Archive for Wednesday, February 13, 2002

School board views possible budget cuts

February 13, 2002

The Baldwin School District is already looking at ways it can cut expenses from next year's budget.

Supt. James White presented the Baldwin Board of Education with a list of potential items made by the district's administrators that could be cut next year to help the schools save money.

White said the cuts could be necessary if the state legislature continues to talk about cutting school aid by $158 per student for the 2002-2003 school year, which would mean Baldwin would be receiving $270,000 less than it did this year.

"The news out of Topeka's not getting any better," White said.

Included on the 27-item list of possible cutbacks is the delay in the purchase of new textbook adoptions, new athletic uniforms, a new school bus, new band instruments and additional classroom computers.

The elimination of some staff at all levels and the school resource officer are also listed as potential cutbacks.

Board Member Lonnie Broers said some of the cutbacks could be real possibilities.

"With all indications so far, we're probably going to have to do some of this," Broers said. "It's still not too late for people to write their congressman, right?"

Board President Ed Schulte said even though it's not pleasant, now is the time to start looking at ways to save money.

"Well, at least we have to identify the potential because we don't know what will happen," he said. "We don't have a choice.

"It's frustrating," Schulte said. "It's a big topic and an unpleasant one."

In other business, the school board:

Appointed Alison Bauer as board member. Bauer will fill the vacancy left by former board member Roger Arnold who resigned his post after serving on the board for 13 years.

Heard a facilities presentation from Frangkiser Hutchens architect Bill Woodhouse. Woodhouse showed the board site plans with the most recent changes for the new elementary school and the Vinland Elementary School and Baldwin Junior High School additions and renovations.

He said the plans have been submitted to the city site council for approval.

Heard a presentation from Curriculum Director Carolyn Groves and Baldwin High School Principal Allen Poplin about making changes to graduation requirements that would be implemented in the fall of 2002.

The additions would require students to take a semester of American Literature, two units of laboratory science (one a biological science and one a physical science) and one semester of computer applications.

Students would not be required to take more than 24 credit hours, which is what is currently needed to graduate.

"We're placing more focus and trying to be a little more guided," Groves said. "This provides an avenue to focus on those things."

The board will discuss the changes at next month's meeting.

Met in executive session for 45 minutes to discuss personnel and negotiations.

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