The Lawrence school board cut another $355,000 from its 2009-2010 budget at its meeting Monday night, bringing the grand total of reductions to more than $2.5 million.
The board had left about $440,000 of potential cuts up in the air after its May 26 meeting. The cuts from Monday include the equivalent of seven full-time custodians, a reduction in elementary clerical aides and a 50 percent cut in an increase to school instructional budgets. They also made the Lawrence Schools Foundation program coordinator a part-time position.
“I don’t want to make any of these cuts, but I didn’t want to make most of the other ones,” said Scott Morgan, board vice president.
But the board decided to look ahead to future rescissions coming from the state.
“The state treasurer today said the cuts will be large and will be painful,” said Superintendent Randy Weseman, noting the cuts would be necessary because state revenues for May were down about $100 million. Weseman mentioned that reductions could be coming in late July to make up that difference.
“The farther you get along in your budget year in a rescission environment, the more difficult it’s going to be for you to cut the budget,” Weseman said. “I think you need to prepare for what could be more severe cuts.”
The cuts on Monday put the district about $700,000 over the required amount of cutbacks to make up for the reductions in state funding.
The district will also be getting federal funds, but that amount was figured into the base state aid per pupil for next school year.
“It’s already part of the formula,” said Kathy Johnson, the finance division director. “You spend the stabilization money first.”
Johnson noted the district will get the federal money Sept. 1 and must spend it by the end of that month. “All the September salaries will be paid with the stabilization money,” she said.
Board President Craig Grant said that things are going to get worse before they get better, which is why he agreed that more cuts needed to be made.
“We can only hope that after maybe one more year of this, maybe things will be better,” Grant said. “That’s what I wish for the world.”