget cut concerns, the FAQ states that the weight room will not close. “In fact, plans are in place to make the weight room more accessible to all students. All coaches will have access and the plan includes for the next Danville Schools contracted University of Kentucky athletic trainer to be a credentialed certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS). CSCS are certified professionals who design sports specific training sessions. This individual will be able to work with coaches from all teams to plan individualized workouts for both male and female athletes.”

The FAQs state that the proposed 2020-21 draft budget cuts $974,575 “from last year’s total budget in order to have a budget that does not overspend. … The proposed draft budget includes cuts in football, boys and girls soccer, cheerleading and the weight room coordinator. These suggested cuts are not final at this time.”

 

To read all of the questions and answers, visit danvilleschools.net/Content2/faq.