By Linda Scherer
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN The Lester Prairie School Board has asked for public input before making any kind of recommendations on possible 2009-10 school year budget cuts that were presented at its regular meeting last Monday. Contact school board members to offer suggestions on budget cuts (click here).
The suggested cuts were made by Superintendent Greg East as requested by the school board at its January meeting in preparation for probable state revenue cuts in education that will be made in May. To see a schedule of lost revenue, click here.
To get the general public’s comments and suggestions on the upcoming budget cuts, the board has scheduled a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 2 in the school gym.
East’s suggested budget cuts totaling $600,233 were made because of possible revenue reductions by the state, and also because of the declining enrollment in the school district.
Due to declining enrollment, East recommended a cut of $345,165.
• The loss of 31 students since 2006-07 school year, without any previous budget reductions, shows a reduction in revenue of $241,813.
• a projected loss of 10 students from 2008 to 2010 is a reduction of $78,004 in revenue.
• a loss of one-time money at $51 per student will be a reduction of $25,347 in revenue.
The second budget cut deals with the projected loss of 5 percent or $127,534 in general aid revenue from the state.
The third recommended budget cut includes the possibility of an additional loss of $127,534 or 5 percent in general aid in state revenue (making it a total of 10 percent).
East was not present at the meeting because of a serious car accident he had been in on Feb. 7 on his way to his hometown in Sioux Falls, SD.
Secondary Principal Scott Fitzsimonds said East could return to school later this week.
East has asked the school board to look over his proposed reductions and get back to him by March 9 so that he can present the board with the 2009-10 budget cuts at its Monday, March 16 school board meeting.
School Board Member Joe Miller said that another levy might bring in additional funds but the money would not come into the school as revenue for more than another year.
Proposed seventh period school day
Fitzsimonds proposed a seven period school day for the high school beginning with the 2009-10 school year.
According to Fitzsimonds, the additional hour would better align the day to the iTV schedule for increased opportunities, expand student options, and provide more flexibility in schedule to meet student needs.
Fitzsimonds told the board he would ask for formal approval at the regular meeting in March.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• was reminded that the cyber bullying lyceum for the public is at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23.
• congratulated the varsity boys basketball team for winning the MCAA championship.
• learned about a spring sports meeting and registration at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1 at Holy Trinity gym.
• approved Marc Kohler as JV baseball coach.
• approved an ad purchase of $495 in the Lester Prairie community guidebook and additional guidebooks at East’s discretion for $1 each.
• approved the acceptance of bids for lawn service for 2009 to be reviewed at the March 16 school board meeting.