Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The Eudora School District, as with most districts in the State of Kansas, is facing severe reductions in revenue. Not only is the state of Kansas reducing their contributions to the funding of school districts, USD491 faces additional strain due to the ending of new facilities money the district received for building the new Eudora Elementary School.

At the last School Board meeting, Superintendent Don Grosdidier outlined how the district is looking at nearly $1.3 million in revenue losses for the school year. Grosdidier stated that while budget cuts at the district level would save nearly $700,000, there would still need to be around $600,000 to $650,000 in building level cuts.

“When we start looking at building level cuts, make no mistake about it, we are talking about classroom kinds of cuts.  When we get into those budgets, the principles will tell you there’s not much there outside of staff.”

According to numerous reports we have received,  staff members likely to be affected by these cuts are being verbally told of that possibility.  According to multiple sources that wished to remain anonymous, some teachers from Eudora Elementary School were told this past Friday that they will not be retained next year.  We want to state on the record that School District officials would not confirm these reports. We have confirmed that some staff members have decided to either retire or leave their positions in the face of the looming cuts.

We contacted the School District Monday afternoon about these reports and were given the following statement by Eudora School District Spokesperson Kristin Magette.

“The board has taken no action on any classroom positions at this time. That said, the board will be considering additional staff cuts at Thursday’s board meeting.”  She also added that “It is not uncommon for a principal to visit with an affected employee prior to a board meeting, simply as a courtesy, so that they aren’t learning of the proposal during the meeting.”

When asked via email how these decisions were to be made, Magette responded that “Each principal and director was directed to identify cuts at 10% and 15% of their budgets.”   Per the school districts statement, “The discretion of where these cuts might be made in a school was left entirely with each principal.”

The School District would not identify prior to the Board meeting at what level the cuts will be or if it is strictly personnel cuts, program cuts or a combination of these and other cuts.

The School Board meeting, normally held in the Eudora Middle School library has been moved to the Middle School auditorium this month.  The meeting will commence Thursday at 7:00PM.

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2 Responses to Eudora News: District budget woes affecting many

  • My kids are now raised and out of Eudora school but I have grand kids who are and will attend Eudora School systems. I know due to the economy that the budget is tight for schools all over the country. Now we have stories every day about how the Eudora school board and superintendent are having trouble making ends meet. Am I supposed to feel sorry for them? I have endured years of what I will call miscommunication, I will use that as I can not prove it was all lies, from our school board and others who supported them and all their new schools. We now have some of the prettiest and newest schools in the state. All of these schools were built on “prime” land that cost a fortune. Why? We now have a 3, at least, buildings that are sitting empty or used occasionally, but let’s not sell them right now because the market is not right. Could we not obtain the moneys needed to keep quality teachers by selling these properties? We were told that our taxes would not go up to build the new grade school instead of being told that we would renew bonds that were about to be paid off to build it. And $2.4 million, from what I hear, for the lot. All the schools could have been on east 7th street where the ground is cheaper, and I heard some of it would have been donated for new schools. There would have been better and much safer access for students from this location also. This is just the tip of the iceberg on the woes of the poor, poor school board and school administration but I hope people get the point I am trying to make. This mess has been created over many years and now we are supposed to feel bad for them having to make tough choices. Maybe they ought to be thinking of the future and care a little more about how they spend the taxpayer’s money.

  • AMEN TONY! I am also a long time Eudora resident. It seems like all the school board has been thinking about is “we need new schools”? My question is why? As you stated, there is cheaper and more affordable solutions than building new. What is the benefit of a new building? A better education? I think not. It just seems like the school district thinks that it has “x” amount of budget, so it just has to spend it all instead of saving some. I agree, this mess has been created over night. It has been years in the making. So I see no need for people of Eudora to keep picking up the tab of something that is mis-managed.