District 9 budget has seven fewer teachers

School District 9 held the first of two budget meetings last week followed by their regular school board meeting.
    
In her budget message, Supt. Rickert said the State School Fund for the district would increase by $575,844. However, she said there was an estimated reduction in the fund balance of over $1.6 million, leaving the district with an estimated loss of $1.1 million.


"We have reduced staffing expenditures for the 2008-09 by 5.7%," said
Rickert, noting salary and benefits are 78 percent of the coming year’s
budget.
   
She said through attrition (retirements or
resignations) the district has eliminated seven teachers, two
counselors, three instructional assistants and three administrative
assistants. Specifically, there will be four fewer teachers at the high
school, two at the middle schools and one at the elementary level. With
the reduction of two counselors, there will four elementary counselors,
two at the high school and two for the middle schools. White Mountain
and Eagle Point Middle School will share a counselor. They each have
disciplinarians.
   
In conclusion, Rickert said, "Our long
term goal is to return to and maintain a fund balance that is between
seven to 10 percent of the State School fund. Based on our current
State School fund that target amount is $2.1 to $3 million."
   
The
district began the 2006-07 fiscal year with a fund balance of
$7,490,588 and ended the year with $5,560,001 in the General Fund. The
current budget kept programs and staffing much the same as in 06-07 and
was described as a maintenance budget. Its purpose was to decrease the
level of deficit spending.  The district is projecting an ending fund
balance of $3,919,338.
   
Elementary and middle school principals offered a brief overview of their schools and programs.
   
Next year Eagle Rock will have a K-1 class to help those students who have challenges.
   
Mountain
View Elementary Principal Ruth Stiehl said team teaching is working
well for the 100 English Language Learners (ELL) students in her
school.
   
A number of middle school students are earning
high school math credits. Specifically, 50 percent of the Shady Cove
students are earning one or more high school math credits, that figure
is 44 percent at EPMS and 48 percent at WMMS.  These students must
maintain an A or B in the class, which challenges them even more than a
high school student taking the class.
   
A second budget meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 21 will include the high school budget.
   
During
the regular meeting of the board of directors, former board member Doug
McKinley addressed the board . He said he was dismayed with what has
been done with the money since he left the board. "It borders on gross
mis-management," said McKinley. He said when he left the board there
was $7 million in carryover and at the end of next year there would be
$110,000 left without layoffs. He went on to say that he read where
there had been a 12 percent pay raise. According to McKinley by the
time steps are paid it compounds closer to a 25 percent raise. He said
this year’s 2 percent would be closer to 19 percent. (The editor placed
a call to McKinley which was not returned, asking where he obtained his
information.)
   
EPHS Principal Allen Barber introduced the new
assistant principal, Tim Rupp, who said he was excited to be able to
bring his 19 years of experience to the high school and looked forward
to helping  make changes to help kids be successful.
   
The
Eagle Point skateboard supporters, Gemma Marlia-Johnson, Wyn Lewis and
Stacey Harvey, were introduced, as the May regional partners.
   
The
student spotlight was on Eagle Point Middle School. Principal Dan
Johnson introduced the two students selected by the staff for the
special recognition. They were  Brittney Hale and Amanda Kady.
   
Director
of School Improvement Tina Mondale gave a presentation on the status of
the 10 recommendation given in the curriculum audit done in 2005-06.
 By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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