Recommendations for cuts to be brought to March Swanville School Board meeting

By Liz Verley, Staff Writer 

As most school districts  are doing, the Swanville School District is looking at making budget cuts from its 2012-2013 budget.

Superintendent Gene Harthan told Swanville School Board members, Tuesday, he would bring his recommendation for cuts and layoffs to the Board’s March 13 meeting for action.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Harthan presented projected enrollment numbers for the next few years. His projections show that in 2011-2012, there are 329 students. Dropping consistently over the next four years, figures show the school, in 2015-2016, will have 290 students.

Noting the goal is to reach a minimum of $150,000 in cuts, some of Harthan’s suggestions for 2012-2013 may include cutting: speech from .6 full time equivalent (FTE) to .5 FTE, two hours of English, social worker hours from 1.5 days per week to one day per week, math two hours per week, two hours of social studies, one to two hours science, one hour music, one hour elementary physical education, .5 FTE to one FTE position at the elementary and full-time paraprofessional positions or reduce all positions to part time.

Another option under review is the possibility of going to a four-day week. Harthan said, “We probably cannot do it this year but it should be looked at. It might not save much, but it would save some in electricity, heating, food service, custodial time and transportation.

Also under consideration is moving the science teacher back to the Alternative  Learning Center one more hour and having only two hours at the high school; reducing food service staff hours or food costs; and possibly custodial hours.

Harthan said, “We need to look at all the areas.”

Swanville School Board Briefs

Other business that came before the Swanville School Board Tuesday, included:

•  Approving the purchase of a 1998 used bus at a cost of $5,900 and hearing administration is working on a potential deal to repair another bus;

• Hearing Abbey Schultz was a regional winner of the ExCEL award and will be featured at halftime during one of the state tournaments;

• Hearing the elementary students had raised $979.12 for Pennies for Patients, a program in support of leukemia;

• Hearing Kindergarten Round-up will be held Monday, Feb. 28;

• Hearing Superintendent Gene Harthan has asked Mid-State Education District that Swanville be released from the speech program;

• Hearing a request from the graduating seniors to be allowed to purchase their own caps and gowns. The Board agreed as long as they were in the school’s colors (blue or white) and that they were all the same color;

• Hearing potential capital  projects would include the heating system,  lights, cameras on buses and updating the elementary computers; and

• Tabling action on hiring a junior high softball coach until the next meeting.

The next meeting will be held Tuesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. in the school’s library.