Budget cuts and increasing fees approved at Royalton School Board Meeting
By Liz Verley, Staff Writer
The Royalton School Board bit the bullet and made several cuts in its budget for 2012-2013.
Board members had previously directed administration to develop a list of budget reductions totalling $348,000 or approximately 6 percent of its budget for the upcoming school year.
Cuts made by the board Monday included:
• Eliminating food and refreshments at all meeting with the exception of the district’s back-to-school breakfast for all employees;
• Reducing the annual school newsletters from seven to four issues;
• Discontinuing payment from the general fund for coaches’ scouting;
• Eliminating the pep band with plans to revisit the cut in the future;
• Reducing by $4,000 money set aside for services from a district office employee on leave;
• Reducing the high school secretary contract by five days;
• Reducing high school social science electives .2 FTE;
• Reducing one fourth grade section. The issue will be revisited if needed;
• Restoring 10 percent (one-half) of the instructional supplies budget that had been reduced last year;
• Approving a $2 attendance fee at the honors breakfast for all students and guests;
• Requiring families to purchase their child’s graduation cap and gown from the vendor;
• Approving charging adults $3 and students $2 for admission to concerts, prom and play performances. Season passes will be accepted. Director Jim Block opposed;
• Increasing the adult season pass from $25 to $40;
• Decreasing senior citizen passes from $25 to $15; • Increasing grades 9 – 12 extracurricular fees from $40 to $60, keeping reduced lunch students at $40 and reduced free lunch students at $30. There will be an individual cap of $150 and family cap of $300;
• Increasing grades seven through eight extracurricular fees from $30 to $40, keeping reduced lunch students at $30 and reduced free lunch students at $20. The will be an individual cap of $100 or a family cap of $300;
• Charging a $20 fee for students and guests participating in the prom;
• Increasing athletic gate fees from $5 to $6 for adults and from $3 to $4 for students. Senior citizens will be charged at the student rate;
• Charging families a $60 per student fee for classroom driver’s education instruction;
• Allocating $55,000 each year for the purchase of a bus; $60,000 each year for the purchase of textbooks and curriculum; and $50,000 each year for technology; and
• Reclassifying up to 5 percent of the high school principal and 65 percent or the social workers salary and benefits to the Safe Schools levy.
Motions to increase student season passes failed as did the motion to charge a fee for summer band lessons.
Part of the reductions will be realized through several teachers taking the retirement incentive.
Royalton School Board Briefs
In other business Monday, the Royalton School Board: • Accepted the retirement/resignations of Lila Hines, Elaine Selinger, Linda Martin, Susan Sartell, Linda Zimmer and Becky Neuman as elementary teachers and Ken Schmitz and Linda McManus as high school teachers;
• Approved hiring Joel Swenson as the High School principal. He has served as interim principal for the past two years. Director Ron Borash voted against the motion to hire. He stated he did not oppose the hiring of Swenson, but that the Board had said it would advertise the position and it chose not too. Director Tom Justin was absent from the meeting;
• Approved the 2012-2013 school calendar as presented. Classes will begin Sept. 4 with the last student day set for May 30, 2013;
• Approved hiring Linda McManus as a .5 FTE teacher for the 2012-2013 school year and Mary Ann Eikmeier as a part-time cook helper; and
• Approved holding a closed meeting to discuss negotiation strategies.
The next regular meeting of the Royalton School Board will be held Monday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m.