School Board seeks ways to cut deficit spendingThe Finance Committee of the Jamestown Public School Board met Wednesday and recommended changes to save the district $150,000 for the 2012-2013 school year.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The Finance Committee of the Jamestown Public School Board met Wednesday and recommended changes to save the district $150,000 for the 2012-2013 school year.
If the changes are approved by the School Board at Monday’s meeting, the district would be operating with an estimated $800,000 deficit for the 2012-2013 school year, according to information from the Jamestown Board of Education Finance Retreat.
“This is a start and of course we want to take cautious steps in how we approach this,” said Greg Allen, Finance Committee member. “We want to be able to maintain our district at a functional size.”
The Finance Committee is chaired by Tanya Ostlie, and in addition to Allen consists of Shelly Jystad and Gail Martin, all School Board members.
Through a revaluation of supplies, and the loss of stimulus funding and a grant, the district is able to save an estimated $60,000 for 2012-2013, said JPS Superintendent Bob Toso.
The other major reduction discussed Wednesday would also save the district close to $60,000, said Sally Ost, JPS business manager. That would be the retirement of two administrators, who will be replaced by new employees at lower pay grades.
Gail Wold will replace Joe Hegland at Jamestown Middle School and another hire will replace Pete Carvell at Gussner Elementary School.
However, the committee heard a proposal to increase administration salaries by 5 percent and support staff salaries by 6 percent; both were planned for in the budget.
“We are actually reducing administration costs a little bit because of the two retirements,” Toso said. “… They (new administration hires) usually come in pretty close to what the past administration got. But since we budgeted for an increase (in administration salaries) we don’t have to worry about that increase, so we’re actually saving a little money in administration because of retirement.”
More retirements could come in May, which could help the district fight deficit spending more so.
“There’s not a solid figure for next year because the contracts will go out in early April,” said Sally Ost “So we should know in mid-May if somebody else decides to retire, or maybe it’s moving (to another district).”
Grants drying up and membership fees for teachers and administrators that will not be budgeted for also add to the estimated $150,000 that’s expected to be cut for 2012-2013.
“It’s the low-hanging fruit first, and some other stuff will come later,” Allen said. “The overall goal is to become balanced.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com