By Juju Miyamoto
Some teachers and department heads, who normally receive money to support their curriculum, report they are uninformed as to what their budget consists of as the school year progresses and find other ways to pay for supplies.
The start of the 2017-18 Davis High school year, means the end of the fiscal year of 2016-17. Every year the budget allocated for DHS must be updated and approved to fit the needs of the school. Interim Principal Tom McHale and the Davis Joint Unified School District are working together towards opening a new budgetary plan.
The end of the fiscal year marks the paying of expenses from the prior year, and a new budget for DHS.
According to the Davis Teacher’s Association-Davis Joint Unified School District contract, or the DTA-DJUSD contract, department heads normally get $1,082.50 for the annual stipend.
“We want to know where […] all that money went [for our classrooms],” English department chair Anthony Vasquez said.
Vasquez, who teaches English classes and leads Student Government, has not yet received funds for his English classroom supplies from the school.
During the end of the fiscal year, district officers and representatives from DHS discuss new budget plans. Those discussions happened with former Principal Will Brown.
“I believe budgets are allocated fairly and according to the school’s needs,” said Julieta Kamin, this year’s new ASB bookkeeper of DHS.
The district still needs to pay expenses from the previous year in order to arrive at a set budget for the site this year.
“One part of the site budget allocation is based on total student population. The other part of the allocation is based on the numbers of unduplicated students-defined as low income, English Learners, foster youth and homeless,” said Maria Clayton, DJUSD public information officer.
According to Kamin, the delay is not unusual.
“It is too early in the school year to have a defined budget,” Kamin said. “Our people are doing their best.”
The same event occurs every year for a new budget. There are rules and processes to follow, according to Kamin, the wait for the classroom funds should not be a surprise for most teachers.
As they continue to plan the allocated amount of money for DHS, there is no set budget from the district. Some teachers at DHS use their own money to provide class with materials.
A teacher in the science department asked to be quoted anonymously to avoid trouble from the administration that would see the quotes as an untrue depiction of the DHS budget.
For supplies, the science teacher has paid $100 out of their own wallet to get materials needed in the classroom.
If teachers want supplies during this time, they have to go through the process of requesting materials through the DHS main office for their class by a list of approved vendors, fill out a purchase order and wait for their supplies.
In the past they had to request supplies directly from Office Max.
Even a simple material requires paperwork and patience for the shipment to come in.
“Is it worth it for baking soda?” said the science teacher.
Department heads, who usually distribute the classroom budgets, are ill-informed at the moment of when they will be receiving a classroom budget as well as of how much they will get.
“Nobody really knows what the budget is,” Science Department chair Darryl Bailey said.