School district could face program cuts, referendumThree months into the school year, the Superior school district is keeping afloat with its scaled-back administration.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
Three months into the school year, the Superior school district is keeping afloat with its scaled-back administration.
“I wouldn’t say we’re doing well,” said Janna Stevens, Superior district administrator. “We are making this work.”
In May, the Superior School Board approved a plan to leave vacant two assistant principal positions in the district — one at the high school and one at the middle school. Activities director Ray Kosey has assumed additional duties to compensate at the high school, and Pat Flynn, who retired at the end of last school year, was reinstated for two days a week at the middle school.
Superior Middle School, which had one principal and three assistant principals when it opened, is now operating with one full-time principal and one full-time assistant principal. The high school is down to three full-time administrators.
There are no plans to change the current administrative levels before the end of the school year.
Stevens has watched the situation closely, and she says the district is doing the best it can under the pressure of its tight budget.
She also warned the road ahead will be no easier.
This year’s administrative cuts put Superior at the very brink of what it can manage, Stevens said. Further cuts to the high school and middle school administration won’t be possible to offset next year’s expected budget shortfall.
“I can’t fathom that those two buildings could run with less support,” Stevens said.
The district estimated it saved between $100,000 and $200,000 from administrative cuts this year.
For the 2012-13 school year, Superior is already working to streamline its operations. The school district will also look for savings in its employee health care plan, but that alone is unlikely to make up the anticipated deficit.
The next option for Superior would be program cuts, which Stevens said will be up for consideration as the School Board tries to set its budget for 2012-13.
“That’s going to be horrible for everyone,” Stevens said.
Instruction in the core areas or study — language arts, math, social studies and science — would be maintained, but programs not required by the state could be in jeopardy.
At Monday’s meeting of the Superior School Board, Stevens spoke briefly about the district’s financial situation. She said another source of revenue will be needed to maintain all of the district’s current programs and mentioned the possibility of an operating referendum.
Board member Len Albrecht doubted a referendum would gain the support needed in the current economic climate. He said the district will just have to prepare itself to continue doing more with less.
In other action, the School Board tabled a proposal to purchase and install new projectors at Northern Lights Elementary School.
The district had hoped to spend no more than $16,000 on the projectors, but the lowest bid came in at $27,900.
“This is the Cadillac end,” Stevens said. “We need to be looking more at the Ford Fiesta.”
The Board voted unanimously to put off the project and asked for further research and evaluation.