Eudora — Facing a $410,000 budget shortfall, the Eudora school board on Thursday night opted not to cut all-day kindergarten classes, but to charge a $100 enrollment fee for all kindergartners, regardless of full-day or half-day enrollment.
Board members showed their support for early childhood education in the form of unanimous votes on both issues.
As the votes were cast, district kindergarten teachers applauded the effort and many of them thanked the board members for their efforts to save the program. Until kindergarten enrollment numbers become final, however, it is uncertain how many kindergarten teachers will be needed next year and whether any current positions will be cut.
District leaders say the new fee is expected to raise $5,000 toward the $410,000 the district is losing for next year.
At Thursday night’s meeting, Superintendent Don Grosdidier proposed several budget cut scenarios for the board to consider. The meeting lasted more than four hours.
The board also voted 6-0 to accept a proposed school calendar for 2010-2011 academic year that has 10 fewer school days. That move will save the district $10,000 per day, or $100,000 altogether.
Eight of the school days will be noncontract days for teachers and other district staff members. The other two will be teacher inservice days.
In order to comply with state law, each school day will be lengthened. Fifteen minutes will be added to the school day for Eudora Elementary School and Eudora Middle School. Seventeen minutes will be added to the Eudora High School schedule, and 22 will be added to the day at West Early Childhood Learning Center.
The board will meet again during a special meeting on April 22.