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USD 410 outlines possible cuts

Staff writer

USD 410 Business Manager Jerry Hinerman outlined possible budget cuts of about $500,000 April 29 at a special Board of Education meeting.

The school district will need to cut its budget from $415,000-$550,000, depending on action by the state.

Regardless of what state legislators decide, the district will lose about $250,000 because of declining enrollment, Hinerman said.

No cuts will be finalized until board members know how much state aid is cut.

Among the cuts, the district can save about $81,000 from the early retirement of seventh grade teacher Joyce Loewen and high school media specialist Anita Boese, even after paying their early retirement benefits. Their positions will not be filled.

Another $37,000 savings would be from eliminating a vacant technology assistant position. The district can save about $30,000 cutting the curriculum budget.

More savings, as much as $12,000, could be realized by not replacing old athletic uniforms for a year.

Some expected savings did not require any actual cuts. The district expects to save about $14,100 in legal fees since the resolution of the athletic facility with Tabor College. Another $45,000 of expected savings would come from lower fuel costs.

The total of proposed cuts is $510,713, Hinerman said.

Board of Education President Rod Koons said he appreciated the work of Hinerman, interim superintendent Doug Huxman, and building administrators to find workable cuts.

A computer for each student

Board members voted to purchase 200 mini-laptop computers to begin the school’s efforts to have a computer for every high school and middle school student.

The district will purchase 200 mini-laptops from Two Trees Technology of Wichita for $96,650. Each computer will have a full three-year warranty.

Every high school student will have a computer to begin the 2009-10 school year. The district hopes to expand the program to middle school students in 2010-11.

It’s difficult to cut the budget while making a big capital purchase like this, but the board has to do what’s best for students, Koons said.

The board also voted to purchase 27 laptops to replace teacher computers for $29,295 from Two Trees Technology.

In other business:

  • Board members met in closed session for 30 minutes to discuss personnel.
  • Boese resigned her position as high school media specialist, effective at the end of the school year.
  • Huxman resigned as interim superintendent, effective June 30.
  • Hillsboro High School music teacher Gregg Walker resigned his extra 10-day contract as a cost-cutting measure. It will be reduced to five extra days.
  • HHS agriculture teacher Sonya Roberts resigned her extra 20-day contract. It will be reduced to 10 extra days.

Last modified May 7, 2009

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