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|Paynesville Press - Feb. 5, 2003|
District #741 School Board
The Paynesville Area School Board took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 28.|
With limited space and with uncertainties like the airport zoning and the future route of Highway 23, a majority of the board members felt that it would not be prudent to allow school property to be used at this point. The board took no action on the request by the pool committee, which was meant to show this lack of interest in participating in the project. (See full story here.)
State law requires the district to spend two percent of its aid on staff development, but the district, due to its recent finances, has opted to spend less, including last year when staff development spending was frozen because the district was in statutory operating debt.
Spending less than two percent requires the approval of the teachers, who also approved spending 0.325 percent or $20,000. Staff development funds will be split as such: $5,000 for district wide, $5,000 for grants, $3,900 for the elementary school, $3,400 for the high school, and $2,700 for the middle school.
In 2003-04, the district expects to lose 22 students, in 2004-05 25 students, in 2005-06 25 students, and in 2006-07 30 students. To accommodate this loss of students (and the corresponding loss in revenue as the state pays schools based on the number of students), budget reductions will still be needed, Caldwell told the board.
Caldwell kept the budget reduction recommendations in the district's statutory operating debt plan that it filed with the state. In 2003-04, this would mean $150,000 in budget cuts; in 2004-05, $150,000 in cuts; in 2005-06, $200,000; and in 2006-07, $230,000 in cuts. The district needs to continue to be careful when it comes to spending and to use retirements to cut staff where possible, said Caldwell.
The administration is currently looking at budget recommendations for the 2003-04 school year in an effort to reduce the budget by $150,000. The plan, which Caldwell hopes to bring to the school board in February, would look at budget reductions, reinstatement of some programs that were previously cut, and at revenue enhancements.
If the board is comfortable with the administration plan, they could approve it, said board chairman Pat Flanders. If not, they could open the process, even seeking public input. "Hopefully, there'll be some logic to it," said Flanders. "If we don't like the logic, then we can open it up."
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