Archive for Wednesday, March 13, 2002

School board views lists of budget cut ideas

March 13, 2002

Baldwin School District administrators, teachers and even parents and patrons keep presenting ideas for possible budget cuts, but until the state legislature makes a final decision on school funding, they will remain just that ideas.

At Monday night's meeting, Supt. James White presented the Baldwin Board of Education another list of activities and programs that could be cut to help ease possible financial problems if the state votes to reduce funding to public schools.

"I really believe we're not in any position to act on any of these items right now," White said. "We're still a month and a half away before the legislature will make a decision.

"Because the picture's going to be so unclear for at least a month and a half, we want to keep the options in front of you that we might have to deal with," he said.

Because the state has yet to make a decision and next year's budget is still up in the air, the school district isn't approving any new programs including a junior high wrestling program.

The school board tabled the decision to start the new wrestling program for a second time because of the uncertainty of next year's budget.

"I just don't feel that we can approve it at this time," White said.

He said he didn't feel the board could approve a new program after being presented lists of possible cuts.

Board President Ed Schulte said the school board appreciated the compiled lists.

"We really are trying to look at all of the ideas presented," Schulte said. "It's going to be a really difficult thing to do."

He said it was important district patrons kept in touch with the state legislators.

"We need to make sure we're continuing to put pressure on them to support education," he said.

In other business, the school board:

Heard a presentation from Frankiser Hutchens architect Bill Woodhouse on the progress on the district's facilities projects.

Woodhouse showed the board a site plan of the new elementary school and discussed the traffic flow changes made, the sewer line placement, and the best places for pedestrian access.

He said the Kansas Department of Transportation has requested that the district conduct a traffic analysis study in front of the school site to determine if turn lanes and deceleration lanes are warranted.

The board approved in a 6-0 vote, with Board Member Curtis Trarbach abstaining, to deed the right of way of the street that will be located west of the new school to the city and continue platting and utility right of way with the city.

Woodhouse said bids for the elementary school and the renovations to Baldwin Junior High, Marion Springs Elementary and Vinland Elementary should be award by mid-May and construction should begin shortly after.

Approved in a 6-1 vote to change the graduation requirements by adding a semester of American Literature, a unit of biological science and a unit of physical science and one semester of computer applications. The change does not increase the required 24 hours needed to graduate.

Approved in a 7-0 vote the course fees for 2002-2003. This includes $10 for art classes, $25 for foods classes, $10 for welding classes and woods classes need to pay for the supplies used.

Approved in a 7-0 vote updates to the industrial arts technology classes. The updates will provide eight computer assisted learning modules for the high school in industrial arts.

The cost is $15,800 for the modules, $10,000 for the computers and $13,000 for the module furniture.

Most of the cost will be paid for with money from the school to career grant. The rest will come from capital outlay funds.

Met in executive session for 30 minutes. After executive session, the board approved in a 7-0 vote to buy 9.3 acres of land from Ralph Ruhlen for $200,000 over the next nine years. The land is adjacent to the northwest corner of Baldwin High School.

The board also approved in a 7-0 vote the resignation of BHS cheerleading sponsor Debbie Heinrich and the hiring of Bench Currie, BJHS head track coach; Mike Berg and Nick Harris, BJHS assistant track coaches; and Dwayne McIntyre, BHS assistant track coach.

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