Committee proposes more school budget cuts
JANESVILLE Fewer coaches and higher fees are in store for Janesville students who want to play high school sports next year.
And high schoolers who want to use the parking lots might pay $100, twice as much as this year.
A school board committee on Monday recommended those changes to the full board, which will take up the recommendations when it meets Thursday.
The committee heard a presentation from athletics directors Rick Lehman and Monte Phillips that included $165,000 in cuts or revenue enhancers to the district's $1.1 million athletics budget.
The committee recommended the board adopt all the changes, which are:
-- Cut the apparel budget by $40,000.
-- Cut a football coach at each high school, saving $4,000.
-- Cut the JV pompon and cheerleading coaches at both schools, saving $8,500.
-- Cut a volleyball coach at each school, saving $3,400.
-- Cut a Parker boys golf coach to even up the numbers with Craig, saving $1,600.
-- Cut a boys hockey coach, saving $2,800.
-- Increase gate fees, now $3 for adults and $2 students, to $3 and $5, bringing in an additional $50,000.
-- Increase athletics fees from $50 to $75 per season, raising $42,515.
-- Increase fees charged to other schools attending Janesville sports tournaments by $50, raising $12,050.
The committee also reviewed but took no action on a series of likely controversial cuts that Superintendent Karen Schulte has put on her list for the board to consider. They include:
-- Converting all custodial jobs to part-time, eliminating the need to pay benefits.
-- Eliminating stipends paid to teachers who serve as department heads, grade-unit leaders and similar positions, saving $1.37 million. Schulte said teachers might volunteer to fill those duties, but the district would need to check whether it would be legal to have teachers volunteer for positions they previously were paid for.
-- Cutting middle school intramurals and high school girls hockey, saving $30,000.
-- Cutting middle school sports, saving $194,422.
-- Paying only head coaches, saving $221,440.
-- Cutting the maintenance-projects budget by $1 million, leaving about $500,000.
Board member Kevin Murray said it's wrong to convert all custodians to part-time. He prefers cutting those jobs.
"Why do this to these people. It doesn't make sense to me," Murray said.
Schulte is not recommending the cuts.
"I know you will not select all of these things, and some will have to be researched further," Schulte said.
Schulte said her previous list of cuts to teachers and secretaries, clerks and aides goes too far and would put the district in a "danger zone" when it comes to giving students what they need to succeed.
The board on Thursday will take up the issue of using district financial reserves. The more of the reserves that are used, the fewer cuts will have to be made, Murray pointed out.
Murray has proposed using $2.7 million of the so-called Fund 10 balance, well above the $1.1 million allowed by board policy. The policy would have to be changed.
Using more of that money could force the district into short-term borrowing for cash flow purposes, and its bond rating could go down.
Murray said those risks pale in comparison to the risks of not providing "the fundamentals for our students."