School budget work continuesDuring Monday’s Alexandria School Board meeting, a $650,000 budget was approved for facilities, capital improvement and health and safety purchases for the school district for next school year. The budgeted amount totals $650,625, but estimates for actual cost came in at $557,975.
By: Amy Chaffins, Alexandria Echo Press
During Monday’s Alexandria School Board meeting, a $650,000 budget was approved for facilities, capital improvement and health and safety purchases for the school district for next school year.
The budgeted amount totals $650,625, but estimates for actual cost came in at $557,975.
Here are examples of improvements and purchases approved for 2012-2013:
• $3,000 for heating, ventilation and air conditioning consulting.
• $4,500 for landscaping.
• $10,000 for patching roofs.
• $15,000 for tuckpointing.
• $95,000 for carpet replacement.
• $300 to upgrade Braille signs.
• $20,000 for custodial equipment.
• $20,000 for a plow truck.
• $140,000 in deferred maintenance, including phone system upgrades and softball and tennis court repairs at Discovery Middle School.
• $88,000 in health and safety costs including playground resurfacing, $18,000 for asbestos removal from Carlos Elementary School and $10,000 to replace fire doors at Discovery Middle School.
LRT STAFF CUTS
During Monday’s school board meeting, 19 learning resource teachers were told their contracts would not be renewed or they would be placed on an unrequested leave of absence.
Learning resource teachers (LRT) are licensed Minnesota teachers who provide direct instruction to students. They work in the areas of reading and math to strengthen student skills. LRTs work a maximum of 5 hours per day.
Unlike most district staff, the LRT positions are funded with grant dollars. The purpose of the federal grant is to reduce the number of students that enter into special education services. The district receives approximately $440,000 for reading and behavior intervention strategies and has been approved for the grant funding over the last two years.
Whether or not the LRTs will be hired back depends on student enrollment and availability of funding for 2012-2013.
The same holds true for 25 staff members who were told last month that their contracts would not be renewed or they were placed on “unrequested leave of absence” as of the end of June.
Alexandria School District 206 faces a $2.1 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012-2013. District leaders indicated they plan to cut about $780,000 in non-personnel budget items – things like textbooks, technology and summer school.
However, there’s still about $1.3 million to cut, and because 82 percent of the district’s general fund budget is tied to personnel costs, teaching and staff positions are facing permanent cuts.