Feb. 11 was the last Osseo Area Schools budget reduction community forum. Now, District 279 school board members will prepare for a Feb. 19 work session where they will focus on budget planning and hear a final recommendation for budget reductions.
If the board decides to adopt the proposed budget--which outlines $11 million in cuts over the next two years--more than 70 teachers may lose their jobs if additional revenue is not received.
Related: District 279 Budget Proposals Suggest Cutting $3 Million Next Year
According to a presentation given by Assistant Superintendent Kim Riesgraf on Feb. 5, four levels of budget reductions will help ease students and staff through cuts in 2014 and 2015. While $3 million is proposed to be cut next year, the larger reductions come in 2015, where the district may cut roughly $6 million.
In total, if the proposed budget is adopted, Riesgraf’s presentation's shows that more than 70 teaching positions would be eliminated. The reduction of teachers in the district will lead to larger class sizes, Riesgraf said.
Teaching jobs wouldn’t be the only positions reduced. The plan calls for reduction of two communications, nine administrative and nine custodial positions as well.
“This will lead to less customer service and less contact with community members,” Riesgraf said.
Additionally, level four cuts outline the elimination of laundry services, which forces the question: Who will wash student’s athletic uniforms?
While wrestling expenses and sports transportation dollars were proposed to be reduced next year, 2015 cuts call for 20 percent of costs associated with all athletics to be reduced. Reisgrad said this will lead to less availability for students to participate in athletics and more reliance on parent transportation.
Final budget decisions will be made on March 5.
What items would you recommend for budget reductions? Share your thoughts in comments.