Archive for Thursday, March 11, 2010

School board eyes budget cut possibilities

The Baldwin School Board listens Monday night as Kit Harris, left, introduces journalism students who were recognized for their achievements. He did the same with his wrestling team that finished ninth at the recent Class 4A State Tournament in Salina.

The Baldwin School Board listens Monday night as Kit Harris, left, introduces journalism students who were recognized for their achievements. He did the same with his wrestling team that finished ninth at the recent Class 4A State Tournament in Salina.

March 11, 2010

With hundreds of thousands of dollars already cut from last year’s budget, the Baldwin School Board is beginning to prepare for possible cuts next year.

On Monday night, Supt. Paul Dorathy said the district has lost $933,000 from its budget, but that doesn’t include the reallocation of funds to pay for health insurance for all full-time employees.

“I do think we’re ahead of the game,” Dorathy said. “I think we will be talking about cuts for next year, while most districts are talking about cuts that we’ve already made this year.”

After summarizing the cuts this year, Dorathy moved on to the future. He said the state legislature is considering a bill that would cut their per-pupil funding by $286 for next school year. That would cause the Baldwin district to lose $501,000 in state funding.

Although no decision has been made by the legislature, Dorathy wants the district to be prepared if cuts have to be made for next year.

“I am concerned that if we don’t plan well and we get cut in the middle of the year next year, we don’t have any place to go,” Dorathy said. “It’s not just the $500,000, it could be more than that. They are telling us we could be getting cut again next year in the middle of the year.

“It’s not positive news and it’s not anything anybody wants to hear, but it is what it is,” he said. “I felt like this was an appropriate time to bring up this topic.”

The school board didn’t discuss any potential cuts for next year. Board Member Ande Parks did bring up the topic of consolidation. He received an e-mail saying districts might be forced to consolidate into sizes of at least 10,000 students.

“If this happens, it means Mr. Dorathy and the superintendents in Wellsville and Ottawa wouldn’t have jobs,” Board President Alison Bauer said. “That doesn’t help the state’s economy, because you have more people who are unemployed. We need to let the legislature know that’s not what we want.”

Later in the meeting, the school board briefly discussed the fact-finding committee’s report. Over the past two months, the committee met seven times and gathered information and numbers about seven significant ideas that the school board might consider if significant cuts are necessary next year.

Those seven items are a four-day school week, elementary attendance centers, closing one elementary school, closing two elementary schools, transportation, activities and administration organization. The final report from the committee totaled 205 pages.

“You’re not going to find any recommendations in this report,” Dorathy said. “I think you use this as a reference. That’s what it is. It’s a reference.”

Dorathy reported that the fact-finding committee wants to hold a work session with the school board. That is now scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 22 at the District Office.

He said the district will release the report to the public after the work session.

“I agree,” Board Member Scott Lauridsen said. “I want to get it out to the public as soon as possible, but it might be helpful if we make it more public friendly before putting it on the Web site.”


Torch 10 years, 5 months ago

Good of Kit to show up well-dressed to introduce these fine students.

Insofar as cuts - make them. Any school district that could afford to pay an Athletic Director $65,000 a year a few years ago should have plenty of fat.


cranky 10 years, 4 months ago

Thank you, Kit, for recognizing your students. Some of us appreciate your efforts.

Torch, your comments are hateful. Did both of your little jabs make you feel better? I feel sorry for anyone so shallow and mean.


sportsfan 10 years, 4 months ago

A LOT of us appreciate Kit's efforts. And great job, students.

Josh Hanson has a great future ahead of him.


Peabody 10 years, 4 months ago

Kit Harris is a great teacher and a great coach. Our school district is lucky to have him working with our students. I think we should all thank him for his tireless efforts.

Tony Brown


Stacy Napier 10 years, 4 months ago

Hey he wore his best tee shirt. Geeez.

What Torch is saying that it shows a lot about professionalism. How many of you go to a job interview wearing jeans and a tee-shirt?

I am sure Kit is a great teacher, but set an example. A well dressed professional commands more respect.


hanson377 10 years, 4 months ago

Honestly, I think Kit Harris's outfit was very sharp. And when I grow up I hope that I can be an anonymous poster that bashes on other people to make themselves feel better.

-Josh Hanson


tuna_loves_wrestling 10 years, 4 months ago

So if Kit Harris is not allowed to wear casual attire, then does everyone in the crowd have to dress up. Why is this such a big deal that someone has to bash on Mr. Harris' outfit when that has nothing at all to do with the subject of this article. I agree with most of the other people who posted, AND LEFT THERE NAMES, that said Mr. Harris is a great man who has done amazing things for our schools, the community, and especially me. I also really like Josh Hanson's post lol

-Jesse Austin #58


hanson377 10 years, 4 months ago

Lastly, I do not think it is very "professional" to anonymously bash individuals. Maybe you two need to rethink your definition of professionalism.

-Josh Hanson


Amorgan13 10 years, 4 months ago

If I remember correctly Kit Harris was there for maybe 15 minutes tops, and the only reason he was there was to introduce the state wrestlers. Its not like he was even part of the discoussion about the budget cuts. So yeah I am with Josh and Tuna on this one. Oh yeah and just to let you know he was wearing a baldwin wrestling shirt, and he was there representing baldwin wrestling so I think he did a great job dressing up!!

  • Andrew Morgan

BaldwinDad 10 years, 4 months ago

Wait a second...your telling me we are paying $65k for an athletic director??? Please let me know if there is something else his job is responsible for? Because I'm sorry while I don't agree with random bashing I certainly don't agree with paying a Coach twice the average income for an area.


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