The cuts were approved in separate votes at the board's meeting Monday night. Board members Wayne Statham and Jean Ann Glasnovich voted against the cuts. Voting in favor were Tianna Cervantez, Ellen Spittell, Joshua Gibb, and Amy Pickrel. Board President Bob Lindstrom was not at the meeting.
Superintendent Ralph Grimm said two factors were driving the decision to make cuts: declining enrollment and declining state financial support.
"When they’re not paying all the general state aid that we’re entitled to. When they’re not making their payments in the mandated categoricals, things that they direct us to do, and assure us there will be reimbursements to help offset those costs, it impacts us on the revenue side of the budget," Grimm said.
The board considered six budget cutting recommendations and approved four of them for a savings of $792,736:
- Eliminating 10 elementary teaching positions ($450,000 savings)
- Reorganizing library services for K-12 ($231,161)
- Reorganizing health services ($95,311)
- Eliminating the summer driver's ed program ($16,264)
The district will replace its three registered nurses with a District Health Coordinator and eight licensed practical nurses. The move will put an LPN at each school building in the district.
The district's seven librarians will be reduced to two. They will monitor the district's library collection. A paraprofessional will be at libraries in each school building to check out books for students.
Grimm said students who are currently enrolled in the summer driver's education program will be able to finish the program.
Human Resources Director Jon Bradburn said it's too soon to know how many people might lose their jobs. He said it's possible people who have their positions cut could move to other jobs within the district.
The board tabled a proposal to reorganize the security staff at the high school. The original plan was to eliminate two positions and add an assistant principal. But the board wanted to consider keeping the two while adding the assistant principal and filling a dean position that's been left open.
The board also voted down a proposal to replace three outreach positions in the district with five assistant principals.
Superintendent Grimm said even with the cuts, the projected shortfall will be around $400,000. He said reserves will be used to fill the gap.