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Edgerton schools eye budget cuts

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
January 25, 2011
— With a potential $500,000 budget gap looming for the 2011-2012 school year, the Edgerton School District on Monday gave the school board its first look at cuts being planned.

District administrators are proposing $490,000 in cuts that include a reduction of two elementary school teaching positions. The district says that move alone could save $165,000 in salary and benefits.


In another big ticket cut, eliminating the district's building and grounds director and administrative assistant positions would save a combined $132,000.


Chris Dupre, the district's former building and grounds director, resigned voluntarily in November, Superintendent Dennis Pauli said.


Under a district plan, two building and maintenance staff members will oversee building and grounds operations while the district's business office will oversee the department's budget.


The cuts come as the district grapples with continued trends in declining student enrollment, rising district costs and flattening state funding—a 3-pronged dilemma that has prompted cuts in each of the past three school years.


Compounding the district's financial woes, officials say, is a flattening in the district's state-set revenue cap, which determines the bulk of district spending.


In earlier estimates, the district had anticipated a $300,000 increase in its revenue cap, which would have allowed a spending increase in the district of $200 per student in 2010-2011.


But district officials now believe the state might only boost the revenue limit to $100 per-student this year, based on estimates by a state lobbyist for school districts.


That could widen the district's estimated budget gap by $180,000, leaving the district with a $500,000 budget deficit in 2011-2012. The district used that as a worst-case scenario to craft the cuts detailed Monday night, officials said.


Pauli said administrators plan teacher reductions in the district's elementary schools in anticipation of declining enrollments. That would reduce staff the district had hired on a one-year basis to manage bubbles in student population in the lower grade levels.


Pauli said the cuts won't affect class sizes or programs next year, but he and other officials suggest the district will face deeper cuts in 2012-2013.


SUGGESTED CUTS

The Edgerton School District faces a possible budget deficit in 2011-2012 of $500,000. District officials presented the Edgerton School Board with $490,350 in suggested cuts Monday, including:


-- Cutting two full-time elementary school teachers. Because of declining enrollments, the cuts would not increase in class sizes: Estimated savings of $165,000.


-- Replacing the building and grounds director position with two coordinators of building and grounds, health and safety, and operations: Estimated savings of $63,750.


-- Eliminating building and grounds administrative assistant position: Estimated savings of $68,000.


-- Cutting building and grounds budget: Estimated savings of $37,000.


-- Reconfiguring schedules for music, art and physical education: Estimated savings of $47,500.


-- Imposing various budget cuts at elementary, middle and high schools: Estimated savings of $49,000.


-- Reconfiguring special education: Estimated savings of $22,000.


-- Replacing stipend that paid for staff to call substitute teachers with automated online system: Estimated savings of $12,000.


Source: Edgerton School District



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