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Public meeting on budget cuts Monday

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WORTHINGTON -- The District 518 Board of Education is moving swiftly on budget reductions for the 2006-2007 school year, but before final decisions are made, the public will have one more chance for input.

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At 7 p.m. Monday in the Worthington High School cafeteria, the second of two public meetings will take place.

"It's set up to answer questions brought forth during the first public meeting (in February)," said board chairman Bob Jirele Friday.

Approximately 160 residents appeared at the February meeting, Jirele said, and he expressed the board's appreciation -- not only with citizen interest for the first meeting, but also with the many phone calls and letters received regarding possible cuts.

"Even right down to the students," Jirele said.

At Monday's meeting, questions will be separated among seven categories, with school board members taking turns to address them. Jirele will answer questions on staffing. Joel Wiltrout will answer questions on transportation, Steve Schnieder on administrative costs, Linden Olson on activities and revenue and expenditures, Joel Lorenz on programs, and Lori Dudley on the referendum board members are now considering for November.

"We're going to spend about three minutes on each category, and spend the rest of the time clarifying the cuts for 2006-'07," Jirele said.

Jirele also said administration and staff has been working together to find the approximately $500,000 in cuts needed to be made for 2006-2007. He was especially pleased that teachers offered to give up $100,000 in staff development money.

If a reduction consensus is reached before then, Jirele said, the school board may use its March 28 regular meeting to arrive at firm commitments.

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Doug Wolter
Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and six grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He self-publishes short stories in his spare time. One of his stories, "The Genuine One," is being distributed by a national publisher.
(507) 376-7328
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