Budget guess in the black for next school year
Budget cuts to Hillsboro schools didn’t disappear Monday when business manager Jerry Hinerman told board members next year’s budget could show a surplus of about $35,000, but the news was sufficient to reduce cuts to supplemental positions proposed in May.
“The budget is never done,” Sup erintendent Steve Noble said, noting the legislature hadn’t yet passed a budget for 2015-16.
All the cuts enacted to address this year’s shortfall will carry over into next year, but he commended staff for cutting spending by more than 10 percent, which contributed to the positive budget projection.
“We’re tightening up as tight as we can make it without affecting kids in the classroom,” Noble said.
Noble’s new recommendation was to cut a vacant student club sponsorship and weight room supervisor spots for fall and winter.
Board members added high school assistant coaching positions in volleyball and boys’ basketball to the cut list, after discussing participation data and a survey of Mid Kansas League school coaching positions. The cuts will leave both sports with one assistant coach.
Board member Rod Koons said other schools might make better comparisons.
“Comparing to our league schools is OK, but we need to look at what’s best for us here,” he said. “We could probably compare to other schools in other leagues that we’re more like.”
Noble replied that the survey was important to consider if remaining competitive was a goal.
“We expect our kids to compete in this league,” he said. “We expect to compete, but we’re a little smaller.”
The board retained a spring weight room supervisor spot because student usage was much higher than in fall or winter.
Kim Klein was the only board member to vote against the reductions.
The base salary amount for teachers went up $100 as the board approved the negotiated master agreement.
Hinerman said the estimated additional salary cost to the district would be $14,329.
Tenure for school teachers was eliminated last year, prompting the inclusion of a new section on contract renewals.
New teachers will be on probation for three years. The board can choose not to renew a teacher’s contract for any reason during that period.
In their fourth and subsequent years, teachers can be subject to contract nonrenewal for “just cause,” and the agreement describes a process of improvement for underperforming teachers.
In other business:
- A $43,189 contract with ATHCO of Lenexa was approved to complete renovations to the west playground at Hillsboro Elementary School. The improvements were required under the terms of a $48,000 Department of Health and Environment grant for other playground renovations.
- Noble said an individual has expressed interest in filling the board position that becomes vacant in July. He declined to name the individual, and recommended deferring a decision until July, when newly elected board members take their positions.
- High school and middle school administrative offices will be combined in the middle school next year. Noble estimated the cost of renovating the space to accommodate the move to be $15,000. The main entryway for both schools will be through the middle school, and the main high school entry will be locked.
- Building and transportation handbooks were approved.
- Tanner Lacy resigned as HES lunch supervisor. HMHS secretary Jessica Fine was given a wage adjustment to $9.90/hr.