MARSHALL - The Marshall School Board looked at proposed budget cuts during the regular board meeting on Monday and wanted more options.
Superintendent Klint Willert presented the board with $574,372 in proposed cuts that he and his administrative staff had tabulated. The goal was $600,000 in cuts, and the board members asked Willert and his staff to come up with additional proposals so they would have some options to present to the public so they could better meet their goal.
Some of the programs they discussed eliminating:
Close the swimming pool and use the pool at Southwest Minnesota State University. "This would minimize the number of pools we're maintaining in this community," said Bruce Lamprecht, director of business services. He added it was suggested the pool be filled in and the gymnastics equipment be set up permanently in that space. It would save time the custodians use to set up and take down the equipment.
Orchestra. The program would be offered through Marshall Community Services.
Middle school activities. The activities would be offered through Community Services);
French at the high school.
Positions proposed to be cut or reduced:
One paraprofessional in each building.
One physical education teacher.
One nursing position. Lamprecht explained that they may decide to reduce hours to equal that one position.
One media (library) position. A paraprofessional could be re-directed to fill in at the library, Willert said.
One day care teacher. Replace with a paraprofessional.
One high school language arts person.
One MECLA teacher/tech.
Robert Walker is now a .5 position as the assistant elementary principal, a .25 position as the Title 1 coordinator and a .25 position as the Project Success coordinator. It is proposed he retain his duties as assistant elementary principal, and the duties as Title 1 coordinator be absorbed into that position, and the Project Success coordinator duties be rolled over to Jeremy Williams, assistant principal at MECLA. This will leave Walker in a half-time position as assistant elementary principal. "Mr. Walker could opt to return to the chemistry classroom and be a half-time administrator," Willert said.
Willert also presented the board with proposed new revenues.
"These are things in previous years that may have been reimbursable, but may no longer be reimbursable through federal and state special education programs," Willert said.
This list includes:
Increase activity fees. "We'd still be competitive with schools our size," he said.
PSEO. Keep students in the building so Marshall Public School gets the funding, rather than let them go to SMSU, Willert reasoned.
Increase rental fees by 10 percent.
Charge for transcripts. A fee of $10 would be charged for students who had been out of high school for a while. The projected income is $500.
Reinstitute student parking at $20/vehicle. It could generate $10,000.
The total of these proposed revenue increases is $44,000.
The board is looking for input from the community to see what the public can live with losing and what programs they definitely want to keep.
The board, as a consensus, wanted more options, for themselves and the public, to choose from.
"The administrative team met for five hours poring over a list," Willert said. "If we need to go back and revisit that list, I'd like to hear that from the board. If the board wants to have a series of choices: package A or package B. If the board would wish to do that, we can do that."
Board Chairman Jeff Chapman wanted to know whether instead of raising fees, should a program be eliminated?
Chapman asked about double testing with the NWEA assessment, which is given up to three times throughout the year, and the MCA2, which is given at the end of the year.
Willert explained the tests measure different things in the students' progress.
"I'd strongly recommend against (dropping one)," Willert said.
Board member Mike Booke was concerned that the district has improved some programs, gotten good feedback on that progress, and is now talking about cutting those programs.
"Maybe we need to look at other things," Booke said.
Willert and his team will meet again prior to March 16 to come up with additional recommendations for the board.
That meeting date will be determined later.
The board plans to make its final decisions at the March 30 meeting.
"What are we willing to give up? Somewhere, something has to give," Willert said. "It impacts the staff, the children and the community."
To view the entire proposal, visit www.swmn.org and click on the superintendent's link.