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Fillmore Central approves budget cuts

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Education

The Fillmore Central School board approved budget cuts for 2009 totaling $224,485 during their meeting on April 28. The budget committee had been working together to come up with a way to trim the budget five percent in anticipation of a cut in their LGA (Local Government Aid) funding.

The cuts made in the athletic department included decreasing the late buses in half. There will be only one bus going from site to site, which is a decrease of $6,000. There was a ten percent decrease in the athletic supply and equipment budget. Both Cross Country and Cheerleading were eliminated due to low numbers. The board increased the price of season passes, as well as the extra-curricular fees. The board agreed to increase the family cap on fees to $300.

At the high school, the FFA and band summer days were decreased, the social studies department was decreased by .33 FTE, the library paraprofessional hours were decreased to 20 per week, and project fees will be charged for arts, foods, science and agriculture classes.

The summer hours for the elementary and middle school office staff will be decreased by 13 days. The position of library paraprofessional will be eliminated, and they will keep the media specialist for both sites.

Special Education IDEA stimulus funds will be used to keep two social workers at FTE in the district. Superintendent Myrna Luehmann said this may only be for another year that the district can afford both of them. Custodial supplies and board salaries were reduced, and the district will reduce the general fund support of Community Ed. by $20,000.

Board member John Torgrimson noted that they don't know what will happen with the legislature yet, and the budget may have to be revisited after they convene.

"It's difficult to make any cuts but I think we have reached a pretty good consensus," said Torgrimson.

Staffing Changes

The board accepted the resignations of both Gary Feine and Leroy Wendell. Feine teaches at the middle school and has taught at Fillmore Central for 33 years. Wendell teaches Social Studies at the high school and has been in the district for 13 years. The board thanked them for their years of service to the district.

Feine's position will not be filled, but will be taken by an elementary school teacher. The third grade will be down to two sessions next year instead of three. A replacement for Wendell may save the district some money as well.

Frank Tribon and Cal Zutz were placed on ULA (Unrequested Leave of Absence). The board approved the non-renewal of non-tenured second grade teacher Tammy Van Moer.

Other Business

In his report, high school Principal Heath Olstad said the senior trip to Washington, D.C. was very successful, and he complemented advisors Joe Steven and Aaron Mensink on their hard work. He also credited the donors, students and the community for their support.

Olstad said the Prom on April 25 was also successful, and thanked the fire department for allowing the use of the building for the post-prom party.

Luehmann said in her report that May 8 will be a Community Service Day. There will be some middle school students helping in the community with cleaning, yard work or work at the school.

The board approved two open enrollment requests for next year's kindergarten class. Luehmann stated the kindergarten class will have 29-30 kids, the lowest number they have seen since the schools consolidated.

Luehmann informed the board that the district had received an anonymous donation of 100 bushels of corn, worth $350.

The board also approved the following items:

• Renewing the Community Ed. Director Holly Kanengeiter's contract for another year, with no changes and no raise in pay

• Summer school requests for ECSE (Early Childhood Special Ed.) and K-4 Special Ed.

• Putting support staff on layoff for the summer

• Renewing the student accident insurance company for another year

• Membership in the MN State High School League for 2009-2010.

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