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Paynesville Press - October 17, 2001

School Board Election 2001 (Part III)

Nine candidates are vying for four open spots on the school board. Throughout the month of October, the candidates and their positions on some key educational issues will be featured in the Press. The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from noon to 8 p.m. in the west lobby at Paynesville Area Elementary School.

Today's Questions:
(1) If more budget cuts become necessary, what specific areas - arts, athletics, teaching staff, administration, support staff, wages, etc. - would you target for reductions?
(2) As district funds allow, where do you see funding needs in the school district?

Gary Heineman Gary Heineman
(1) I would not be opposed to considering any of the above options. I do believe we need to be willing to be more creative about financing athletics. It's time to look at combining some supervisory positions.

(2) Technology is always an issue to be kept up with. In our ever-diverse society, we should look at more regarding world languages. Teachers and all staff need time for more planning. This is valuable time, and I've seen the benefits to students that this provides.

Deb Glenz Deb Glenz
(1) I believe that with schools being funded the way that they are it is not a matter of “if more cuts become necessary” but “when the cuts become necessary.” I believe we have reached the point with our enrollment numbers that we need to give some serious consideration to going with a two-school system. I don't believe our numbers can continue to support the need for three administrators.

(2) Technology is and will continue to be an area of funding needs. I would also like to see some college-prep classes offered for students in our district.

Mark Dingmann Mark Dingmann
(1) I would have to do a lot of research before making a decision on this issue. However, cutting our teaching staff any further would not be an option for me. I believe we need all the teachers we have and more. If the excess levy passes, I would hope that further budget cuts would not become necessary.

(2) Create a better learning environment for our students by supplying classrooms with TVs, computers, and updated textbooks. Offer more electives, advanced placement courses, and teachers as needed.

Bob Stoneburner Bob Stoneburner
(1) If forced to select one of the areas listed, it would most likely be the administration. However, further reductions are not an option, as the current board has already made very substantial cuts. We can't keep cutting everything if our goal is to maintain a quality educational institution.

(2) In light of recent budget cuts, there are many, and if we had the luxury of available funds we could start by restoring programs cut in the past. Unfortunately, the present state of financial affairs is such that our only option is to apply all revenues to meet current obligations.

Tami Stanger Tami Stanger
(1) To receive a truly good education, all of these areas are equally as important. Having said that, I see making any further cuts to these areas as detrimental to education. However, if the need arises for more budget cuts, I feel the best approach is to cut some of the budget from each of these areas. The arts and athletics portion of the budget is already small in comparison to other areas. I also feel a lot of the arts and athletics are almost self-supporting. Declining enrollment, if substantiated, means less students, which seem to lead toward less teachers. However, as a mother of a second grader, these children are about one and a half years ahead of where I was at the same age. As far as administrative cuts, if push came to shove, I would question the need for a middle school principal.

(2) I think an area our district is poor in is accelerated learning programs. As well as children who need extra help, there are children who need to be challenged. Also, some electives for college preparation and ethics would be very beneficial.

Sandy Spanier Sandy Spanier
(1) If that happens, I wouldn't want to target a specific area. Instead I would take a small amount from a few different ones.

(2) I would like to see more funds in the direction of our special kids, so they can get the education they need and not slip through the cracks.

Allen Schmidt Allen Schmidt
(1) If more budget cuts become necessary, I do not have any specific area targeted. All parts of the budget should be looked at closely. We may need to continue looking at user fees to help subsidize extracurricular activities.

(2) I do not have any pet projects, nor do I know of any gaping holes in our programs at present.

Steve Olson Steve Olson
(1) IIf budget cuts become necessary, I feel that the situation would have to be dealt with on a case by case situation.

(2) I feel that I am not informed enough on this issue to comment.

Don Kelm Don Kelm
(1) I would like the board to have to show us the budget they have now. After seeing it, I'd start cutting the least effective targets. I can't say what areas I'd cut until I see the total picture of how our school is run. Everybody doesn't see the budget unless they are on the board or administration.

(2) In the classroom, for the students. Examples: ag shop, FFA, and industrial tech.

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