Area News | Home | Marketplace | Community

Return to Archived Stories

Paynesville Press - March 20, 2002

Board approves final budget cuts

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Area School board officially adopted eliminating 26 items, totalling $407, 883, from its budget for the 2002-03 school year at its meeting on Tuesday, March 12.

The district needed to make $500,000 in budget adjustments to comply with the state, since the district is in statutory operating debt. The district submitted a plan to the state in January, indicating how it planned to balance its budget, rebuild a general fund balance, and escape statutory operating debt.

When making the cuts, with what little money it had to spare, the board opted to save teachers in the second, sixth, and seventh grades.

Then $65,667 from the "Keep the Quality" Campaign allowed it to reinstate seven items. The board also agreed to keep another teacher last week, allowing a math position in the middle and high schools to be saved even though the fund-raising campaign came a few thousand dollars short from paying for it. Since the board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26, when a decision on the cuts was announced, the district has received some additional donations, but not enough to pay for the entire teaching position.

The math teacher had the same rating (a combined score from all seven board members used to rank the items considered for reduction) as danceline and cheerleading.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell suggested the board keep all three, since it would be fairer than trying to decide which one should be cut.

The board also approved two revenue enhancements: charging for student parking and raising athletic fees. The board has yet to officially set these new fees.

Contact the author at   •   Return to News Menu

Home | Marketplace | Community