833 budget task force re-arranges budget cut task
The District 833 budget task force has re-structured the mandate from school board members to submit $7.5 million in suggested cuts from the 2009-2010 budget so the board can trim $5 million.
The task force met, Feb. 23, with Superintendent Tom Nelson and Finance Director Aaron Bushberger and agreed on a suggested list of $4,387,500 in cuts but declined to pick specifics from the $4 million list submitted by district department heads or the list of task force suggestions.
Instead, it's sticking with the basic list of $4.4 million and will submit a set of guidelines to the board on March 5 to determine the remaining cuts.
The task force wants the board to keep as many cuts as possible away from classroom instruction, find inefficiencies and protect as many student opportunities and programs as possible that have been added in the past three years.
Instead of going into specifics on the two suggested cut lists, the task force directed Nelson to send the group a revised list by Friday, Feb. 27 by e-mail that will be discussed when the task force meets on Monday, March 2.
Cuts that least affect classrooms should come first with the most drastic cuts listed last, task force members said.
On the A List, are cuts to be made that bring the total to $5 million. On the B List is another $1 million and another $1.5 million on the C list.
As a priority, task force members also agreed that salaries should be frozen. If that can't be accomplished under collective bargaining, members want raises kept as low as possible.