District budget cuts bad, but could be worse
Supt. Paul Dorathy announced Monday night that the Baldwin School District could be facing $741,000 in cuts to the 2009-2010 budget.
That total results from state funding cuts and health insurance problems within the district. Dorathy reported the number at the school board meeting Monday.
“It’s better than it could have been,” Dorathy said. “There were times when they were talking about a 10-18 percent cut. That was significantly reduced. It ended up being about a 2.7 percent cut for next year.”
The largest portion of the cuts will stem from the health insurance problems. Dorathy is predicting the district will have to spend around $400,000 to get all full-time employees on the plan next year. That money is in addition to the $360,000 the district paid for health insurance this year.
On Monday, Dorathy said the district has received insurance quotes from three companies. There was no decision Monday, but health insurance must be agreed upon by the teachers’ union before it’s finalized.
“I do think our employees are going to end up with some decent health care,” Dorathy said. “That was our goal from the beginning.”
The district will also be dealing with $204,000 in cuts from the state. The funding per pupil was decreased from $4,433 to $4,400 this year. That cut the district’s budget by $56,000.
The state legislature passed a bill to cut school funding by about three percent. The funding per pupil will drop another $120 next school year down to $4,280.
“That is what they passed and that’s what we have to work with,” Dorathy said.
The other piece of the budget puzzle will be helping fund the special education co-op that Baldwin shares with Eudora and Wellsville. Dorathy said the co-op’s budget was also cut for next year, so the district might be paying an extra $80,000 to help its finances.
At the April 27 school board meeting, it was announced that there will be some administrative cuts. Dorathy said there might be more of those, but no other cuts have been announced. He said those might be announced in the upcoming weeks.
“We’re kind of working out some last-minute details,” Dorathy said. “There have been a few adjustments to the list of cuts that was announced as this process has gone along. We’ve been informing staff and we’ll inform more staff this next week. We’ll also be informing people that certain programs may be cut. We are pretty much sticking with what we started with on that list.”
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