Lakewood trims $1 million from budget
HEBRON – Many Lakewood School District students will be relieved that the school board will not cut fine arts programs to meet its goal to cut $1 million from the district budget after voters rejected an additional 8.9 mill levy last November.
Instead, the reductions will be spread throughout the district as follows:
• Freeze amounts for purchased services, supplies, equipment, other objects- $225,000
• Freeze purchase of textbooks- $100,000
• Freeze computer purchases- $20,000
• Freeze bus purchases$141,100
• Reduce building budgets eight percent- $10,230
• Eliminate extended time contracts in guidance, band and career development- $21,811
• All athletic bus travel for away events and overtime incurred for home athletic events will no longer be paid by the district. Instead these expenses would be paid out of the athletic department fund or by the athletic boosters- $31,007
• All band bus travel for away events and overtime for in-house events would no longer be paid by the district. The expenses will be paid by the band boosters- $4,912
• Incentive to retire offered to employees with 35 years or more service. Five employees took the incentive - Net savings- $155,520
• Eliminate a Certified Library position- $60,101
• Eliminate one Elementary Counselor position- $35,558
• Eliminate high school vocational programs including Family & Consumer Science and Industrial Technology (excluding Careers)- $157,703
• Consolidation of current bus stops and eliminating four routes- $99,415
•Total Reductions- $1,062,357
Programs eliminated through attrition from the retirement incentive offer:
• Athletic Trainer • French
• One Certified Library position
• Physical Education positions (one, possibly two)
• Multiple transfers by internal personnel
• Three high school/middle school staff members
• One Special Education staff member
• Three Vocational staff members
• One Elementary Counselor
• Four Transportation staff members
• Two Certified Library staff members
Staff reductions through reduction and attrition total 14.
Gault said 62 people participated in the process to determine where to make the cuts. School board members unanimously approved the package of cuts at their Feb. 10 meeting.
Advisory group members will now work on convincing voters to approve an additional levy in May, he said. If the levy doesn’t pass, Gault said the district would eliminate “virtually everything,” meaning that extra curricular activities would be eliminated and the district would only offer the state minimum academic courses.
Director of Pupil Services Arnie Ettenhofer estimated $4.4 million must be cut from next year’s budget if the levy fails again. Gault said more cuts won’t be needed if the levy is approved, but nothing eliminated this year will return, whether the levy passes or not.