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Archive for Sunday, January 31, 2010

Eudora schools slash funding for field trips

District faces $355,500 shortfall

Tough choices and sacrifices are being made in Eudora to balance school budgets.

January 31, 2010

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Eighth-graders taking earth science classes are among the few Eudora students who still can take their studies outside the classroom.

Schools across Kansas are facing dwindling revenue from the state, and Eudora is no exception.

So as a cost-cutting measure, the Eudora school board recently enacted a moratorium on all field trips not tied to curriculum.

Each trip costs, on average, $1,200. The cut will not affect the senior trip because students independently fund it.

“Those that are directly tied into the curriculum, (if) it’s a learning activity that there are not alternatives for, we’re continuing to do those,” said Superintendent Don Grosdidier.

Dan Kuhlman, who has tied his earth science course to the curriculum for years, said the trip to rural Douglas County is a hit with students.

“It’s a real inquiry period where the kids are involved in actually doing real science, so it’s an application of the whole thing,” Kuhlman said. “Rather than bringing rocks in from the outside and doing the lab inside, we’re just taking the lab outside and doing it in place and it’s worked really effectively.”

Eudora schools face budget struggle

Eudora schools are facing challenges as they attempt to balance the budget this year in the face of a $355M funding cut. Enlarge video

But Eudora students no longer will take trips to zoos, the state capitol building or museums.

Instead, district officials are asking teachers to get creative in the classroom to make up for the field trip experiences that are now lost.

“On a personal level, not only am I a principal but I am a father of three children of varying grade levels and different schools in the district,” said Rich Proffitt, Eudora Middle School principal. “It really saddens me that we’ve come to a point where we didn’t create this, but we’re having to deal with it.”

Recent state cuts have caused a $355,511 decrease in the district’s funding. Furthermore, Grosdidier recently told the board that another $286 cut to base state aid per pupil was possible, which would slice another $800,000 from the district.

The Eudora High School fine arts department already has figured out how to hold the line on expenses.

With one of the school’s largest performances less than a week away, students have spent only about $100 on set and supplies — compared with thousands spent on previous productions.

“If that means that we are up here building and that I am with the power saw — and that’s a little scary for me — then that’s what it is and it’s fine,” said Angela Yarnell, director of the choir and drama department. “We just do what we have to do to make the show happen.”

As they finalize work on the musical “Songs for a New World,” students said they felt a lot of pride because they refurbished and built everything on stage.

“(Yarnell) was very clear at the beginning that we would have to put a lot of time and effort into it,” said Taylor Johnson, a senior. “I think because we did make all of it, it does make it special and unique.”

Comments

kansasmutt 4 years, 11 months ago

Hey Eudora School District SELL off the unused property NOW !!!!!! , (like Nottingham full of asbestos) .Why not try keeping your older equipment instead of blowing hundreds of thousands on new stuff. Cut administration BS cost’s . Cut wages on ALL non teachers. Figure out a way to raise money from within to pay for the HUGE new unnecessary schools . Open your books for an audit from the state. and Live within your means. Concentrate on education, not wasting taxpayer money on state of the art buildings.... ( Wasteful bunch of @#$%$#$# ) How about no more specing bids to your buddy ? roofing bids ????

Larry 4 years, 11 months ago

Wow kansasmutt. Not sure about this but It sounds like you lost out on a bid to the Eudora school district and now have a grudge.

Gotta fund the schools if we want to keep our ranking as one of the best education states in America. The state legislators want to cut funding to schools yet insurance cost, fuel cost, food cost, etc. continue to rise. Maybe the legislators need to help out the districts by revisiting the number of days/hours required per year, re-evaluate the state assessment process and demands, get rid of gifted ed requirements that are not required by federal law, eliminate the money spent on anti-bullying education (we've always had bullying and will continue to do so), get rid of tenure laws, give districts the flexibility to draw money from all other funds until the economy strengthens, reduce IEP/SPED requirements/demands, reduce paperwork demands in general will save money for both the district (individuals needed to complete the paperwork) and state (individuals needed to monitor the paperwork). How has the state handled it? Rather than making changes that would help school save money, our legislators have created a team of accountants who (I assume are paid with money that we don't have), to go around the state and conduct a post audit efficiency study on school districts. Districts have already gone through an audit for accountability. If a problem is found, the district is held accountable.

The post audit of Ellinwood KS school district recommended that Ellinwood reconfigure grade levels to free up the elementary school. The auditors then recommended that Ellinwood sell the elem. building for its appraised value of over $2 million. I'm sure the bidders are lining up with anticipation to spend 2 million on an old school in Ellinwood KS. (near G.Bend).. To think that our legislators are paying an audit team to provide this kind of information is silly and hypocritical at best. (Aren't they trying to get school districts to be more fiscally responsible, yet I can only assume that this auditor team is getting paid?) No wonder only four school districts in Kansas have agreed to the post audit. What a waste of time and money? I'm sure school districts are spending any free time available on figuring out how to make cuts without harming kids.

finance 4 years, 11 months ago

kansasmutt: oh please growwww up! What a petulant little temper tantrum, and getting worse with each increasingly badly misspelled display of ignorance. I can almost see you stomping your dainty little foot (more likely, a size 900 clodhopper).

For starters: asbestos-laden schools must be abated. The district can't just sell them willy-nilly to ignoramuses like you.

And older equipment: are you familiar with school district particulars? Probably not--it's just part of your cock-sure tirade.

And of course you're expert on the "administration BS"? What would that be? Probably that you're not educated enough to earn the same salary.

Cut wages of non-teachers? Now there's a solution! Lower salaries, lower standard of living--ah, I get it. Everyone should descend to your apparent level.

Raise money to pay from within for the huge unnecessary schools? Apparently you've figured out (hey, genius!) how those huge unnecessary schools are being funded from 'without'? I doubt it--again, genius at work.

Open district books to an audit from the state? Implication is that the books are closed? Hogwash, and double-hogwash--the books are public record to anyone who can actually read.

State-of-the-art buildings and wasteful? Like I said a month or two ago, the shanties where you and your ilk went to school shouldn't be wished upon anyone.

And as far as a "wasteful bunch of @#$%$#$# ?" How clever and expressive--what did you really mean to say?

And as for implying improper specs on bid jobs--I wonder how you're so clever that no one else has any idea what you're talking about? Oh, well. What's the saying about ignorance is bliss? You must be ecstatic--yeah, go look it up.

How about no more

finance 4 years, 11 months ago

@#$%$#$# from you? Now that would be bliss.

greenworld 4 years, 11 months ago

Quit sending kids to school, that will fix everything. lol

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