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Cuts proposed as schools close in on budget balance

 


“We will have a balanced budget next year,” Superintendent Paul Turner stated last Friday.

He confirmed this before the Grand Coulee Dam School District board Monday night, going over a number of steps he is proposing to eliminate what he sees as a potential shortfall of about $740,000.

Turner said changes to personnel and programs that he hopes to implement have moved the district to within $100,000 or so of his goal. The district will have until July to make final adjustments to its budget, but has until June 15 to notify teachers if they are going to be laid off in a reduction in force.

“We may have to dip into our cash reserves to get there, but we need to stop the bleeding,” Turner stated.

Earlier, Turner had stated that he planned to eliminate one administrator. In a new list of financial adjustments administrators will stay, but the two vice principals will be put on half-time status in that capacity, plus be given additional duties, for example taking on vocational education administration and teaching duties.

Turner had also considered reassigning the current athletic director duties to eliminate that position, but the school board was not supportive of that move, he said.

The alternative education program will move back into the high school, eliminating one teacher and a paraprofessional. Two other parapro positions are also on the chopping block.

A secretary (registrar) will be eliminated.

“We anticipate some additional money from the state and have been informed that we will receive a boost … from federal Impact Aid,” Turner added. He said that amount is uncertain, but they expect in excess of $80,000.

The cuts planned so far would bring the anticipated budget deficit down within $150,000 of a balanced budget, Turner said.

“We don’t anticipate that the process we are working through will continue in the 2018-19 budget period,” Turner stated.

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