For Littleton Public Schools Superintendent Scott Murphy, it’s about “surviving vs. thriving.” LPS is one of the highest-performing school …
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For Littleton Public Schools Superintendent Scott Murphy, it’s
about “surviving vs. thriving.”
LPS is one of the highest-performing school districts in the
state. Despite being faced with having to slice more than $9
million from the district’s budget, Murphy would like to keep it
He knows it won’t be easy.
“We’re running out of gas,” he said.
“We have great teachers. But it’s difficult to expect the same
from teachers when we don’t have the same resources.”
And come next fall, many of those teachers may be gone.
LPS is looking at trimming about 8 percent of its budget for the
2010-11 school year. That could mean the loss of 100 full-time
positions, with most of those being teachers, the superintendent
“The real challenge is how do you reduce people without
affecting our programs?” Murphy said.
Gov. Bill Ritter has proposed cutting funding by $260 million
for kindergarten through 12th-grade education, meaning steep budget
setbacks for school districts across the state.
LPS made $6.1 million in cuts over the past two school years.
Two elementary schools were closed at the end of the 2008-09 school
year, saving the district about $900,000.
While closing schools is not being looked at this time around,
the cuts will be much broader.
The budget will not be adopted until June 24, but recent
recommendations call for cuts in myriad areas, including personnel,
training and supplies. To put the school-supply budget in context,
spending would be at the same level it was in 1990.
A salary freeze and furlough days are being proposed for all
employees. Class sizes could swell and some programs could have
their district support reduced or eliminated.
To Murphy, keeping support for fine arts, athletics and programs
for gifted students is important.
“Having kids engaged is what keeps kids in school,” he said.
LPS has seen a trend of declining enrollment for about 20 years
and hasn’t built a school in about 30 years.
But it is a district with high-achieving students and
experienced teachers. Murphy noted it’s also a district that gets
strong support from the community.
The people of the district give him hope amid financial
“We’re a family,” he said. “We’re resilient.
“We will survive. We will find a way to thrive.”
For a detailed look at the district’s budget recommendations, go
Click on “District Information” then “Budget Matters.”
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