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Archive for Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lawrence superintendent is waiting for process to play out in Topeka

The House committee approved a plan to cut more from the public school budget Thursday. The plan for additional cuts comes after $5 million has already been slashed.

March 18, 2010

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Don’t panic.

That was the message Thursday to Lawrence Superintendent Rick Doll from lobbyists for Kansas school boards and superintendents after the House Appropriations Committee endorsed a budget that would require deeper education cuts.

“It’s not good news, but it may be some political posturing that’s happening right now,” Doll said. “We’ll wait and see what actually comes out of the House.”

Lawrence school board members, who already have approved $4.6 million in cuts for next school year, have said legislators must increase taxes to keep the board from having to cut deeper.

“The frustrating part is that the Legislature doesn’t seem to have a sense of urgency, and people have to get on with their lives,” board member Mary Loveland said. “Teachers need to know if they have jobs.”

School board members have approved a deep list of school program and administrative cuts and voted to increase the student-teacher ratio by one student across the district. Administrators are still determining how many teachers will lose their jobs because 30 teachers also plan to retire.

The board voted to not close any of the district’s elementary schools and to appoint a task force to study the district’s older and smaller buildings. Doll said if the district was faced with making even deeper cuts, board members would need to decide whether to put closing schools back on the table.

“I don’t think anybody wants to go there, but I serve at the pleasure of the board,” Doll said. “We have the numbers. It’s not like anything has changed. It’s just whether they would decide to direct us to look at that again.”

As part of the recent cuts, board members voted to move the Early Childhood Family Center from East Heights to Kennedy School, 1605 Davis Road. A total of 130 half- and full-time students attend the early childhood program.

Doll said administrators are considering a boundary change that would move students who live in the northern part of Kennedy’s district into New York School, 936 N.Y., as a way to accommodate the increase in students at Kennedy.

Board members have been invited to participate in a public forum about the impending changes at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kennedy’s gymnasium.

Comments

cowboy 4 years, 10 months ago

Am I the only one that thinks Doll has been pretty much a bystander to this process ?

budwhysir 4 years, 10 months ago

How much are we paying this guy??? Just more proof that the school district is top heavy with high paid people who do not want to make the tough decisions. After all, this guy wouldnt want to ruffle any feathers making these cuts. Why worry about making the wrong cuts when you could say "look thats what we have been instructed to do" Teachers need to know if they have jobs???? Are you kidding me? I say a teacher should have a job, what about the people in the ivory tower??? Any of them in fear of loosing a job????

Mike Edson 4 years, 10 months ago

Budwhysir, in answer to your last question. Yes.

Kookamooka 4 years, 10 months ago

Start thinking about down sizing administration. 5% isn't a deep enough cut at the top. Then, consider moving out of the admin building and renting it to DST. It has a commercial kitchen on the second floor? I wonder if a restaurant could move in there? Although the money will have to stay in the capital outlay fund, it could help pay down the interest on the bonds they borrowed for the football complexes.

The state doesn't REQUIRE athletics as part of a well rounded education. Only a small percentage of students participate. Maybe an athletic furlough for a year to save money.

If you threaten Republicans with ATHLETIC cuts...they won't cut the state budget. See...you have to hit the REPUBLICAN male lawmakers in the cajones to get them to stop being stupid.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

ditto Kookamooka - Right on the money.

We got this: http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2007/may/should_city_spend_20_million_or_more_play_project/

instead of this: http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2007/oct/how_should_school_district_pay_20_million_maintena/

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/oct/22/school-priorities/#c1027186

Taxpayers need the cow barn back on the personal property tax list ASAP.

If the district were forced to sell off all of the recent athletic investments the loss to taxpayers would be staggering.

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