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The Eudora School District is looking at possibly having to make some tough budget cuts in the upcoming year.
At Thursday nights School Board meeting, Superintendent Don Grosdidier gave a presentation on what the district may be looking at for the upcoming fiscal year.
“We are looking at a gap of about 1.3 million dollars” Grosdidier said in his presentation.
There are two big factors that play an important key in the decline in revenue for the school district.
First is the loss of new facilities money. This money was given to the Eudora School District by the State Government to help build and establish the new elementary school. The new facilities money has a two year life on the grant and the Eudora School District is now at the end of that two year period. The amount of new facilities money that currently figures into School District budget is slightly over 1 million dollars.
The second loss of revenue will stem from what the State Legislature decides to do. This amount for the Eudora School District, is currently estimated by School District officials to be approximately 330,000 for the next fiscal year. We do want to emphasize that this number is an extremely fluid number and may grow or decrease depending largely on the actions of the Legislature in the coming days and weeks.
The rhetorical question Grosdidier asked during his presentation to the Board was “How will we fill the hole?”
The answer to that question can be a myriad of things which Grosdidier outlined in much detail. Again, we want to stress that these are just initial proposals and not necessarily being put into action at this time.
Grosdidier stated that if the opportunity comes along to sell the Laws Field/Nottingham property, this could offset most of the loss in new facilities money. Grosdidier also said that, after talking to possible developers, he is not optimistic that a sale will occur anytime in the near future.
More likely scenarios include using funding the District received from FEMA to pay on leases the School District currently has and shutting down some of the unused portions of properties at the old Nottingham school, and the old school building at 10th & Main. There is also a plan to possibly lease space at the old West Elementary School to Greenbush, an Education Service Organization that currently serves eastern and southeastern Kansas.
Additional funding could be raised in the form of higher fees or raising the district mill levy 0.6 mills to the maximum level the State currently allows districts to levy. Grosdidier did state that raising the mill levy was not much of an option because of the levels of property evaluations in town, 0.6 mills raises very little money for the district.
Additional cuts may need to be made in the areas of programs and functions of the District. Some of those cuts include the elimination of the District-level mentoring program, cuts in the food service department and cutting the assistant coaching positions in sports. Also offered for review was the elimination of a position in the District Administration office after the employee who holds that position retires. Several other cuts to various operations where detailed saving thousands here and thousands there. By the time this was all totaled up, it left between $600,000 and $650,000 of a shortfall.
This remaining money, if it indeed comes to this point, is by reducing funds at the building level. As Grosdidier pointed out, most of the building level expenditures are in staffing. Building Principles have been directed by the Administration to look at how to cut 10 to 15 percent from their budgets if they are necessary.
“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.”
The Board of Education will be presented proposals from the building staff and administration at the next Board meeting in April. The District hopes to have a clearer picture of anticipated revenues from the State by this time.