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Kingsland Board of Education workshop focuses on next year's budget


Fri, Mar 5th, 2010
Posted in Education

"Your homework assignment was to bring in proposals to balance the budget," said Board Chairman Mitch Lentz addressing the Kingsland Board of Education.

The workshop session of the Kingsland Board of Education Monday night was consumed with discussions of the budget for the coming year and the lack of funds to balance it. Again, board members discussed the creation of two principal positions along with that of a superintendent to replace Darrin Strosahl who is leaving that position.

Strosahl presented charts, graphs, spreadsheets and handouts that showed the budget is going to be $97,243 short for 2010-2011, probably more. He said that the shortfall could be as much as $200,000 additionally if funding is reduced five percent.

Mitch Lentz said, "I am in favor of one superintendent and two principals."

Kristin Beck commented, "I would be in favor of cuts in the administration rather that in the classroom."

Mike Zimmer added, "I think we need to plan for reductions between three and five percent and hope for three percent in addition to $97,243."

"We all have an understanding and we know what needs to be done," said Lentz.

Deb Dahl also said, "I would be in favor of two principals and one superintendent."

Mike Zimmer suggested, "Relocate the superintendent to the middle school in Wykoff and put a dean and principal here."

Kristin Beck asked, "Can we share a superintendent with another district?"

"The need to make reductions of five percent scares me," Dahl commented.

Mike Zimmer was concerned about capital improvements costs as there will be a need for a plow truck, tractor and eventually a bus.

"Maybe we could have a volunteer principal," Dahl remarked, and added, "What would be the cost to share a superintendent?"

"Depends of what you pay them," said Superintendent Strosahl.

Dahl, "What's our timeline on making a decision?"

Strosahl, "Quickly, because of the school year coming to a close and no one will come in to make less. You might look at an interim for a year."

Kristin Beck, "How do we bring kids back in? We need more than a school, we need to work with the cities to attract more people here. There has to be more than a school to attract people here."

The attention switched to some board members prodding the administration to come up with ways to trim the budget.

Peggy Merkel commented, "I have no idea of what needs to be done here. You (Strosahl) work with these issues everyday."

Mitch Lentz added, "We will take action on recommendations made from administration."

Alan Williams wasn't at the meeting but submitted a list of items he thought would save money: require coaches to drive buses, raising the athletic fees and reducing the secretarial staff in the high school.

There was talk about another meeting. "We have talked about this for four months," said Mitch Lentz.

"We need to correct something that has not been done for three years," said Merkel.

"Mitch Lentz replied, "we still need to come back with a recommendation for the next meeting."

"We still need some kind of consensus," said Dahl.

"Can't make a decision," Lentz answered.

"The idea of two deans and a principal was brought to the board last year," said Lentz.

The workshop ended after two hours. Another workshop will be held on Monday, March 8th, 5pm to 7pm.

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