A majority of the $2.8 million in cuts the Brainerd School District needs to make for the 2004-05 school year may be taken out of its reserves.
The district's Finance and Insurance Committee heard a detailed proposal Wednesday from Brainerd Superintendent Jerry Walseth, Assistant Superintendent Gary Phillips and Business Manager Steve Dickinson on how to reduce $2,834,000 from the budget.
Administrators recommended $2 million be used from reserves. Walseth said administration did not want to make cuts that would reduce staff and affect class size.
The district is looking at cutting seven teaching positions, which would save $400,000. A few of the positions are held by teachers who plan to retire this school year. Other cuts include a Title I teacher at Lincoln Elementary School; a work experience coordinator at Brainerd High School; a reading support teacher at Washington Middle School; and a part-time sports medicine teacher at BHS.
A part-time special education teacher at Washington Middle School resigned. This position may not be filled. Two positions -- an elementary Spanish teacher at Baxter and Riverside elementary schools and an hourly music position at Mississippi Horizons and Washington -- may be eliminated.
Also in the proposal is to cut 1.5 full-time equivalent positions in non-certified staff to save the district $37,000.
Other proposed cuts include $80,000 in textbooks; $45,000 in supplies and equipment; $25,000 in technology; $15,000 to reduce the beginning teacher program; $12,000 to cut the DARE program; $10,000 from the athletic budget; and $10,000 in extracurricular and facility use fees.
The district also plans to spend down $100,000 in its staff development reserve and another $100,000 in administrative construction expenses.
If the state does not increase the general education revenue formula for the 2005-06 school year and beyond, the district will have to make an additional $3 million in cuts each year to keep a balanced budget or it would have to attempt an operating referendum, school officials said.
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