Instead of cutting 25 percent from the supply budget, board chairperson Pat Flanders suggested increasing extracurricular participation fees to generate extra revenue to help pay for their supplies.
By increasing extracurricular activity fees., the board wouldn't have to cut as much from the supply budget. Currently, participants in sports and danceline pay $25. One way to raise extra revenue would be to increase that fee to $40.
Fees also could be charged for other extracurricular activities, which currently are not charged. These extracurricular activities include cheerleading, Knowledge Bowl, Future Farmers of America, Future Leaders of America, school plays, jazz band, marching band, pops choir, and speech.
Board member Deb Glenz backed the idea of spreading the charges equally. She thought everybody should pay the same fee.
Some of the board members felt the fee would be too steep for some families to pay. The district currently has a family maximum fee of $100. A new family fee could be set.
Flanders also suggested starting a scholarship fund to help cover participation fees for those unable to pay. "I would be willing to help students compete by writing a check," Flanders added.
The board also discussed some other cuts.
Flanders responded to a letter questioning why the custodial staff faces no cuts. He said there weren't any specific cuts in custodial staff but their work load already will be increasing once the auditorium and fitness center are completed.
Flanders proposed the board continue to meet twice a month, but be reimbursed for only one meeting. He said the board tried to cut back to one meeting a month before and found it did not work as the board members felt out of touch.
Board member Dan Andersen suggested e-mailing back and forth instead of meeting as a means of staying in touch, but superintendent Howard Caldwell wondered if this would violate the open meeting law.
Flanders didn't feel that e-mailing would work either. "The meetings bring us together to discuss issues. We wouldn't have the same interaction and exchange of ideas via e-mail," he said.
Flanders also suggested cutting the high school library aide just one hour per day and not two. The aide monitors the library while the librarian is in the middle school. Without the aide's supervision, the high school library will have to be closed to students for those hours.
Caldwell reminded the board he needed their prioritized lists of budget cuts before Friday, Feb. 16, so he could have a tabulation ready for the Tuesday, Feb. 27, board meeting.
The board has been presented with list of $685,000 of potential cuts. An expected $500,000 in cuts should be decided on at the Feb. 27 meeting, based on the members' prioritized lists.
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