Archive for Wednesday, April 10, 2002

District still looking for ways to save money

April 10, 2002

The Baldwin School District is still looking at ways it can cut back in its budget, but the options currently being considered aren't as drastic as they once were.

Supt. James White presented the Board of Education Monday night with a revised list of ways the district could save money.

"I tried very hard to stay away from staff reductions," White said. "But we are still looking at some of the options we discussed before."

The district's need to take a closer look at next year's budget comes after proposals in the state legislature that would reduce school funding up to $158 per student.

White said more recent legislature proposals indicates school funding for next year could be maintained at the current $3,870 per student or possibly increase $10 per student.

Even though funding could increase slightly, he said that wouldn't be enough to cover the district's expenses that continue to increase yearly. Included in the increases will be the district's property and casualty insurance, which, he said, went up because the companies are covering the expenses of the Sept. 11 incident.

Some of the options included on the revised list White presented to the board included restructuring transportation, summer school and overtime of the custodial staff, reducing the number of assistant coaches, especially in football, increasing lunch prices, textbook rental and sport activity user fees and eliminating off-season conditioning and the high school newspaper.

"I think we have a far superior proposal than what we had before," he said. "I think it's something we can accomplish and not tear apart some of the programs we're trying to develop."

Board member Linda Rogers said she agreed.

"I think if we can get by this year without cuts on our personnel, then this district's done a commendable job," Rogers said.

In other business, the school board:

Received an update from Frangkiser Hutchens architect Bill Woodhouse about the construction of the new elementary school and the additions to the Baldwin Junior High School, Vinland Elementary School and Marion Springs Elementary School.

Woodhouse told the board the Baldwin City Planning Commission would review and approve the final site plans for the new school and BJHS Tuesday night. The final plans will then be sent out this week to contractors for bidding.

Site plans for VES and MSES will also be sent out this week for bidding.

He said all bids will be received by May 9 and they will be presented to the board at the May 13 meeting.

Heard a proposal from junior high language arts teachers about placing more of an emphasis on reading by adding it as a core class at BJHS.

The board will consider the proposal at the next meeting.

Met in executive session for 20 minutes to discuss personnel and land acquisition.

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