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Menahga School officials look at ways to become more efficient

About $220,000 in budget reductions has been proposed for Menahga School District.

"This is a working document, a proposal, that will be modified as we continue to move forward," said board chairman Durwin Tomperi.

The board took no action at Monday's meeting.

"It really forces us to take a look at where are some places where we can become more efficient," said Superintendent Mary Klamm.

The budget reductions have come in light of the state likely delaying more payments next year. Klamm is also concerned that the district could see additional state aid shifts to make up the budget shortfall.

The proposed list of budget reductions includes:

n Reducing the literacy coordinator position ($10,722)

n Retirement of four teachers replaced with new teachers ($50,000)

n Reducing FACS to half time ($20,000)

n Reducing fifth grade to two sections ($60,000)

n Curriculum purchases delayed for science, physical education and health ($20,000)

n Reducing one kindergarten section to .7 FTE ($15,000)

n A 5 percent reduction in supplies ($7,000)

n Replacing an English position with a new teacher ($5,000)

n Reducing extra-curricular events and travel ($5,000)

n Reducing lead custodian position to basic ($5,000)

n Increasing lunch costs ($2,000)

n Staff development savings ($5,000)

n Elimination preschool special education position ($5,000)

n Superintendent mentor consulting fee ($10,000)

Good news came to the district in projected enrollment numbers.

The district is expecting additional revenue from growth. The projection is an additional 30 students, which would bring in an additional $97,200. The additional compensatory aid would be $110,000.

Last year, the district saved $238,700 by reducing programs and shifting staff responsibilities. Reductions will likely continue in future years due to state funding uncertainty.

Klamm would like the school district to look at strategic planning this summer. The district's current strategic plan is 10 years old and out-dated.

She would like to see a plan for the next five years.

"We're going to be looking at some pretty tough times the next few years out," she said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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