By Linda Scherer
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie School Board will be looking at additional cuts to its proposed 2009-10 budget at its regular school board meeting tonight, after more news came out about the state’s upcoming cuts in general aid to k-12 education.
Superintendent Greg East is now recommending the school look at his original recommendation of $600,000 in reductions and not just budget cuts to adjust for the school’s declining enrollment.
He is basing his latest proposal on news coming from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
East references an article in the Tri-County Record of Rushford, quoting Senator Sharon Erickson Ropes (DFL-Winona) who told a gathering of school board members March 1 at a Rushford-Peterson High School that k-12 education will be looking at some cuts regardless of the federal stimulus package.
She suggested the Rushford-Peterson district plan for a “five, 10 and 15 percent scenario for budget cuts,” according to the Tri-County Record.
East said that Ropes’ comments “changes the view held by the review of the stimulus bill offer in Washington, DC. . . She even mentions a 15 percent cut,” East said.
Because of Ropes’ implied reductions, East now suggests the board look at his original proposed Tier II and Tier III budget cuts.
East plans to address his concerns to the school board at tonight’s meeting.
The board had been looking at a $345,000 cut due to the decline in student enrollment.
An additional budget cut of $250,000 which East is suggesting is based on a possible state cut of 10 percent in general aid to education.
To e-mail board members, click here.