New London-Spicer, Minn., board approves recommended job cuts for next year

/ 10 April 2012 / jennifer

Gretchen Schlosser, West Central Tribune, April 10, 2012 –

NEW LONDON — The New London-Spicer School Board on Monday finalized the district’s budget cuts for the 2012-13 school year.

The adopted resolution, eliminating a total of 4.44 full-time equivalent teaching, paraprofessional and housekeeping jobs and cutting four sixth-class pay assignments, passed by a 6-0 vote. Board member Holli Cogelow Ruter abstained from voting. Board members Robert Moller, Helena Lungstrom, Dan DeGeest, Renee Nolting, David Kilpatrick and Michael O’Brien voted for the resolution.

The resolution includes cutting a 0.5 full-time equivalent Spanish teacher and 1.64 FTE high school, middle school and alternative learning center teaching assignments, discontinuing 0.8 FTE special education teaching positions, reducing 0.5 FTE in housekeeping and cutting a 1.0 FTE elementary paraprofessional.

The board did not include a dollar amount in the resolution language, but budget reduction recommendations provided by Superintendent Paul Carlson at previous meetings totaled $258,517, including $35,770 for the Spanish teacher, $92,483 for the 1.64 FTE teaching assignments, and $19,540 for sixth-class pay, which is the additional pay teachers receive for teaching additional class periods.

The special education cuts totaled $65,723, and an elementary paraprofessional position, funded by federal money for one year, accounts for $16,316. Finally, the housekeeping job cut equals a savings of $11,675.

Additional revenue, generated by increasing student activity fees by $25 at the high school and $10 for middle school, is estimated at adding $17,010 in additional funding. That part of the budget process was not included in the resolution because it isn’t a reduction in programs or staffing.

The board had expected to make between $130,000 and $200,000 in budget cuts this year, but the amount was increased because the district needs to hire an additional sixth-grade teacher next year to compensate for a larger class coming into that grade.

The next step in the annual budget reduction process is informing the teachers impacted by the cuts, Carlson noted. The official letters of non-renewal will go out after the board’s next meeting, on April 30.