School Board Addresses Budget Cuts

Public gives their two cents

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by Jessica Gruenling

Tonight the school board held the first of two public hearings and votes on the proposed 566 million dollar budget for next year.

The major proponent to this huge gap in the budget is a lack of increase in the student base allocation, which is the primary source for the districts operating budget. In turn, cuts need to be made across the board from 6.1 percent of class room teachers, 10 specialty counselors, and many administrative positions that will decrease by about twenty percent over the next two years.

Tam Agosti-Gisler, School Board President, addressed more issues being seen in the budeget, "Well some of the impacts on our budget are not only the health care costs which is our biggest cost driver. We have an increase in about eight percent per year and this is a state wide issue both in private and nonprofit realms it is to be addressed. We also have additional challenges to our operating budget which come from the affordable care act from general liability insurances increases, utility increases, broad band connectivity increases that we're needing to put into place to meet the department of education clearance to do teacher evaluations and assessments online. We've negotiated with our eight unions and have contract increases from one to four percent each year."