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School faces budget deficit
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DARLINGTON—Program reductions were made by the Darlington Community School District.
On Feb. 19 the Darlington School Board voted to reduce three positions:
• business education by .19 FTE
• teaching assistant in high school physical education by 1 FTE
• Title 1 and 2a program teaching positions by 2.4 FTE
School board member Bob Hermanson said the Title 1 staff are reduced and hired back every year as part of the contract and they don’t count toward the school’s savings.
The reduction of the business education and physical education assistant positions, as well as some cuts in buildings and grounds, is estimated to save the district $132,000.
“This has been a very difficult year for the budget with the state being all over the board on their numbers that we are getting,” school board president Joe Boll said. “Our administrative team as well as… curriculum and planning committees have met and gone over these issues trying to make difficult decisions at a time we’re getting less and less money. We are projected to receive $300,000 less in state aid next year. I hope that’s not so. I am at a loss to try to explain where the state comes up with their predictions.”
Boll said last year the school was projected to be $700,000 short but ended up only $142,000 short.
“With that swing in numbers, it’s impossible to try to do a budget that is going to come in until we get those final numbers,” Boll said. “We’re trying to be up front and tell them what we need to project for next year.”
Boll said the district can’t take the money from the fund balance. He encourages anybody who has an idea to reduce expenses or increase revenues for the school to let the board or administration know.
“I’m worried about these kind of figures,” Boll said. “It’s not just Darlington. It’s every district that is in trouble. We’re talking about a significant amount of money.”