School board approves adjustments

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 4/19/00.

Staff and revenue adjustments were approved by the Paynesville Area School Board at their Tuesday night meeting.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell proposed several adjustments at its March 28 meeting and asked the board to talk with teachers and staff members before making a decision to approve the recommendations.

Caldwell showed the board a 15-year historical analysis of the district's general fund balance. "In 1990, the district reduced $150,000 from the budget and changed how they did business," he said. "By 1994-95, we accumulated a nice balance and had our largest enrollment ever. Since that time, the enrollment numbers have dropped drastically. We do not have a lot of revenue sources to make up the dollars lost to declining enrollment," he added.

Caldwell hopes the budget balance at the end of the year will be better than expected. "Most of the time we don't spend everything in our expenditure budget. At times, we get more revenue than anticipated," he said.

"I feel we have more problems than we realize. Many are in denial that there is a budget revenue decline," according to Caldwell.

Because of the budget projections, Caldwell recommends the board start looking at reductions for the 2001-2002 school year.

"I don't want to push for deeper cuts yet," board chairman Pat Flanders said. "I prefer to be optimistic. We can survive for the moment. This year's audit will be critical. It will provide us with information as to what direction we need to look at for the future."

Flanders recommended making adjust-ments in an appropriate time frame to meet budget needs.

Staff adjustments
At the elementary level, Jim Elseth, fourth grade instructor will not be replaced after he retires. Another teacher already on staff would fill the position, a savings of more than $40,000.

The teacher aides in the elementary school will be cut back 15 minutes per day, and Dee Linn, retiring aide, would not be replaced, a savings of more than $26,400.

At the middle school, the teacher hired to work with at-risk students through the West Central Education District would be eliminated, a savings of $7,500.

After reviewing all the proposed budget adjustments at the different grade levels, the district could save about $69,556 next year.

Athletic adjustments
Revenue adjustments included raising the annual fees for athletic passes, fees to athletic events, and athletic participation fees for next year.

At present, admission to home games is $3 for adults and $1 for students. Student rates could be raised to $2; a revenue increase of about $3,000. It was suggested that the adult rate also be increased $1.

Adult athletic passes are presently $25 per person or $50 per couple. They would raise $10 each; an estimated revenue increase of about $650, based on the number of passes sold this year.

Student athletic passes are presently $15 for kindergarten through fifth grade and $20 for middle and high school students. It was proposed to raise the rates $5 each, an estimated revenue increase of about $825, based on the number of passes sold this year.

Athletic participation fees are presently $10 for middle school students and $20 for high school students. It is proposed to raise the fees $5, an estimated revenue increase of $3,445.

With the approval of all recom-mendations, revenue would increase about $7,920.

Other business
• The board approved the disability leave and retirement request of Lorraine Skrypek, middle school special education instructor. She will be utilizing disability leave until the end of this school year and then will retire.

• The board approved the retirement request from Carol Warmbold, middle school instructional assistant.

•The board approved changing the meeting time on May 9 from 8 p.m. to 2 p.m. in order to meet with the Youth Advisory Council. The meeting will be held at the Paynesville Area Middle School media center.

•The board approved setting Tuesday, May 16, at 7 p.m., as a special meeting date to review curriculum programming from department chairpersons.

Return to Archives