We now live in an era of competing resources, having to make daily decisions as to how we spend our money. Our priorites become even more crucial as we know we cannot approve every request. Our number one priority has always been the investment in our staff. Every district is a reflection of the people who work there. The best districts have the best staffs. We continue to do more with fewer people, but we must always put our resources toward our human capital.
Debt payments will continue to require a significant portion of our overall budget. We have taken steps to both restructure some of our debt and to reduce the need to add additional debt in the near future. Due to the tax caps, debt will remain an issue until our taxable assessed value increases as the economy rebounds.
Money left after salaries and debt are paid, is spent in a very calculated way. The number one priority is the safety of our students. Any safety issue immediately moves to the top of the priority list. Instructional opportunities is next in line. We must provide today’s students with every reasonable opportunity to succeed. Unlike the business world, we cannot cheapen today’s product to balance budgets. We get only one chance to educate this generation. Next is preventive maintainence. We must protect the investment in our facilities by our taxpayers. We must avoid large expenses in the future by taking care of proper maintenance today. Finally, if any additional funds are still left, money is devoted to making the district a more conducive place for children to learn. Cosmetic projects are addressed, but only after all other priorities are addressed. Wants are addressed only after needs are met.
We remain committed to getting the most value from the dollars we are given. The staff has bought into the list of priorities and are committed to offering every possible opportunity to our children. Additional time, energy and professionalism makes up for reduced dollars. Many people work very hard to make this happen. This only makes it more obvious that our greatest investment should continue to be in our human capital.