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« Budgeting for Mean, Lean Times Part 1 | Main | E-mail rapture - tomorrow »

Budgeting for Mean, Lean Times


I was somewhat taken aback by Joyce Valenza's post from a few days ago called "On Belt Tightening" - about how her school's budget problems are impacting her library program. My impression has always been that money has been less of a concern in her suburban Philadephia school than it is for most of us. If the poor economy is even catching up with Joycie, the rest of us are in real trouble.

I don't remember any time during my 30+ year career in education when funding has not been a concern as either a librarian or a technology director.* In the early '90s things were tough enough here in Minnesota that I wrote an article called Budgeting for Lean Mean Times. (MultiMedia Schools, Nov/Dec 1995).

Given the current sad (and worsening) state of most schools' funding**, I thought it might be helpful to dig out and brush off some budgeting tips that worked for me. Over the next few days, I'll be posting on:


Lucky you.

If any of these suggestions results in a surplus of dollars for your program, send some my way. Thanks.

*Well, except for the five years I worked for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia. The king's oil revenues supported those schools quite handsomely.

** Much of this is due to the poor revenue situations most states find themselves in. Except for North Dakota. It's state surpluses continue to grow. So here's my question: Why does Minnesota have a National Guard if it can't be used to take over North Dakota's oil fields???

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Reader Comments (3)

Man, don't you know the recession is OVER! Everyone in D.C. says so!
Anyway, you couldn't have picked a better time to rerun these articles. Down here, things are going from bad to worse. Our legislature just nixed bonuses for NB Certified teachers going forward. Wonder how many will jump through those hoops without the $7500 per year on the other side?

Legislatively allowed maximum class sizes are being looked at for raising. One very pessimistic person I know in the State House claimed he heard talk of 40 students per class in the near future. It's all rumor right now, but times are mighty lean, mighty lean indeed.

December 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Wham

Re: ** Wouldn't that create a Bigger Big Horn?

December 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTodd Wandio

Hi Shannon,

That's me - always a day late and a dollar short. The Feds have forgotten to tell the rest of us the recession is over, though. Monster budget cuts in MN too.

I guess 40 kids in a class is OK if they are all plugged into computer games! Who needs teachers anyway.

Have a great holiday season,


Hi Todd,

More of a bigger Desert Storm, I think. Custer was down in South Dakota and Wyoming, as I remember.

I still think we take those North Dakotans. There only about two dozen in the whole state after all.

Have a good Christmas!


December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

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