Eudora The Eudora school board voted unanimously Thursday to make budget cuts and add a $50 enrollment fee for all students in an effort to balance the budget for next year.
The board agreed 6-0 to cut $670,000 from next year’s budget. Combined with fee increases and other steps taken earlier, the district expects the actions to bring about $800,000 in savings and increased revenue.
Each member took the recommendation of Superintendent Don Grosdidier and agreed to cuts based on an anticipated reduction in state funding.
Board members expressed concern about the decision.
“I have been on the board for four terms, approximately 15 years and I have never experienced anything even closely resembling what not only this board but boards across the state and the nation are dealing with right now,” said board member Kenneth Massey.
The cuts will permanently close Nottingham Community Learning Center, which no longer serves students, and temporarily close the West Early Childhood Family Center. Classes at West will be moved to Eudora Elementary School.
Grosdidier said it’s reasonable to expect West to be closed for at least three years. The district plans to continue maintenance on the building so students can return and community members can possibly use the facility in the meantime.
For the first time in its history, the board also imposed a enrollment fee for students to attend class.
Beginning next year, all families with children in preschool through 12th grade will be required to pay an annual enrollment fee of $50 per student. A new fee was also adopted for middle school and high school students participating in extracurricular activities sponsored by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
Students involved in sports, band, choir, cheer and dance will pay an annual fee of $50.
The board plans to discuss setting a limit on fees for families with multiple students. The board plans to discuss a fee ceiling at the May 13 board meeting.
Other cuts include:
• Reducing administrators at Eudora High School from three to two, which would eliminate a full-time activities director.
• Reducing 1.5 teaching positions in the Eudora-De Soto Technical Education Center, removing technical programs at Eudora Middle School.
• Eliminating the EMS math skills teacher, reducing remedial math instruction.
• Eliminating the EMS/EHS library aide, reducing library hours at both schools.
• Making cuts to activities at EMS and EHS, including the elimination of subvarsity non-league competitions and the elimination of the EHS forensics program.
“It was really our only option at this time to meet what we suspect is coming down the pike in regards to cuts from the state,” Massey said. “To go any deeper than that at this point without knowing what’s coming would have been irresponsible on our part as a board.”
The board chose not to cut three reading teachers at the middle school level. EMS leaders believe a cut to the reading program would greatly impact students’ learning.