Archive for Tuesday, June 22, 1993

BOARD MULLS WAYS TO CUT SPENDING

June 22, 1993

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The Lawrence school board Monday discussed ways to trim the 1993-94 budget, with board members' proposals for cuts ranging from nothing to more than $300,000.

The board discussed possible cuts as part of a study session, so they could not take any action on the proposals. However, Monday's discussion set the stage for budget talks at the board's regular meeting next Monday.

Administrators have made recommendations for $1.03 million in additional spending for 1993-94. That's beyond the additional $1.33 million that will go into teacher salaries next school year.

Board member Tom Murray said he thought the district could do without $284,000 worth of the additional spending items.

Among the additional expenditures he favored eliminating: $150,000 to bolster the district's contingency fund, $12,000 for increasing the social studies coordinator to full-time, $19,000 to hire a director of maintenance and operations, and $25,000 to hire a principal to begin planning for a new elementary school.

Administrators have recommended hiring a principal in the middle of next school year to help hire staff for a grade school in southwest Lawrence scheduled to open in the fall of 1994. Murray said he thought the district could save money by arranging for a current principal or a local retired principal to begin planning for the school.

Board President Barbara Ballard said that wouldn't be ideal if the principal for the new school were hired from outside the district.

"You want to hire your own staff," Ballard said.

But Murray said that wasn't crucial.

Murray also recommended that the district cut back on hiring substitutes by having principals occasionally take the place of absent teachers.

Murray also proposed cutting $50,000 in staff development from the current budget.

Board member Jerry Hannah proposed more than $144,000 worth of cuts from the current budget and from recommendations for added expenditures. One of his proposals, to cut the instructional supplies and materials fund by 5 percent, or $48,000, gained little support.

"That means that there are a number of items that teachers would end up paying for out of their own pockets," said board member Harriet Shaffer.

Craig Fiegel, the district's director of business and facilities, said the fund probably isn't adequate as is.

Ballard, Shaffer and Fowler recommended no cuts. Board Vice President John Tacha proposed cutting $50,000 from the $150,000 recommended for building up the contingency fund. He said the board probably could agree on another $25,000 in cuts from among other proposed spending cuts.

Board member Mary Loveland didn't propose any specific cuts but encouraged administrators to try to find ways to economize. She said another item to consider, but not during the present budget talks, is the closing of Grant School.

Another topic on the study session agenda was that of naming new schools being built in the district. However, because of a lack of time, the board postponed discussion of that issue.

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