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833 board cuts $6 million from next year's budget

The District 833 School Board agreed cut $6 million from the 2009-2010 budget at its March 26 meeting.

District elementary school media specialists were at the meeting to make sure a specialist reduction of one-half position was not made and that more specialists didn't get cut.

Superintendent Tom Nelson said fewer specialists will be needed next year when sixth-graders move to middle schools. He recommended three part-time positions be eliminated with one specialist remaining at each school for a total savings of $54,000.

Board members agreed and left the revised cut on the list.

Nelson said board members should revisit the allocation of media specialists for 2010-2011. It doesn't seem fair, he said, that Liberty Ridge Elementary School, and the much smaller Newport Elementary School, should each have one media specialist.

District health workers attended to support keeping Health Coordinator Teresa Pines' position, for $78,000.

Special Education Director Erin Metoxen said the position is 90 percent administrative. Duties can be shifted to social services supervisors, she said.

Board member Tracy Brunnette said Metoxen's plan to reorganize health workers shifted too much work unto nurses who have to deal with an increasing number of student health issues.

"This is not an issue of removing the safety of students," Nelson said. "There will still be the same excellent service as in the past."

Board members agreed and the position remains on the list of items to be cut.

Even with $22 million in unallocated money, the district faces a future deficit that will use up the money in two years if there are no changes in the district budget and no additional funding from the state, Nelson told board members.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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