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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 04/25/12
RCS officials suggest
$1.39 million in cuts
by CHRIS GRAYWith the fiscal year wrapping up in three months, the Romeo Community Schools Board of Education is examining what it can do to reduce future expenditures.
Observer Staff Writer
At the April 23 meeting, Executive Director of Business Affairs David Massoglia presented up to $1.39 million in cost-cutting options for the 2012-13 school year, such as eliminating teaching positions, union concessions and raising the price of athletic event tickets.
The district's 2012-13 budget is estimated at $4.02 million in expenditures over revenue if no cuts are made. Massoglia said the reductions administrators were presenting would need to be considered if this pattern continues.
"After nine years of cuts it's getting increasingly difficult to make changes without significantly affecting our operations," he said.
The potential changes call for reducing the elementary teaching staff by four positions due to dropping enrollment. This would eliminate a first-grade teacher at Amanda Moore Elementary and Hamilton-Parsons Elementary and a second-grade teacher at Indian Hills Elementary and Washington Elementary. Massoglia said this would result in a savings of $300,000.
"We project, based on class sizes, that we'll get four teachers at reduction without increasing class sizes beyond the contract limits at the elementary level," he said.
Treasurer Ed Sosnoski wondered whether these positions were retirees or planned layoffs, as the district will need more teachers when implementing full day kindergarten.
Massoglia said the suggestions do not take full-day kindergarten into account, including $425,000 the district will spend implementing the program. He noted the district needs seven more teachers for full-day classes.
Negotiations will be the largest variable in the budget. Massoglia predicted $500,000 to $900,000 in savings using mandates put forth by Gov. Rick Snyder to health benefits.
"It will be difficult negotiations, but yes, there is a need for more reductions for our financial security," Massoglia said.
To bring in revenue, administrators suggested raising the ticket price of high school sports to $5 for all events. Massoglia said this would bring in about $5,000 extra for the district and make tracking ticket revenue easier.
Other notable cuts included the reduction of textbook spending by $105,000, cutting legal expenses by $20,000, slashing office supplies for the district by 10 percent to save $5,000 and reducing miscellaneous hardware expenditures by $25,000.
The changes didn't include any potential changes that state legislators are proposing to Snyder's budget proposal. Massoglia said he will present how any changes affect Romeo when the information is available, which could be as early as June.
"The bottom line is, it's going to be slightly better than the governor, but not enough to bail us out of any financial difficulties that we may have," Massoglia said.
Combined with the full-day kindergarten costs, the district would see about $712,000 more in expenses with Snyder's budget despite added revenue for best practices or improved student performance.
Resident Mary Meissner was disappointed to hear the district would consider hiking up the athletic prices, saying a family of five would spend $50 just to see one game.
"I would really like to see a family plan instituted for attending the athletic events," Meissner said. "A family plan might make you money, and increasing the fees you might see less attendance."