Board begins reduction journey
WORTHINGTON -- Setting a Feb. 2 work session to begin hammering out cuts for the 2006-2007 academic year, the District 518 Board of Education on Tuesday was presented a preliminary reductions list while welcoming staff and public input.
In providing the list, Superintendent John Landgaard told board members that a pre-referendum mailing to residents anticipated a minimum target of $400,000 for first-year reduction. But now, he said at Tuesday's regular meeting, "In order to balance the budget for the 2006-2007 year, $525,000 in reductions will need to be made." Further adjustments are possible, he added.
A District 518 operating referendum failed in November, forcing board members to consider major cuts for the next two years. Landgaard told the board Tuesday, "In the second year (2007-2008), without an operating referendum, we would be in Statutory Operating Debt without major reductions."
The administration list presented to board members Tuesday offered the following reductions for discussion for $631,500 (estimated savings are in parentheses):
l Close Prairie Lakes building and move to West building ($65,000)
l Reduce PSEO costs to colleges ($10,000)
l Terminate rental contracts with the city and NCIC for space ($25,000)
l Eliminate auto mechanics program ($30,000)
l Eliminate 2.0 FTE elementary teaching positions ($90,000)
l Eliminate 1.0 FTE Middle School teaching positions ($45,000)
l Eliminate Assistant Special Programs Director position ($80,000)
l Eliminate or reduce leadership funding ($6,000)
l Increase season ticket passes prices ($5,000)
l Eliminate 1.0 FTE Media Specialist position ($45,000)
l Eliminate 1.0 FTE translation position ($37,000)
l Increase rental fees ($1,000)
l Increase participation fees for all activities ($10,000)
l Reduce Activities Coordinator position ($5,000)
l Set staff development set aside at 1 percent ($100,000)
l Eliminate 0.8 FTE high school teaching position ($30,000)
l Eliminate 5.0 FTE paraprofessional positions ($75,000)
l Minimum activity fee for all students of $10 ($22,000)
Landgaard also submitted a discussion list for 2007-2008, which included: eliminate tennis, cross country, golf, cheerleading, debate, declam, gymnastics, dance line, pep band, jazz band, vocal ensembles, orchestra stipend; eliminate all day, every day kindergarten; eliminate orchestra; eliminate 2.0 FTE guidance positions in the Middle School and high school; eliminate 1.5 high school teaching positions; eliminate 1.0 FTE teaching position at ALC.
In setting discussion dates, board chairman Bob Jirele encouraged input from all sources.
"We would welcome input from our staff. I would also welcome any member of the community to attend a Feb. 13 public hearing, or feel free to contact any school board member at any time," Jirele said.